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The lesson of the election of the speaker of the House of Representatives: the establishment is one “party” and honest Americans are another

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Early in January this year, the difficult election of the speaker of the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy revealed a very important political phenomenon which became even more apparent. When the establishment realized that its interests were threatened and its representatives lost the election of one House of Congress, its agents immediately forgot about the differences between the Democrat and the Republican parties. It turned out that the vote was non-partisan, and that its purpose was to force the Republican majority to make the necessary concessions that would allow the system to maintain “stabilityā€¯. The two key parties turned out to be not independent, but outdated and formal organizations. The real parties are very different: the American conservatives, who are associated with the Republicans, and the radical left, which is close to the Democrats. However, the strongest association remains a single “party of business and political elite” which, regardless of the outcome of the vote, will always get what they want. 

The beginning of January promised serious problems for the Democratic establishment. Democrats feared that Biden will not be able to sustain another campaign, which he badly wanted as he is pushing away younger and more popular challengers around him. Even though the Democrats were able to retain the Senate, it is clear that the electoral map would no longer favor them in the next cycle, with only 11 Republican senators up for re-election in 2024, and 23 Democrats at once with a high chance of losing their seats, especially in states such as West Virginia, Montana and Ohio.

In addition, a book devoted to insiders about the first two years of Biden’s presidency, titled “The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House,” which was published January 17, 2023 in the United States. From the excerpts from the book, it became known that Biden constantly felt out of place as president of the United States and was very angry to discover things that Trump left behind in the White House after his presidency. It also turned out that Biden did not trust the Secret Service agents because some of them were strong supporters of former President Trump. Indeed, he seems convinced that they were not loyal to him because they were sympathetic to the protesters outside the Capitol on January 6 and came from southern conservative states. The book also does not portray Kamala Harris at her best, who could not adequately build a relationship with her own apparatus.

It was at this difficult moment that the decision was probably made to strike a blow to the unity of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives. The Republicans were in the majority and first needed to elect a new Speaker of the House of Representatives, and it was in this context that problems immediately emerged. The current Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, faced stubborn opposition from the right wing of the party, the so-called “neoconservatives“, close in spirit to the similarly turfless wing of their Democratic twin brothers. They demanded concessions from McCarthy, including the right to vote of no confidence at any time and deprive him of his position as Speaker, which would put him in a completely dependent position and prevent him from making any decision without their knowledge. Though there were few traitors in the Republican caucus, and there were enough of them to block McCarthy’s confirmation. The electoral advantage for the party was too slim and not many sincere patriots passed, which lead the establishment to immediately take advantage of this. Their actions were immediately criticized by many former and current Republican leaders, including Trump, who publicly supported McCarthy, but the renegades understood the cost of the issue and stood their ground.

Being confident of his victory, McCarthy even drove into the Speaker’s office in advance, but during the first round of voting, 19 Republicans refused to support McCarthy and he was faced with the task of changing the minds of as many as 15 of them. For the first time in 100 years, Congress failed to approve the speaker’s nomination. This was a symbol of how deeply divided the Republicans are and how difficult it will be for them to run the Congress. Already after the first attempt to elect a speaker, it was a clear sign that the patriotic group would have to take into account the opinion of the establishment which was hostile to them, even in the event of a final victory. After three votes on January 3 it was not possible to elect McCarthy either, and the number of traitors increased to 20 congressmen. They mockingly voted for Jim Jordan, one of the leaders of the Freedom Caucus, a conservative and patriotic faction within the Republican camp, knowing that he did not want to be speaker and supported McCarthy. The neo-conservatives deliberately chose from the beginning to block the House of Representatives and damage their own party, which looked divided and helpless.

Nor was the 7th attempt at election a success, with 20 neo-conservatives holding out to the death. Not only the renegades within the Republican Party tried to take advantage of this situation, and even the Democrats were very happy about the split within their opponents.

They offered McCarthy a “coalition government” but the price of the compromise, besides the political embarrassment, was very high by giving the Democrats half of all committees and refusing to investigate on Biden. Realizing the hatred this agreement would arouse among the Republican electorate, McCarthy promised some concessions to his “right-wing” opponents from his own party. In particular, he gave them personal guarantees that he would not interfere with their re-election in the next election. McCarthy was confident that he could push through his election, but it was clear that he could no longer expect stability in the House of Representatives. After 11 rounds of voting, he was still not in office…

On the third day, however, there was hope that an end to the endless procedure of choosing a speaker was near. McCarthy, after long and tense negotiations, had to make a number of concessions to disgruntled Republicans. In particular, at the request of the “rebels”, the McCarthy-led Congress will now try to reduce U.S. government spending to reduce the budget deficit and limit the term of congressmen in their office to 10 years. Nonetheless, the most unpleasant concession for McCarthy was the promise to give any congressman the right to launch a vote of no-confidence against the speaker, which his opponents had sought. 

As a result, after 15 rounds of voting, Congress did elect a new speaker. The last voting lasted almost until 1 a.m., and in order to win, the Republican leader Kevin McCarthy made all the concessions to the internal opposition in his party. He pledged not to increase military spending next year, keeping it at the 2022 level of $860 billion, as his enemies insisted, who wanted him to limit spending to reduce the budget deficit. Also, one of McCarthy’s main “enemies”, Matt Gaetz, could become the new chairman of the House Defense Committee. But the political divide in Congress is not going anywhere. In the new House of Representatives, crises with paralysis of work for days and weeks will occur regularly. This means that the establishment will always be able to easily block the work of the House of Representatives which is in opposition to it and discredit the Republicans. Now it will be convenient to blackmail McCarthy and force him to make the decisions the White House wants. That is what this whole political circus is all about.

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