The 2022 Election Gave The Fascists Leverage to Force the Republican Majority to Change the Rules

Jan 9, 2023 | PDA Blog

by Randy Shannon

Robert Caro’s excellent biography of LBJ dedicates a lot of ink to the Rules of Congress and LBJ’s sophisticated use of those Rules to move his agenda, including the Civil Rights Bill, and to control when and if a Member gets to say and to what to say.
The Billionaires that control the fascist clique in the new Congress have the resources to understand the Rules of Congress and their importance. And the 2022 election gave the fascists the leverage to force the Republican majority to change the rules as long as the Democratic minority stood aside and watched.
It was no surprise that the fascists used their leverage over the election of the Speaker of the House to extract concessions on the Rules – not on policies, not on issues, but on the Rules. There was only one way to defeat the fascist clique; and that was for enough Democrats to break rank and vote for the Republican leader. This would wipe away the fascists’ leverage of the election of the Speaker and over the whole Congress.
Now the Democratic Party delegation in Congress was unwilling to address this issue. They treated it as a publicity stunt – entertainment. I’m not close enough to understand their thinking. But I’m aware that the neoliberal majority in the Democratic delegation controls their caucus. And that control is very powerful; they could expel, freeze out, shun, investigate or otherwise sanction any progressive Democratic MOC that broke ranks and voted for McCarthy.
As a long time democratic socialist, elected Sanders delegate, and activist in PDA I advocated here that Democrats vote for McCarthy to stop the fascist clique from changing the Rules.
The neoliberal Democratic leadership and the mass media that supports them played this fascist attempt to control the Rules as entertainment. Many people on Democratic forums jumped on the entertainment bandwagon. Very very few saw this as a matter of control of the functioning of the House.
Some self-styled leftists attacked me as being to the right of “all the Democrats.” This reflects a lack of tactical thinking and a lack of flexibility in using the parliamentary democracy to the advantage of the working class and oppressed people.
It reflects a narrow view of politics as something for the elite to battle out. But we are facing several dire crises: war, global warming, economic collapse, hunger, homelessness, reduced access to medical care. Congress must address these and the people need to mobilize to pressure Congress. The Democrats just made it easier for the fascists to block solutions by pretending that stopping the fascists was only the responsibility of the Republican Members of Congress.

1 Comment

  1. Randy Shannon

    As a respondant mentioned the other day, the Rules must be adopted by the majority of MOC. So there is a chance that the Rules the fascist clique negotiated could still be defeated in the new Congress.