The GOP Has Split Into Three Factions
The American First caucus is a thinly disguised white supremacist group
The Republican Party is splitting into a third caucus. Reports from various media outlets revealed that Marjorie Taylor Greene was on the verge of announcing her new caucus when the manifesto was leaked to the press (you can read it here) and she reacted like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
Just a brief recap of what has been going on in the Republican Party since Trump left office. Initially members were happy to have Trumpism as their ideology. Let’s call them the Trump Republicans.
Then moderate Republicans decided that they wanted to pursue a more traditional path that didn’t include Trump and Trumpism and formed their own caucus which they call the Center Right Republicans.
They are backing incumbents who are being challenged by Trump’s handpicked MAGA candidates in primaries. Challenged because they were brave enough to vote against Trump and impeach him.
So that’s two factions currently at work in the Republican Party.
Now there is a third, tentatively called the America First Caucus whose policy platform declares that the AFC will follow in Trump’s footsteps.
I say tentatively because after first breathlessly announcing the imminent release of the policy platform, Rep. Greene has now renounced the caucus, claiming that it wasn’t her idea.
The policy platform makes for fascinating reading. In addition to the usual ranting against election fraud, China, Big Tech and the coronavirus lockdowns, it also advocates isolationism, limiting immigration and getting rid of foreign aid.
I kinda love that. In place of foreign aid, they expect that Americans will donate to international charities because “…the American people are the most kind and charitable in the world.” Supposedly, this charitable giving will be enough to replace the billions that are currently being spent on foreign aid.
But by far my favorite plank of the platform is the bit about architecture. I don’t understand why, but conservatives are obsessed with classical architecture.
“The America First Caucus will work towards an infrastructure that reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture, whereby public infrastructure must be utilitarian as well as stunningly, classically beautiful, befitting a world power and source of freedom. As the Romans demonstrated with aqueducts, walls and roads, function and beauty are not at odds. Federally funded infrastructure, including roads, buildings, airports, seaports, bridges, should demonstrate a pride of workmanship. A bridge is not merely something to cross from side A to side B, it is a connection among peoples.”
Trump was also obsessed with classical architecture. He even signed an executive order mandating that Federal buildings be built in the classical style rather than more modern designs which he called “undistinguished,” “uninspiring” and “just plain ugly.”
Hmmm . . . mandating the architectural style of Federal buildings. Isn’t that kind of socialism?
Back to the America First Caucus.
When the AFC policy platform became public, Trump Republicans were furious. And probably scared too. They know that they have a tough road ahead of them retaking the House and the Senate in 2022 and the presidency in 2024. The last thing they need is a bunch of white supremacists running around and mucking things up.
House minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (visited Mar-a-Lago and kissed the ring) tweeted that “The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans — not nativist dog whistles.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL — voted to impeach Trump) suggested that anyone joining this new caucus should have their committee assignments revoked and be kicked out of the Republican Party.
That’s no idle threat. Rep. Greene was stripped of her committee assignments because she supported the execution of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House. Admittedly, it was the Democrats who did it because the Republicans refused to act, but any Republican who voted to impeach Trump is practically a Democrat these days.
So Ms. Greene now claims that the policy platform was created by an outside group and she hadn’t seen it. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) an eager, early member of the new caucus now denies any involvement. Representatives Louie Gohmert (R — TX ) and Barry Moore (R-AL) also now claim that they never had any intention of joining.
Just like kids who got caught misbehaving.
Matt Gaetz (R-FL) apparently didn’t get the memo and is still eager to join.
I don’t know. If I were forming a new club, I’m not sure that I would want Gaetz as a member.
Except that it’s not funny. They may not have a formal caucus, but their ideology will not change. We clearly have a group of white supremacists serving in the House.
How dangerous is this? This is what they envision for our future:
“We will work to divest power from the federal government and give it back to the states and the people to restore the balance of federalism. We believe in, and will fight for, the principles of federalism and decentralization of political power; the government closest to the people is the best equipped to handle their concerns. At the federal level, this means exposing deep state actors, shrinking the regulatory state, and eliminating thousands of regulations and indeed entire bureaucracies.”
The current Constitution was written with a strong Federal government because the first constitution, known as the Articles of Confederation, gave more power to the states (the original thirteen colonies) and less to the Federal government which led to all kinds of problems because each state had to approve everything. There was also the problem of nobody having the power to levy taxes to pay for stuff.
The only way that our country has survived is because we have a strong Federal government, thanks to the Constitution that replaced the original Articles of Confederation. The AFC proposes to go back to something resembling those articles of confederation which were so disastrous.
The last time this issue raised its ugly head was during Lincoln’s presidency and it resulted in a civil war. Those Confederate battle flags that the insurrectionists so proudly carried into the Capitol were the banners of the losing side of that civil war.
Let’s hope that Ms. Greene and company lose both their caucus and their elections.