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What The GOP Speaker Shakeup Tells Us About Today’s Republican Party

The poor House Republicans. They cannot seem to find anyone who wants to be Speaker of the House, which seems strange since it’s always been one of the most coveted positions in all of Washington, D.C.

And yet…

We see Kevin McCarthy decline to run for the post this week. Now major GOP heavyweights are practically on bended knee, begging Paul Ryan to take the job. Please, Paul, they cry. We need you!

But not so fast. See, not everyone is eager to crown Paul Ryan as Speaker, either. In particular, there are the 42 members of the so-called Freedom Caucus of ultra far right extremist members of Congress who say that even though they are less than 10 percent of the total House, they should have the final say on who becomes Speaker or what gets done in the lower chamber of the American legislature.

Freedom Caucus. Funny name when you consider this group of fire-breathing nutjobs seeks to impose their will on the entire House of Representatives.

Since McCarthy bowed out of consideration, members of the Freedom Caucus have been all over cable news, usually to demand (and loudly) that they be allowed to have veto power on the next Speaker and the right to get their proposed legislation placed before the full House for consideration. But since when does the 10 percent get to tell the other 90 what they will and won’t do?

This Freedom Caucus concept and their overreaching ideology is part of a larger trend taking place in today’s GOP: the few seek to rule the many. These zealots feel so strongly about their ideas (some of which are aligned with their bizarre view of Christianity; the rest of which come from the business interests that finance their campaigns) that they see absolutely nothing wrong with using threats and political will so they can win any debate, even when they are quite clearly not representing what the large majority of the American people want.

If I were a GOP member who wants to see this Freedom Caucus self-destruct, I’d encourage them to put one of their own in the Speaker’s chair. Why? Because it would become clear in a matter of weeks that the new Speaker was not willing to do anything but appease his fellow GOP Jacobins. Trust me, it would be fun to watch, and it would also spell the end of the Republican Party.

So, Freedom Caucus members, here’s a dare for you: Demand the power you don’t deserve. And the rest of us will sit back and watch as you implode the GOP. As a progressive, I’m hoping you will heed my advice and prove me to be prescient.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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