You don’t need any more bad news to worry about right now. I get that; it’s part of my thinking every time I start a new blog. Recent polls indicate, however, that voters are too complacent regarding the threats posed by far-right Republicans, perhaps believing the GOP establishment will somehow neutralize the white nationalist, Russian-loving extremists. Well, I believe this is dangerous, wishful thinking; Trump has elevated these outliers to the Republican mainstream. That’s why it’s important to focus on the damage a GOP-controlled Congress would do beginning in 2023.
So, let’s start with the U.S. House where Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the current minority leader. In my opinion, McCarthy is a weak, not very intelligent, unethical man. He desperately wants to be Speaker and has protected and coddled the most radical members of his caucus in hopes of reaching that goal. If you remember how the Freedom Caucus savaged former speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2015, McCarthy will experience that on steroids.
If McCarthy doesn’t get his wish, however, the Speaker will be someone even more dangerous, like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Either way, the lower chamber will operate like nothing this nation has ever experienced, even worse than when the Tea Party radicals controlled it during former president Obama’s administration. As a result, Congress will be nonfunctional and so chaotic that there will likely be physical altercations among members.
The Jan. 6 committee report and all supporting documentation will be buried, of course, and no congressional action will be taken based on its recommendations. The Department of Justice will be our only hope to hold those responsible for the attack on the Capitol accountable.
Remember though, the House Judiciary Committee has oversight responsibility for the DOJ. Its ranks include some of the most far-right members of the House, including Jordan, its current ranking member. When he or one of the other right-wing fanatics becomes committee chairperson, I believe they will initiate investigations and hearings directed at Attorney General Merrick Garland and the DOJ. The objective will be to discourage further investigations of the Jan. 6 insurrection participants and prevent indictments of the high-level masterminds of the attack on the Capitol, specifically former president Trump.
McCarthy has repeatedly promised to remove Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) from the Intelligence Committee, along with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). He has also vowed to kick Rep. Ihan Omar (D-Minn.) off the Foreign Affairs Committee and it’s likely that other high-level Democrats will be ejected from committees. These will be paybacks for like actions taken by Democrats against wacko conspiracy theorists Reps. Margorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Az.), who McCarthy has vowed to reappoint to their committee assignments.
Republican chairs of one or more House committees will commence lengthy investigations of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the president’s actions in withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. These will be vicious, Benghazi-like probes, total political witch hunts.
Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of subpoenas will be directed at the executive branch, covering a multitude of subjects. This will tie the administration in knots and weaken national security. And guaranteed, House Republicans will begin impeachment proceedings against President Biden well before the 2024 election campaign begins and maybe even against Vice President Kamala Harris.
It goes without saying, that no part of Biden’s agenda will be enacted into law after the GOP takes control of either chamber. Battles to fund the government will probably result in government shut downs and I believe there’s a very good chance that Republicans will do what Trump urged last December and force a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt.
In the Senate, it’s likely that several Trump-supported candidates will be elected in 2023 to fill vacant seats now held by more reasonable Republicans in North Carolina, Alabama, Missouri and Ohio. Consequently, it’s possible that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who Trump has unmercifully trashed, will not be elected majority leader by his caucus. Bad as he is though, McConnell’s replacement will be worse. Whoever is the leader, however, Senate committees will also commence politically motivated inquisitions of the Afghanistan withdrawal, Hunter Biden, Fauci and others.
Almost certainly, the added Trump acolytes will make the Senate even more dysfunctional in 2023. So, I doubt if any Biden appointed federal judges will be confirmed. In fact, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), likely chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reportedly told CNN, that since 1886, justices to the Supreme Court have not been confirmed when the Senate is of one party and the president is of another party. His new “rule” is total BS, but that won’t stop Republicans from refusing to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.
Make no mistake, every action taken by a GOP-controlled Congress will focus on obstructing Biden and electing a Republican president in 2024, possibly Trump. Republican-dominated legislatures in key swing states have rigged the system so that they can control elections. Consequently, it will be extremely difficult for a Democratic presidential candidate to prevail in the Electoral College unless they achieve an overwhelming, landslide victory in the popular vote.
I strongly believe that Steve Bannon precisely articulated what Republican politicians plan for 2023 and beyond during his recent podcast. Trump’s former chief advisor said, “We have a chance, once in our lifetime, to destroy the Democratic Party as an institution. We cannot let this slip from our grasp.”