By T.N. Ashok
Washington, Jan 8 (SocialNews.XYZ) Even as veteran Congressman Kevin McCarthy, favourite of right-wingers in the GOP, struggled to be elected as Speaker of the House, failing 14 times but winning the 15th, Democrats and Liberals are exploiting the deep fissures within the Republicans as a "weakness to govern" as a pitch for the 2024 presidential and Congress elections.
Reacting to the fissures in the GOP to elect the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, US President Joe Biden said: This is not bad for America in the long run, but damaging for the GOP, MSNBC quoted him as saying.
With the infighting within the GOP, with 21 rebels holding the House to hostage for four days, and Kevin McCarthy making heavy concessions to the group to hold the Speaker's gavel, a united Democratic Caucus with Liberals is not just watching the Republicans tear themselves apart, but building a narrative for the 2024 presidential elections that the GOP is not fit to rule, media reports said.
That's exactly the narrative a coalition of Democratic and Liberal groups want to cement in the minds of American voters for the next two years before the 2024 presidential run for which former President Donald Trump has already announced his candidature. In the Speaker's elections, 21 rebels held out against the former President, who is now considered as weakening day-by-day with his hold on the GOP.
These groups have hatched a new plan to put the Democratic Party on offense and use Republican talking points and priorities against them. This majorly includes an "investigate-the-investigators" approach: attacking the new House GOP leadership as they launch investigations into the Biden administration, the reports said.
Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, who literally went on his knees to woo the rebel group, has exhibited chinks in his armour as he is going to find it tough to make his campaign promise of launching investigations against Joe Biden for his governance and his son Hunter Biden for his China trade links.
He is already compromised as a weak leader with the rebels extracting concessions in terms of seats in the ways and means and appropriations committees, besides a promise to enforce one representative was enough to call a vote to oust the Speaker, reports said. One of the rebels could call a vote to oust him if he does not dance to their tune.
The new Liberal Democratic Front calls itself as collaborators in a war room to coordinate messaging, polling, paid and earned media, rallies and local organising. These groups include the relaunched Congressional Integrity Project and a campaign of progressive activists called 'Courage for America'.
This is to counter Trump's MAGA and 'Save America' campaigns that bring in large donations to the former President from donors and right-wing lobbyists, making him independent of traditional donors, who are now swinging to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the future of the GOP.
Aiding public opinion surveys is 'Navigator', a progressive research and polling group; 'Common Defense', a progressive veteran-focused organisation; and a new rapid response and opposition research team called the 'House Accountability War Room', which 'Courage for America' launched, MSNBC said.
All of these organisations will be focused on making attack ads, social media messaging, local awareness campaigns, and the occasional stunt, which would represent a bit of a departure for Democrats in Congress if they embrace the outside efforts, media reports said.
President Biden and more moderate Congressional candidates were less enthusiastic about attacking Republicans in the 2022 election cycle, opting instead for bipartisan messaging where they could, even as progressive firebrands called for more confrontation with the GOP's right flank. But all that has changed with the fissures in the GOP with the Speaker's election and a more combative approach is now here to stay, poll strategists say.
The new Liberal campaign and efforts aim to prevent a repeat of Congressional Republicans' two-year Benghazi investigations, which damaged Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign by uncovering her private email use, accusing her of mishandling the State Department's response to the terrorist attack, and allegedly leaking information from a closed-door testimony.
Democrats not only want to avoid another Benghazi investigation, but they are, it seems, borrowing some of the GOP's messaging tactics with social media campaigns, opposition research distributed to journalists, and scrutiny of their funders, subordinates, and supporters. Liberal groups hope that they will now be able to counterbalance the conservative think-tanks, activists and organisations that have been helping Republicans to use their power in the majority for probes, the reports said.
How is the liberal narrative going to be controlled? Though these groups aren't all operating under the same umbrella organisation, they share similar goals: set the narrative for how the House GOP will operate before they have the power to start their investigations, push their conservative agenda, and create new rules for Congress, reports said.
"One of the key goals here is to help educate the American people about how this House is run and controlled by MAGA extremists, which is becoming increasingly clear as we witness this Speaker fight," Zac Petkanas, a long-time Democratic strategist who has worked for Hillary Clinton's presidential and Harry Reid's Senate campaigns, and is running the House Accountability War Room, said.
A columnist for MSNBC Steve Benen quoted Petkanas as saying that the goal of these groups is to "make sure that none of the work that this new House does goes unnoticed". The idea is to hold a mirror up to Republicans' priorities.
"So when they pass legislation," he said, "doing what they said they were going to do, which is to cut Social Security and Medicare, to raise prescription drug costs, to pass a national abortion ban, we're going to make sure that people don't just shrug it off here in DC so that people back at home don't hear about it, we're going to hold a lantern to that."
These groups geared up in the fall of 2022, when it became clear that Democratic candidates, defying the odds in battleground states, would lose their House majority by the slimmest of margins.