Circus McCarthy is in town
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
Karl Marx’s writings about the condition of the 19th century industrial proletariat generated the German term ‘Verelendungstheorie,’ which in translation means ‘a theory of increasing misery.’ Marx postulated that as the exploitation of industrial workers by factory owners who wanted to maximize surplus value and thus profits increased, those workers would develop a revolutionary consciousness that eventually would result in a public uprising overthrowing the capitalist system and bring about the emergence of communism. Marx’s forecast didn’t exactly pan out but the core of his thinking, a simple dialectic, has relevance for the US today: things must get worse before they can get better.
Enter used car salesman Kevin McCarthy and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, consisting of QAnon crazies, modern fascists and a slew of mostly male soulless suits. It is as yet unclear how much misery this collection of domestic terrorists, seditionists and hangers-on can bestow upon the American people, because the Democratic majority in the Senate can block all legislation coming out of the House, but after the deal the newly minted Speaker struck with the most extreme elements of his caucus it has become obvious that the intent is to maximize pain for low income Americans and seniors, and on a larger scale for Ukraine and potentially the rest of the world.
The main tools McCarthy’s band of ravagists has at its disposal are blackmail and intimidation. The former will be applied when it comes to raising the debt ceiling, an annual necessity to keep the US solvent and keep it from defaulting and causing a world-wide economic crisis. The prizes the GOP mob hopes to extract in exchange for abandoning what it claims to be its ‘principles’ in this matter are significant cuts in spending on social programs and in defense spending, resulting in less military assistance for Ukraine in its battle with the fascist rodent in the Kremlin. Intimidation comes into play with the many announced investigations of Biden’s administration and his family.
Next to assuming ultra-reactionary positions in the culture wars, from banning abortions to virtual book burnings, the strategic moves that can be expected from Kevin’s coercionists are games of chicken and political suicide. Raising the debt ceiling, which becomes urgent next week but has to be agreed upon by June, can result in a standoff between the House majority and the Treasury Department, with the full faith and credit of the US at stake, but just as easily in a conflict between the bomb throwers and a few sane members of the Republican caucus. Cutting Social Security and Medicare is considered touching the ‘third rail’ of American politics, with over 100 million seniors benefitting from those programs.
It can only be hoped that the next two years will open the eyes of most Americans who still are not aware of the malicious content of McCarthy’s Trojan horse in the House. Eliminating social programs, even if it kills their parents, has been a wet dream of many rightists for the longest time, and the wish to abandon NATO and screw Ukraine is as old as Trumpism. The Former Guy will encourage every pernicious move by the destructive forces in the GOP and use them to assert himself in the 2024 presidential contest. Fox News and other alt-right media will give them full coverage and support, and it will be the task of main stream media and individuals with a conscience to counter their propaganda.
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