We know the Freedom Caucus has hijacked the Republican Party. It’s even worse now. They have put their agenda ahead of the democratic process. With a measured step over years, they have gerrymandered voting districts to give their representatives safe districts. They have enormous financial backing making them immune to the vicissitudes of voter support. They avoid dialogue with the voting public because they don’t need them.
Andrew Clark, a University of Virginia political scientist writes: “…the Freedom Caucus is a particularly strong institution. It has an elected hierarchy of faction leaders and thanks to a tiered dues system, several full time staffers coordinate their legislative actions. Strict bylaws also help unify the group. New caucus candidates must be vetted, and the caucus can boot members from the group. If 80 percent of the bloc agrees on a policy position, the whole group is required to stand as a united front. These features make it much harder to pick off individual faction members.”
How did this happen ? No doubt there are many reasons, but a major factor contributing to the domination of the Freedom Caucus was Newt Gingrich’s ascendancy to the speakership of the House of Representatives in 1995. He term limited committee chairs, and slashed their staff and budgets, which gave the House Republican caucus more control over the rules. He also banned independent bipartisan caucuses, shut down the Office of Technology Assessment, and slashed the budget of Congress’s sole oversight branch; the General Accounting Office. This paved the way for the Freedom Caucus.
What is the solution for the voters ? The first step is the biggest. We all need to vote !
*Washington Spectator of June 1, 2017, an article by Political Consultant, Peter Lindstrom.
Thanks to Norma