Why Republicans Seem So Marginalized in Washington

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Last year, we were treated to astonishing hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021 protests on Capitol Hill. The Democrats running the show portrayed an insurrection, sedition, and even an attempted coup d’état. The theater was selective and manipulative but it was very effective and implausibly so. It made it impossible to publicly suggest that maybe it wasn’t all that, for in saying so you risked being considered an apologist for something egregiously unAmerican.

Touche Democrats!

With the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives—there was and is no excuse that they didn’t take the Senate—at least there is a chance for some actually useful hearings that could set the record straight on the truly great trauma of the last three years. It was not that some rowdy protestors took an unapproved tour of the Capitol Building.

It was the lockdowns, forced masking, and vaccine mandates that unleashed horrible inflation and demographic upheaval and educational losses. There needs to be accountability, even justice. At the very least, we need to end the lies and replace them with truth.

One might suppose that this would be a big priority for the Republicans. The hearings on the COVID response began this and they featured three excellent testimonies—Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya, and Marty Markary—but no fanfare, no gripping visuals, no real passion from the side of the organizers, and seemingly no plan either. Only a few hundred people watched.

Were it not for a handful of Twitter accounts blasting out some clips, the day would have come and gone with zero impact. One good feature was that the investigative inquiry put together by the Norfolk Group will serve as a template for this and further investigations. So it should be in every state and city.

If these hearings are to have an impact, it will not be because of the party leadership but the grass roots. That’s where the real work needs to be done. Absolutely everyone needs to get up to speed on this issue and demand the truth.

Maybe there is more coming. We await this with bated breath. But what I detected from the Republicans was disorganized and half-hearted, bereft of passion and lacking in clarity. This is very troubling. Part of the reason for this might be because Republicans are culpable at all levels of society. After all, the lockdowns were kicked off by the Trump administration. That’s quite an embarrassment for Republicans, and this will continue to vex the party for many years if not forever.

And yet there is more going on here. It speaks to the general marginalization of the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. It has been on the defensive for at least a century and more. They can never really get grip on the place. Even when they have controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency, there is something elusive about their ability really to manage the situation.

On the surface, we have two parties who dominate the political landscape. The illusion of two makes us imagine that they have an equal chance of getting ahead. But for so long as I can remember, the Democrats have championed the most obviously ridiculous causes that have nothing to do with the common good. They are only about special interests, and they have become more exotic, more strange, and more threatening over time.

Who in the world would support these people as members of this party? Very few. Why do they keep winning elections? It’s mostly having to do with the politics of illusion. They promise impossible things to tiny special interests. Get enough of them to combine—should I really list them?—and you might have what it takes to win elections. And they do, but thanks mostly these days to sketchy tactics.

But the problem is more fundamental than that. One of the interest groups they party represents is public-sector unions. That means that the Democrats are there to back the interests of most of the federal bureaucracy, each member of which knows in his or her heart that the position is pointless and dispensable. So these people cling to this Party for dear life. The Democrats are the heart and soul of the administrative state, which is to say the Deep State.

The Republicans rarely follow through on their promises to the middle class much less the bourgeoisie generally but between the two parties, which does the Deep State choose? Maybe there was a time in the past when a portion—mostly the military bureaucracy—went with Republicans. But these days, there is no question where their interest lies: in reinforcing the power of Democrats.

This fact changes everything. The Democrats essentially own all the commanding heights of Washington because they own the bureaucrats. The Republicans merely rent them for however long they manage to stay in office, trying but failing to cut the budget. Trying to rein in the Deep State seems like a hopeless task because the bureaucrats have all the money and institutional memory and know-how. The interlopers don’t stand a chance.

In other words, the Republicans are just not very skilled in the ways of Washington. This is well known. Some people say that the Republicans need to get better at governing, but what does this mean really? They need mostly to learn how to slash and burn that which exists so that American freedom can thrive but it’s not obvious that there is any real advantage to them for doing so.

Not even Ronald Reagan was able to do this. Government grew during his two terms in office, tragically. Trump came to office with a promise to drain the swamp but this campaign slogan, while appealing, turned out to be much harder in practice. He ended up being trolled by Deep State bureaucrats who pushed a button—infectious disease—to which he was particularly sensitive.

This massive failure has demoralized the party, which is in need of real leadership now. Perhaps that is on the horizon but it is not there yet. Meanwhile, the deck of cards is seriously and overwhelmingly stacked toward the Democrats, who love government and love the game. This is what accounts for the inability of the Republicans to make strides.

What’s missing today in the Republican Party is a real and robust theory of what kind of country it would like to see and what kind of government achieves that the best. Here is what is missing. I might suggest that they are on the verge of discovering the word that will rescue them from the long track record of failure. That word is freedom. Nothing less, nothing more. Government with its unfathomably complex allied special interests is the real enemy. They need to realize this and focus on a strategy to do something about it.

Or maybe the Republicans will always be happy just being the second banana, the loyal opposition that parades and prances but does nothing important in practice. The American people deserve much more. They deserve freedom from Leviathan. If the Republicans cannot deliver that, who can? Only you and I in our own networks. In the end, no political party is going to save us.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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