Recently (Jan 5 2023), Justin Amash guested on Glenn Greenwald‘s new System Update newscast, and revealed the astonishing (and infuriating) level of dysfunction in the House due to the House Speakers stripping power from the representatives over the past decades, essentially disallowing them to participate in the legislative process. According to Amash, only the establishment leaders get to decide what will or will not be brought to the floor for a vote—and they, of course, do the bidding of special interest lobbyists and corporate sponsors in exchange for millions in funding, essentially disregarding the will or needs of the American people.
And even though I believe that government is fundamentally evil, being nothing more than institutionalized violence (which is often inflicted upon innocent individuals on behalf of the collective), and even though by now it should be common knowledge that government predicated on coercion, force, and violence—regardless of how it’s structured (i.e., the degree of authoritarianism)—is a failed idea that needs to be chucked onto the scrap heap of history, nevertheless upon watching the below video, I must say that I am still shocked and outraged at just how corrupt things have become at the level of the House of Representatives, in that they are no longer able to represent the people who elect them and pay their bloated salaries.
So now, not only have the states been stripped of any voice in Washington via the 17th Amendment (rather than being selected by the state legislatures to represent the state as the founders intended, they are now selected through popular election, essentially making them glorified representatives), but the people’s actual representatives have now been stripped on any voice in Washington as well, by rule of the Speakers.
Understanding this helps to shed a different light on the new faction within the Republican Party that has unified to prevent the establishment leader Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker, thereby hoping to arrest the cycle of corruption and wresting the usurped legislative capacity from the establishment leaders and returning it to the representatives where it belongs.
However, a caveat: even if they succeed in electing a Speaker who returns said power back to the representatives, I hold little hope that things will change substantially—unfortunately, I believe it’s already too late, it’s all too far gone, to ever be rectified—but even so, at least the knowledge conveyed in Greenwald’s interview with Amash certainly sheds better light on the current wrangling in the House, making it much more understandable.
Worth a watch:
UPDATE: Apparently, Kevin McCarthy DID finally win the Speakership, apparently with major concessions to the holdouts to secure their votes, as evidenced by this tweet from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:
However, that being said, I am skeptical. As Amash stated when Greenwald asked him, if he were still in congress, what changes he would demand from McCarthy as concessions for his vote for Speaker (mark 26:15 in the video), to which Amash responded:
“There’s basically nothing, I think, that Kevin McCarthy could offer that I would trust, so I’m with some of these members who say they can’t trust him under any circumstances.”
So, I suppose only time will tell if the faction of Republican hold-outs were able to force McCarthy’s hand in exchange for their votes, and the new Speaker will abolish some of the draconian rules established by prior Speakers, and allow the elected representatives to actually participate in the legislative process. He gave a promising acceptance speech…but I’ll wait and see what he actually does…