The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. By Neal Meyer

A small group of determined people can work wonders. From Neal Meyer at

By fighting Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become the next Speaker of the House, the right wing of the Republican Party won significant concessions that will make it a powerful player in Congress. The Left should learn to replicate its tactics for egalitarian ends.

Alongside Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy reacts during a vote to adjourn following a day of votes for the new Speaker of the House at the US Capitol on January 4, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

“There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil,” Kurt Vonnegut wrote in The Sirens of Titan. “The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.”

Something similar can be said about the American left. Democratic socialists fight for universal health care, an end to the climate catastrophe and mass incarceration, and economic democracy. But if we’re going to triumph over the forces of reaction and win these changes and more, we’re going to need to learn to fight harder and smarter. Today that means taking a page from the American political equivalent of the Mafia: the right wing of the Republican Party.

In the last week, the Republican right fought Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become Speaker of the House and showed everyone how to play political hardball to build power. The Left, with growing socialist caucuses at the state level and a growing bench of progressive representatives in DC, needs to learn some lessons

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