kevin mccarthy
(Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

It won’t take a major red wave for Republicans to retake the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms. Democrats have only a small House majority — definitely smaller than in 2019 or 2020 — and Republicans won’t need to flip a lot of Democrat-held seats to obtain a House majority.

House Republicans, in their “Commitment to America,” have discussed their plans for the House in 2023 if they become its majority party — and liberal Washington Post opinion column Eugene Robinson, in a biting September 26 column, slams it as devoid of substance. Above all else, Robinson stresses, Republicans’ plans for the House are motivated by a desire for “revenge.”

“Pay no attention to the House Republicans’ substance-free ‘Commitment to America,’” Robinson argues. “The actual GOP plan, if the party takes control of the lower chamber in January, is a campaign of performative revenge.”

Robinson, a frequent guest on MSNBC, continues, “Ginned-up investigations, cruel attacks on the marginalized, even a concocted impeachment of President Biden — that’s what the nation has to look forward to if Republicans win the House. Those are the only things the party agrees on, except fealty to Donald Trump and an all-consuming desire for power.”

The liberal columnist notes that although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “made a big deal” of the release of the “Commitment to America,” it was full of empty rhetoric calling for “a nation that’s safe” and “a future that’s built on freedom.”

“A Republican majority would disband the select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol, ending its important work,” Robinson notes. “Perhaps the Senate could try to take up the baton if Democrats retain control there. But it might be that the Justice Department is left on its own to finish writing the definitive story of what happened on that awful day and why. McCarthy and his committee chairs would also quickly launch a series of show-trial investigations. Think Benghazi after Benghazi after Benghazi.”

If McCarthy becomes House speaker, Robinson warns, anti-abortion bills are a possibility.

“On culture-war issues, how far the House would try to go under McCarthy would depend on how vulnerable he feels to the far-right wing of his caucus,” Robinson explains. “Opinion polls indicate, for example, that any attempt to pass a nationwide abortion ban would hurt the GOP among independent voters. But if enough House Republicans want to barrel down that road, McCarthy might be compelled to go along.”