House Democrats on the Select Committee on China have written a letter to intelligence officials, including DNI Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns, requesting a classified briefing. Why? Because they claim to be “deeply concerned” about the impact the “current political dysfunction” in the House has on the global stage, namely, whether the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and other enemy nations might exploit the ongoing political turmoil caused by the House GOP’s inability to elect a House Speaker.
“We are deeply concerned that the CCP and other foreign adversaries of the United States are working to capitalize on our vacant Speaker position in the U.S. House of Representatives and [the] constant threat of government shutdowns to discredit democracy globally and promote authoritarian governance models abroad,” the 11 House Democrats on the committee wrote in the letter, which was obtained by NBC News.
Following the removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on October 3rd, Global Times—a CCP propaganda tabloid—published an opinion article on its English-language website, that stated that the United States “had long presented itself as a ‘beacon of democracy,’” but “with its domestic political turmoil, this myth has been shattered.” The article states “the failure of the American democratic system domestically has raised questions about American values on the international stage.” Continued coverage of the Speaker race from Global Times and other People’s Republic of China (PRC) media outlets similarly focuses on the chaos of the U.S. political system. This is the CCP’s message targeting international audiences in the English language, and it’s part of a broader global propaganda campaign to sow doubt about the strength of the United States and our democratic values.
The letter added, “We respectfully request a classified briefing from the U.S. Intelligence Community (‘IC’) on how the CCP and our foreign adversaries are leveraging current political dysfunction in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Look, I’m as critical as anybody about the dysfunction going on in the GOP caucus and its inability to find a consensus candidate, but it was Democrats who helped oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership in the first place. While they certainly weren’t going to help elect Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as speaker, if Democrats were really concerned about the standstill in the House, and how our foreign adversaries might take advantage of that situation, they could have supported Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) for speaker.
Instead, Democrats were united behind Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), which means very little since they are in the minority in the House. But let’s be honest here; if Democrats truly believe our enemies will exploit the dysfunction in the House, then there’s nothing to gain by prolonging this process. In fact, they would actually make themselves look pretty darn good by helping elect a Republican speaker. Why aren’t they willing to be the “adults in the room” who will put country before party and help elect a speaker from the opposing party for the sake of democracy?
Why? Because the letter is a ruse. They don’t care about the CCP — or democracy for that matter. They care about power, and this letter is merely pretext for pressuring wobbly Republicans to flip and get behind Jeffries as speaker.
Will it work? I suppose stranger things have happened, and there are plenty of Republicans who have had no problem being tools of the Democrats before. But let’s get it out of the way right now that this has nothing to do with how foreign countries perceive the United States or democracy. The Democrats have one objective here, and it’s to undermine the GOP so they can have power again.