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The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

What Does "Far Right" Even Mean?

From BuzzFeedNews comes a post about one set of Republicans in the House of Representatives taking a stand on the ACA:

The Freedom Caucus, made up of about three-dozen far-right House members, voted unanimously Monday to refuse to support anything less than what was contained in a 2015 Affordable Care Act repeal bill.

In high school, I was told that the "far left" was communism and that the "far right" is Fascism. Does repealing the ACA resemble Hitler or Mussolini style policy? 


In the United States, it's often suggested by the press that "the political spectrum" is defined by where a politician stands on "the proper size and scope of government." Does repealing the ACA fit that model? 

Sort of. If they said repeal and don't replace, that would shrink the federal government role in health care. But that's not what they say.  According to BuzzFeed:

With that done, the plan would put a gun to the head of Congress to force Democrats and Republicans to come up with a replacement plan, which would require Democratic support in the Senate, before repeal takes effect.

When Trump took office and Republicans took control of the House and Senate, the Freedom Caucus put up a post in The Hill listing the 10 things they wanted to do, called "No more excuses, Republicans. I paraphrase.

  1. Free Market ObamaCare. This is generic GOP boilerplate. It praises the "free market" but allows, per Democrats, that government creates markets. A genuine "far right" right position is repeal without replace.  
  2. Securing the boarder, which is the opposite of limited government. It is "far right" in the sense of fascist lite.  
  3. No refugees. Same: fascist lite.  
  4. Totally non-controversial description of how government works, something, something military.
  5. Calls for a law that passed in 1996. Is it a cut and paste error? 
  6. Return to industrial policy by meddling with corporate incentives plus cutting taxes for the working class. Neither government interference in markets nor progressive taxation is "far right."
  7. Cut 200 regulations that hurt business. Depends what they are, but at any given moment there are almost certainly 200 regulations that could use some Congressional oversight. 
  8. Big government Washington takes control of Medicaid by dictating which providers it can use, plus a statute which would violate the Equal Protection Clause 14th Amendment.
  9. Coalition based foreign policy plus Zionism.  
  10. The Federal Debt is a very large number.  

At the end of the day, "far right" is pretty useless as a way to understand these clowns. What animates them is a sense that GOP leadership sucks. On that, we agree.

The text of the Blog in The Hill: 


"Republicans have an incredible opportunity in front of them, but also a tremendous responsibility. Our task is simple: do what the voters sent us to do.

  1. Repeal ObamaCare in its entirety and replace it with a market-based solution that drives down costs and allows consumer choice. And don’t take three years to do it.
  2. Secure our border. We are a nation of laws and we must end the free flow of illegal immigration into the United States. Congress must also immediately deport criminal illegal immigrants and cut funding to sanctuary cities and sanctuary campuses.
  3. Put in place an immediate halt on refugees from terrorist hotspots until we are able to reform our vetting system to ensure no threat is posed to the homeland.
  4. Provide our military the support and direction it needs from Congress to ensure we are prepared for threats both abroad and domestically.
  5. Implement welfare reform that helps the truly needy but requires able-bodied adults to work.
  6. Pass tax reform legislation that simplifies the tax code, incentivizes businesses to operate in the U.S. and eases the burden on working families.
  7. Lift job-killing regulations put in place under the Obama administration. Congressman Meadows compiled a report of more than 200 harmful regulations that the new Administration can overturn on day one.
  8. Stand up for religious liberty and protect the sanctity of life. Congress should defund Planned Parenthood and pass the First Amendment Defense Act, which protects religious liberty.
  9. Reaffirm our commitment to our allies abroad, especially to our great ally Israel.
  10. Remember, there is a $20 trillion debt that must be addressed."


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