A brief reminder of the petty things Republicans have pledged to do if they take Congress

If the GOP wins big in the midterms, 2023 will be an annoying year.

UNITED STATES -  SEPTEMBER 25: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a press...
Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images

We’re still almost a year out from the 2022 midterm elections, but by all indications — congressional retirements, historical political headwinds, a general sense of Democratic bungling — the Republicans are in prime position to retake one, if not both, chambers of Congress. And if politics is the art of campaigning in poetry and governing in prose, then move over W. H. Auden — here come the conservatives!

In an interview with white nationalist-adjacent publication Breitbart on Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised that, should Republicans assume the majority in the House, he will see to it that Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) are all removed from their assigned seats on the House Intelligence Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee, respectively. His pledge is a direct response to House Democrats, who booted Arizona Republican and unrepentant racist Paul Gosar from his committee seats for gleefully posting a violent anime clip in which he attacks his congressional colleagues, as well as Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from hers for generally being a lunatic. (Don’t worry, McCarthy promised to reinstate the pair back to their original posts if the GOP wins in 2022, too.)

Why Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar, you ask? While McCarthy offered a boilerplate rundown of each member’s supposed transgressions, like threats to national security and misuse of power and being a black Muslim immigrant, it seems pretty obvious that McCarthy’s threat is largely about conservative retribution, plain and simple. Indeed, if you look at a lot of the promises he and his fellow Republicans have made about what they intend to do if they find themselves back in the majority, there’s a fairly unmistakable seam of retributive pettiness running throughout.

For the most obvious example, consider Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s prediction last week that Republicans will seriously move to impeach President Biden, because “Democrats weaponized impeachment.” “I do think there’s a chance [that Republicans will impeach Biden] — whether it’s justified or not,” Cruz mused.

“[Democrats] used it for partisan purposes to go after Trump because they disagreed with him,” he continued. “And one of the real disadvantages of doing that … is the more you weaponize it and turn it into a partisan cudgel, you know, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Speaking of Cruz, he’s also among the handful of GOP senators who vowed to defund the government if the Biden administration doesn’t resume construction of Donald Trump’s border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. And speaking of defunding, let’s not forget New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik’s promise to gut the villainous scourge of the airwaves, National Public Radio. Back over in the Senate, meanwhile, Kentucky’s Rand Paul is practically salivating at the prospect of being in the majority so he can personally lead the crusade to prosecute White House COVID adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, with whom Paul has frequently — and ineptly — clashed.

Republicans don’t solely have their sights set on Democrats and liberals, either. The GOP’s more overtly unhinged wing of aspiring fascists has also sworn to purge their own party of unbelievers, including promises from Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) to punish Republicans who voted for the White House’s infrastructure bill. It’s all to say that although no one knows what the future will bring, should Republicans regain control of Congress and go through with their laundry list of petty retribution and disruptive stunts, no one can say they didn’t warn us!