Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) are starting a right-wing caucus in Congress that seeks to “follow in President Trump’s footsteps,” which could prove yet another thorn in the side of Republican leaders already struggling to unite a bitterly divided party.
According to a seven-page policy platform published by Punchbowl News, the group wants members to display “a certain intellectual boldness” and be willing to “step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows” – in other words, break with the GOP on some issues.
Among the group’s positions are a belief in unfounded claims of widespread election fraud and support for voting restrictions, as well as an effort to roll back all coronavirus safety measures and “make sure we do not overreact to a pandemic in this same way again.”
A lengthy passage on immigration says the U.S. is “a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions,” which is “threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse.”
Under “infrastructure,” the platform promotes “architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture,” echoing Trump’s now-revoked executive order banning many modern architectural styles for federal government buildings.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who Punchbowl reported had “agreed to join,” told Forbes he is “looking” at joining the America First Caucus but said he “hadn’t seen” the language about immigration, claiming the group is “not supposed to be about race at all.”
“We’re stronger, you know, as diversified,” Gohmert said when asked about the incendiary language in the platform, adding “there’s some things that helped make us strong – slavery nearly destroyed us, it was a horrendous thing.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is under federal investigation for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, tweeted he is “proud” to be joining the caucus, which he said will “end wars, stop illegal immigration & promote trade that is fair to American workers.”
A spokesperson for Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.), denied Punchbowl’s reporting that he joined the group: "He will not agree to join any caucus until he’s had an opportunity to research their platform."
Nick Dyer, a spokesperson for Greene, confirmed the existence of the group to Forbes in a statement that said to “be on the look out for a public release for the America First Caucus platform when it’s released publicly very soon.”
Forbes has reached out to Gosar’s office for comment.
The term “Anglo-Saxon” has become increasingly controversial, particularly in academia, due to the adoption of the term and its symbology by white supremacists. A medieval studies group originally called the International Society of Anglo Saxonists even changed its name in 2019 after a member alleged it emboldens white supremacy.
“We’re taught, when we get on an airliner, before you help somebody else, you put your own mask on first, so that you are capable of helping somebody else,” Gohmert said of the caucus’ philosophy. “If we let our country go without taking care of America, making sure we’re viable for the future, then we’re not going to be in a position to help the other countries,” he added.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday that the Republican Party is not the party of "nativist dog whistles" in an apparent response to a new right-wing caucus that explicitly calls for promoting "Anglo-Saxon political traditions."
McCarthy issued a tweet that does not explicitly reference the new "America First Caucus" — established by GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) — but came hours after its policy platform began leaking to the media.
"America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion," McCarthy wrote.
"The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans — not nativist dog whistles," he added.
Except of course here we have Republicans explicitly stating that the GOP is absolutely the party of racist, nativist dog whistles and that those who are not White and of European descent are unwelcome in the party and unwelcome in America. Even McCarthy realizes that's a political death sentence for the GOP in a state like his own California, and increasingly in states like NC, Georgia, Michigan and Arizona, and deservedly so.
The larger issue of course is that the GOP is dispensing with the appetizer and salad course and going straight to the, well, white meat dish. There's no longer any pretending that the GOP isn't the party of Whites First, and anyone remaining in the party at this point, well.
No real doubt as to their loyalties, huh?