Power struggle in US to result in more ‘fragmentation’

As Biden ‘plans to run’ for 2024, may face ‘witch-hunt’ from Republicans in House

As US President Joe Biden is already planning his 2024 presidential campaign and Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy was finally elected House Speaker early Saturday local time after an embarrassing 15 rounds of voting, Chinese analysts said the mess in Washington will keep worsening and power struggles between and within the two parties will make US internal governance and foreign policy more and more extreme and problematic. 

According US media reports, including the Washington Post and The Hill on Saturday local time, Biden's reelection campaign is preparing to launch. After months of "will he or won't he," Biden and his senior aides are readying the details around his 2024 campaign.

Multiple sources told The Hill that the president is planning to make his intentions to run for a second White House term public in the coming weeks, likely in February, around the State of the Union that he will deliver to Congress. 

Normally, US presidents who run for reelection announce their plans a few months after the midterm elections. After former US president Donald Trump announced in November 2022 that he will run in 2024, Biden remained silent. 

Observers said Biden would need more time to talk to his allies and team as the current political situation in Washington is very complicated. After McCarthy becomes House speaker, Republicans will surely launch a series of offensives, like a "witch-hunt" against the president and his family members.

If Biden announces his plan to run, he will get the Democratic nomination, but considering he has almost no convincing achievements in the past two years of his first term, adding in his age and performance in the front of the public, experts said that politicians with ambitions for 2024 will consider Biden an easy target to challenge, and the political struggle of the US will get more intense and messy. 

The embarrassing victory for McCarthy in the House proves that the power struggle in Washington is not only between the Democrats and the Republicans, but also among politicians from the same party. American politicians with extreme political stances are becoming increasingly willing to hijack the interests of the whole party and are able to force the majority or pro-establishment elites to compromise on almost any issue, they said. 

There is no strong and reliable political leader, neither Biden nor Trump or new Speaker McCarthy are able to completely unite their own party. In the future, internal US governance will still be chaotic and will fail to effectively solve economic and social problems, and its foreign policy may swerve into more chaotic and dangerous areas, experts believed. 

Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies and a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Saturday that "the serious divergence is not only between the two parties, but also within each party. A few Republicans, who are actually a minority in the party, have proved that they are able to hijack the majority. This is not just a problem for McCarthy or some specific politicians, but a systemic problem at the heart of US democracy."

"Although Democrats are laughing at Republicans on this historic embarrassment, if Democrats won the House last year and faced the same situation that the Republicans are facing now, Democrats would likely to be just as disunited as the Republicans currently are. The far-left within Democrats would also try their best to force the pro-establishment to meet their demands as well," Lü said

Some Chinese analysts said this problem will become a part of the 2024 presidential election cycle. More and more US politicians that have ambitions to run will be encouraged as they find there is no absolute leader who can fully unite his or her own bloc. Legislation and issues related to budgets in the House will face an even steeper uphill battle, and there is no hope that Washington can effectively solve any problems.

"Maybe it's too early to predict how the current situation will affect the 2024 presidential election, but it's certain that McCarthy's embarrassing victory is not the end of the mess in Washington," Diao Daming, an expert on US studies and associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Saturday.

The polarization within US politics makes the power comparison between the two parties in Congress very tight with Republicans having only a small margin for error, so this allows radicals, who are not in the majority, to become a "critical minority" with the power to influence the whole. This will cause "fragmentation" within the two parties, Diao said.

Extreme political figures will continue to be extreme, and it is certain that Republicans will try their best to block anything proposed by Democrats and make trouble for the Biden administration, and they will also launch a "witch-hunt" against Biden and his son as an act of revenge for what the Democrats did to Trump, analysts predicted.

Photo: Historic deadlock drags on in US House © Carlos Latuff.

Source: The Global Times. 

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