Republicans form 'Anti-Socialism Caucus' to counter Dem drift left

House Republicans are forming an “Anti-Socialism Caucus” to “defend individual liberty & free markets” and push back against the leftward drift of some in the Democratic Party.

“Just received approval from the House for the formation of the Anti-Socialism Caucus,” Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, tweeted Thursday. "This caucus will defend individual liberty & free markets and highlight the dark history of socialism."

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In a press release last month, Stewart said the purpose of the caucus is to inform lawmakers and the public of the dangers of the left-wing ideology and to act “as a bulwark to stop the advancement of socialist policies and legislation.”

“So much time has passed from the fall of the Iron Curtain that many have internalized -- or never experienced -- Socialism’s ultimate price. If we fail to recall those dangerous times, the primitive appeal of socialism will advance and infect our institutions,” Stewart warned.

The caucus' formation comes as Democratic lawmakers have increasingly embraced socialist ideas and principles.

Ideas such as "Medicare-for-all" and the Green New Deal -- a massive government intervention to combat climate change and income inequality -- have quickly gone from fringe ideas to litmus tests for Democratic presidential candidates. Meanwhile, self-described “democratic socialists” like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have floated tax rates as high as 70 percent for rich Americans.

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In January, a Fox News poll found that 40 percent of Democrats think it would be a “good thing” for the U.S. to move toward socialism and move away from capitalism. Only 34 percent said that would be a “bad thing.”

The situation has predictably faced fierce opposition from Republicans.

“Under the guise of Medicare-for-all and a Green New Deal, Democrats are embracing the same tired economic theories that have impoverished nations and stifled the liberties of millions over the past century,” Vice President Pence told a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) audience outside Washington last month. “That system is socialism.”

"Democrat lawmakers are now embracing socialism," President Trump said in his speech to the conference. "They want to replace individual rights with total government domination."

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It has also seen resistance from some Democrats.

"I am offended by this whole conversation about socialism," Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said during the BakerHostetler conference in Washington on Tuesday, according to The Washington Examiner. "The idea that in the greatest democracy, the greatest capitalist system in the world, we’re having casual conversation about socialism, offends me."