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House Republicans kept Liz Cheney in her leadership role by a secret vote in February. If there’s a vote in May, she won’t be so lucky.
The Wyoming representative angered many in the base when she joined nine other Republicans to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. As House Republican Conference chair, she holds the third-highest position in minority leadership. Trump supporters found it a betrayal of their party.
Cheney avoided removal with a 145-61 vote in her favor. Anyone with a hint of political acumen or leadership instincts would start mending fences, uniting the caucus, and moving forward. Cheney chose the opposite.
She crowed about her victory at the time and worsened her position ever since. Every few weeks, Cheney popped up in the news, always to condemn Donald Trump and the majority of Republicans who supported him.
The last straw came Monday. Speaking at an off-the-record AEI conference in Sea Island, GA, Cheney said: “We can’t embrace the notion the election is stolen. It’s a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy. We can’t whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.”
These comments were leaked, as Cheney expected. They were preceded earlier in the day with her tweet: “The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”
As after every Cheney comment in the past three months, Republicans and pundits are attacking each other, relitigating the 2016 and 2020 elections, and fretting about Trump’s future moves.
If House leadership’s job is to divide its own party, Cheney would be a perfect fit. But Republican Conference Chairs are supposed to unite the team and take the fight to Democrats. You know, the party that controls the House, the Senate, and the White House, and is jamming through a radical progressive agenda.
On substance, I agree with Cheney. The election was not stolen and Trump’s Jan. 6 incitement merited impeachment. But all that is history. The GOP’s job today is to stop Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer. In that fight — the only fight that matters six months after the election — Cheney is AWOL.
Say I bought a sweet 1967 Ford Mustang. Candy apple red, 320 horses, lovingly restored. But six months ago, my wife borrowed it, ran a stop sign, and totaled the car. I would be upset. We would have a long, painful talk. I would sulk for a few weeks then buy a boring used Honda to replace it.
Then my wife asks me to drop off the kids at school, I reply, “Oh, should I bring them in my crappy Accord I had to buy because you destroyed my beautiful Mustang?!“
When she asks if I want anything from Starbucks, I say, “how about a hot Venti Ford-uccino? Do they have one of those?“
“Ugh, Jon. the stylist wrecked my hair.”
“Speaking of wrecks…”
“Jon, that was six months ago. Can we please move on?”
“We can’t embrace the notion that you didn’t wreck my car. It’s a poison in the bloodstream of our marriage. We can’t whitewash what happened to my Mustang! What you did to my car was a line that cannot be crossed!”
Everything sulky Jon said above was accurate. Nothing was helpful, intelligent, or useful to our relationship.
The wife would be right to file for divorce. And it’s time to file papers on Rep. Cheney.
This mess isn’t just about Liz Cheney, the House GOP, or Beltway pundits. Cheney was hired to represent the people of Wyoming and she refuses to do it.
In a just-released poll, Wyoming Republican primary voters oppose her 29% to 65%. Fifty-two percent would vote against her regardless of the challenger. This is hardly surprising since the state chose Trump over Biden 70.4% to 26.7%. Trump’s margin was higher than Cheney’s in 2020.
It’s not as if she is bitterly holding on in a blue state. Wyoming’s lower house is 51-9 GOP and the senate is 28-2 GOP. You could paint an R on a stray cat and voters would send it to the US Capitol over a Democrat.
Most GOP representatives would do a better job as Chair today and Cheney will likely be removed from the House by her own constituents 18 months from now. The job should go to a Republican who wants to achieve party goals in the current Congress and prepare to take the majority in 2022.
For those who want to relitigate the past, there are plenty of pundits eager to take up the slack.Published in