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Shortly after Wyoming Representative and Chairwoman of the House Republican Party Liz Cheney voted to impeach an out-of-office President Trump based on the false charge that he instigated the riot in the US Capitol on January 6 (the NYT timeline of events shows the Capitol was entered at least 20 minutes before the end of President Trump’s rally and about 50 minutes before the attendees at the rally arrived at the Capitol), her home-county Republican party in Wyoming unanimously censured her.
Yesterday, the entire Wyoming GOP followed up the Carbon County GOP by issuing their own vote of censure:
CONFIRMED: Wyoming GOP votes “overwhelmingly” to censure Liz Cheney for voting to impeach Trump. The resolution:
– Calls on Cheney to “immediately resign” and repay donations from the WYGOP to her 2020 campaign
– Vows to withhold future donations
Full text, story TK pic.twitter.com/t3mO4DCb7R
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) February 6, 2021
The vote was approximately 56-8 but an official tally wasn’t taken..
Cheney already has two strong and viable primary challenges and she’s scarcely a month into her current term.
As I warned a while back, Cheney surviving the vote to oust her is meaningless (there are several members who want her position but were not positioned to campaign for the job and voted to retain her as a way of keeping the job open) despite the media spinning the vote as just Matt Gaetz being Matt Gaetz. So, too, this action is being misrepresented. This was not merely a vote of disapproval. She’s being asked to resign and return the money she received from the state party. It is obvious that the Wyoming GOP is feeling pain from Cheney’s betrayal:
The consequence of Cheney’s actions has resulted in numerous Republicans in Wyoming, and across the United States, indicating they will either no longer actively participate in the Republican Party, are stepping down from Precinct Representative positions within the party, or have already changed their voter registration and left the party entirely.
And yet, you find otherworldly comments like:
The common thread in these sorts of censure resolutions is a party establishment that was not elected by the mass of its state’s voters attacking a public official who was. https://t.co/Lc5hashtoc
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) February 6, 2021
What makes this all the more curious is that Cheney gave indications today that she has her eyes set on taking Kevin McCarthy’s job. Today she was a guest on Fox News Sunday, and this is the set up:
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): This Republican Party is a very big tent. Everyone is invited in.
WALLACE (voice-over): But is the big tent big enough for a leader like Liz Cheney who voted for impeachment, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who says she is being targeted for her pro-Trump views?
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): Republican voters support him still, the party is his.
WALLACE: We’re joined by Congresswoman Cheney in her first interview since the furor over her vote to impeach Donald Trump. It’s a “FOX News Sunday” exclusive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): She didn’t just go vote her conscience on the day of the vote, she spoke ahead of time, 36 hours, put out a statement.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Why is it that America has such a disappointing Congress? Because in a lot of ways, Liz Cheney is exactly like Congress! Deeply unpopular and owned by special interests.
WALLACE: Does it bother you that there was more open outrage among House publicans to your vote to impeach the president, a vote of conscience, as
you say, then to the years of misstatements by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene?
CHENEY: Look, I think that, first of all, with respect to Congressman Greene, we’ve all been very clear. The things that she has said don’t have any place in our public discourse and we as a Republican conference should deal with that issue. We should have dealt with it. That’s not something the Democrats should be addressing on the floor of the House, we should have dealt with that.
With respect to where we are as a party, I think this boat and conference made very clear, we are the party of Lincoln, we are not the party of QAnon or anti-Semitism or Holocaust-deniers, or white supremacy or conspiracy theories. That’s not who we are.
We believe in conservative principles and conservative values and we believe in the Constitution.
And the extent to which — if you think about the threats that the nation faces, you think about what happened on January 6th, I talked to Officer Sicknick’s mother this week and I pledged to her as I know many of my colleagues have that we will not forget what happened on January 6th and that the single greatest threat to our republic is a president who would put his own self-interest above the Constitution, above the national interest.
You know, we’ve had a situation where President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen and that apparently set about to do everything he could to steal it himself, and that ended up in an attack on the capitol, five people killed that day. That’s the kind of attack that can never happen again.
Our institutions held, but we all have an obligation to make sure that they continue to do so and don’t look past what happened on January 6th. We — you know, it was just over a month ago.
There is an eerie whiff of psychotic break in all of this. For instance, the loudest voices pushing to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee seats were from rabid, frothing anti-Semites, at least two or three of them are quite probably Holocaust deniers if not actual Holocaust cheerleaders. From Cheney, over the course of years, we have crickets. Dragging in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick into that discussion, especially as over a month past his death, we still do not have an official claim that his death was related to the events in the Capitol, is just disgusting. She’s banging on about conspiracy theories when the entire Democrat party operated on the basis of a conspiracy theory for four years. She seems to really think that the GOP is just pining to forget Donald Trump and accept her leadership. This is the stuff of a low-production-values Lifetime movie.
What is weirder is the way she goes after Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy made the decision to not remove Taylor Greene from committees. Cheney seems to be saying that that was not McCarthy’s decision to make, that it should have been made by the Republican conference. Unless she’s claiming that she, personally, had the authority to remove Taylor Greene, the argument is nonsense. When the conference was made to vote on the issue by the Democrats, only eleven quislings voted to side with the Democrats against a colleague. And Cheney’s principled and high-minded opposition to Taylor Greene did not extend so far as to casting yet another vote with the Democrats.
Quite honestly, I’m sort of at a loss as to what to make of this.
Cheney is almost certainly not going to be reelected. If she gets the nomination, I’d personally encourage Republicans to crossover and vote for the Democrat to get rid of her. Pitting herself against McCarthy doesn’t seem like a great strategy either. Even though Adam Schiff may arguably right that Kevin McCarthy doesn’t believe in anything more substantive than he wants to be Speaker: that really isn’t all that different from Liz Cheney and a lot of people actually like McCarthy.
I’m sure there is Four-D Chess going on here that I just don’t see but right now Cheney is acting like neither the voters of Wyoming nor her colleagues are going to stand in the way of her self-righteousness and ambition. There is no evidence that is going to lead her anywhere but to an MSNBC contributor slot.