OPINION — U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, was removed from her Republican House leadership for telling the truth and refusing to lend credence to former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the general election was stolen from him.
Her decision to go against her party’s Trumpian orthodoxy, regardless of consequences, is an act of patriotism.
“Today, we face a threat America has never seen before,” Cheney said Tuesday to a nearly empty House chamber in one of her last acts as Republican conference chair. “A former president who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence.”
“Millions of Americans have been misled by the former president, they have heard only his words but not the truth as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all,” she said.
In the eyes of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and most Republican House members, Cheney is an apostate to Trumpism.
OPINION by George Lang
In recent days, McCarthy has spewed gallons of rhetorical effluvia claiming that Republicanism is actually a “big tent,” a welcoming party containing multitudes. This is a lie, and Cheney’s banishment is proof that Republicanism only welcomes those who pledge fealty to Trump.
As such, the Republican Party is compromised, a failing and flailing organization that embraces provable lies for the sake of its short-term political viability. Republicans sowed Trump’s disinformation about election fraud in last year’s vote and now they are prisoners of their own lies. It is hard to imagine how the party will recover its bearings, much less its conservative principles. It’s a trash fire.
This is not a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Most progressives are not blinkered by false perceptions of Cheney or her political outlook. She is her father’s daughter. But Cheney’s refusal to go along to get along and her insistence on governing based on truth transcends political divisions. Reasonable people who disagree on nearly everything can find common ground where the truth is concerned.
Congressional Republicans are now beyond reason.
Rep. Stephanie Bice, who refused to certify the 2020 election results, was not present when Cheney spoke. She is a close ally of Cheney’s successor, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, and she elevates Republican talking points over the interests of her constituents in CD-5 that includes Oklahoma City.
“I’m in Congress to serve my constituents, first and foremost, and as Republicans, we cannot let any divisiveness within the party distract us from that job,” Bice said in a statement that refuted McCarthy’s “big tent” theory. “I have previously supported Rep. Cheney, I have enjoyed working with her and she has my utmost respect, but it’s time for the caucus to focus on our common goals. As such, this morning I voted to remove Representative Liz Cheney from leadership.”
This is what Bice considers “divisiveness.”
“The Electoral College has voted,” Cheney said. “More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple judges the former president appointed, have rejected his claims. The Trump Department of Justice investigated the former president’s claims of widespread fraud and found no evidence to support them. The election is over. That is the rule of law. That is our constitutional process. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution.”
These are things that McCarthy should have said long before the redneck rampage that besieged the Capitol on January 6. He had a choice, but he took the most craven of his options, which was to act as Trump’s proxy. Along with another Republican in the past named McCarthy, the House minority leader will be remembered as one of the most ethically damaged politicians in our nation’s history.
Bice, like the other cowards, voted to oust Cheney via voice vote, so her “Aye” will never be heard on its own. But Bice is now on the side of history occupied by the post-Trump horror show of seditionists and liars like Rep. Jim “Gym” Jordan of Ohio, who told reporters, “You can’t have a conference chair who recites Democratic talking points.”
An idiot like Jordan clearly has no problem with equating “Democratic talking points” with the truth, and he should be encouraged to do so. His lies and those of his fellow warped, Gollum-like followers of bright and shining evil will have their comeuppance. In the meantime, Cheney and her ally, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, must carry the burden of being the adults in a room full of insolent toddlers.
Following the vote, Cheney told reporters she is resolved to fight for the soul of her party.
“The nation needs a strong Republican Party, the nation needs a party that is based upon fundamental principles of conservatism, and I am committed and dedicated to ensuring that that’s how this party goes forward, and I plan to lead the fight to do that,” she said.
This will be a lonely fight.
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Last Updated May 12, 2021, 3:40 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor