By Quentin Choy
May 12, 2021
Representative Liz Cheney, third highest-ranking GOP member in the House of Representatives was voted out of her leadership position by her colleagues with a voice vote. Cheney has been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and was the highest-ranking Republican to vote to impeach him in Trump’s second impeachment trial following the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney and Wyoming’s sole representative in Congress condemned Trump for his inciting of violence and his disregard for democracy, and for several weeks, she and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy have had a tense relationship as Cheney continued vocally criticizing the most popular Republican since Ronald Reagan.
In a letter to fellow Republicans prior to the vote, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote, saying:
“Each day spent re-litigating the past is one less day we have to seize the future. If we are to succeed in stopping the radical Democrat agenda from destroying our country, these internal conflicts need to be resolved so as not to detract from the efforts of our collective team.”House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Following the vote to remove Cheney from her position, she told reporters that she “will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office. We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language. We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution.”
When asked if she felt betrayed by the party’s vote, Cheney said she didn’t feel betrayed and that the GOP is indicating a new path in which it will go. Their new path is solely Donald Trump, and that is hurtful to the Republicans who opposed Trump’s “Stop the Steal” lies and the January 6th insurrection.
While the Trump base will stay with Trump forever, those with conservative principles and who do not condone Trump’s behavior will no longer have a place in Trump’s party.
Representative Ken Buck (R-CO) was the sole Republican who listened to Cheney’s remarks after the vote, and he defended her, saying “Liz Cheney was canceled today for speaking her mind and disagreeing with the narrative that President Trump put forward,” referencing cancel culture, which Republican commentators often talk about.
Other representatives like Madison Cawthorn posted tweets about Cheney’s removal:
Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) released a tweet, acknowledging the shift in the party following the vote to expel Cheney.
Former President Trump, who much of Cheney’s downfall has come from released several statements, with one calling her “a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger and a person with absolutely no personality or heart.”
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), the only woman in Senate Republican leadership accused her party of engaging in “cancel culture,” saying “I feel it’s OK to go ahead and express what you feel is right to express and, you know, cancel culture is cancel culture no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately, I think there are those that are trying to silence others in the party.”
While the Republicans may see this vote as a smart move for the short-term, it will catch up with them. Republicans are likely to win back the House in 2022. They have a decent shot at taking the Senate as well. However, if the party continues to rely on the popularity of Donald Trump among its base over substance, the party will be unable to incorporate conservatives who are uncomfortable with Donald Trump, his “Stop the Steal” nonsense as well as the January 6th insurrection.
The GOP needs to keep a place for anti-Trumpers within their party, even if they are a warmonger like Liz Cheney. Liz Cheney’s record should be condemned, but she shouldn’t be for simply telling the truth and having a different opinion than her party marching toward folly.