[guest post by Dana]
Kevin McCarthy has announced that the vote to remove Rep. Liz Cheney will take place this Wednesday:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially set for Wednesday the awaited recall vote of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as House Republican Conference chair in a letter first obtained by Punchbowl News, after a week of speculation over her place in Republican leadership.
McCarthy told House Republicans the party would move forward in voting to remove Cheney from Republican leadership when it became “clear we need to make a change” after weeks of debate over Cheney’s outspokenness against former President Donald Trump.
The House Minority Leader announced Sunday he would support Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to replace Cheney.
But let’s take a moment to look at this from Leader McCarthy’s opening paragraph from a letter announcing the vote will take place Wednesday. He said of the Republican Party:
We fiercely defend free speech and personal responsibility…
Of course, this is laughable given that he is doing everything in his power to avoid holding a president responsible for his corrupt behavior and is canceling a leader who won’t just shut up already and instead, continues to forcefully speak out about the need for the Republican Party to condemn Trump and his big lie if it wants to move forward in a healthy and effective way. No debate, just shut up and behave yourself! If the GOP doesn’t divorce from Trump, then the Party will remain a stigmatized do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do political party. Ironically, Cheney is being punished for saying almost exactly what McCarthy said after Jan. 6:
On January 12, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney announced that she would vote to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the violent insurrection as the US Capitol six days earlier.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said in a now famous/infamous quote. “Everything that followed was his doing.”
The next day, on the floor of the House, Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he would not vote for impeachment, but added this:
“The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action of President Trump.”
As noted by Rep. Adam Kinzinger:
“Liz Cheney is saying exactly what Kevin McCarthy said the day of the insurrection. She has just consistently been saying it. A few weeks later, Kevin McCarthy changed to attacking other people. I think what the reality is, as a party, we need to have an internal look and a full accounting as to what led to January 6. Right now it is basically the Titanic. We’re in the middle of this slow sink.”
The problem is, that today’s Republican Party has no interest in anything other than making sure members pledge their fealty to Trump. If they refuse, then eventually, it’s off with their heads.
Here is a tidy summation of McCarthy’s attempt to rewrite the narrative right after the events of Jan. 6:
McCarthy seemed to genuinely want to distance himself from what his party and the president had done or were doing, only to later jump on board when it became clear which way the wind was blowing in his conference.
That wind has now blown sufficiently toward rewriting the history of Jan. 6 and what preceded it. And McCarthy, it seems, is now quite happy to play his part in that as well.
Meanwhile, McCarthy has endorsed Elise Stefanik as Cheney’s replacement. Here is a snippet of Stefanik discussing whether she will be looking ahead, looking back, or both:
Washington Examiner: How are you going to make a change from Cheney and look forward to the 2022 elections when Trump, who has the biggest megaphone in the party, is so focused on 2020?
Stefanik: I disagree that it is binary between looking back and looking forward. I think the president is right to focus on the election integrity and election security issues. If you go to any Republican Lincoln Day dinner, any town meeting across the country, it is one of the top concerns of voters. And it’s very much in line when we talk about going on offense. H.R. 1 is the opposite direction. That’s a federal takeover of election. Republicans have put forth policies such as voter ID, ensuring that we have chain of custody of absentee ballots, signature verification process, the audit in Arizona. State legislatures like Florida are taking proactive policy action. So, I believe that the discussions of the 2020 election are integral to make sure that we can rebuild the American people’s trust in our elections, moving forward, and put forth those policy solutions to improve election security and election integrity. And I stand with the president’s focus on election integrity. As usual, he’s very in touch with the voters around the country.
Washington Examiner: Do you agree with Trump that Biden was illegitimately elected and the election was stolen?
Stefanik: President Biden is president, and the focus is on defeating his radical agenda, which I believe we will do in 2024. And we’re going to win the midterms in 2022. I have said that there are election irregularities and an unconstitutional overreach, which is why I objected to certain states. You can refer to my statement on the House floor. I fully stand by that, and voters support the focus on those issues. But the irregularity, the unconstitutional overreach, the lack of ballot security, those are important issues that the American people want to hear solutions from the Republicans on.
Expelling Liz Cheney from leadership won’t gain the GOP one additional voter, but it will cost us quite a few.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 10, 2021