In January, Chip Roy of Texas claimed that he believed Trump had committed impeachable offenses, but rationalized a vote against impeachment by blaming Nancy Pelosi for drafting the articles in a way that targeted Trump’s speech rather than his actual offenses:
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said on the House floor that Trump’s conduct in pressuring the vice president to overturn the election impeachable, but that he opposes the article of impeachment.
“The president of the United States deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct, pressuring the vice president to violate his oath to the Constitution,” Roy said.
He said he is against the impeachment measure because it makes an issue of political speech.
This always seemed to me like a politically convenient excuse, from someone who is ambitious and didn’t want to cross his constituents, who would view any vote to impeach as tantamount to treason. When Chip Roy was one of the first out of the gate to condemn Liz Cheney, my opinion was confirmed. Her opinions were hardly out of bounds, if you actually believed that Trump committed impeachable offenses, and ought to have been impeached if only the Democrats had written the articles correctly.
Today John McCormack publishes a piece that makes it clear to me that I was right all along. Oh, how I love to have my confirmation biases gratified!
But why did Roy, who said in January that Trump had clearly committed an impeachable act, think it was so offensive for Cheney to say Trump shouldn’t have a role in the party?
“That an action was condemnable — that an action was impeachable — doesn’t mean necessarily it should be impeached,” Roy said.
“It’s kind of like there are sins in the Bible for which you might leave a spouse — you know, committing adultery, for example. That doesn’t mean that the marriage should fall apart,” he added. “What I think we’ve got to do is work with the president and work with our entire coalition of Republicans behind four years of a really strong agenda and move forward.”
Rationalization City USA, population this guy.
It’s lovely that Roy was willing to condemn Trump for a brief period of time. But it’s not good enough.
Ironically, on the flip side of the coin, his cravenness on impeachment and Cheney may not have been good enough for Trump, who demands unquestioned loyalty at all times in all situations. Just ask Mike Pence. McCormack says someone may be exploiting Roy’s lack of full obsequiousness to primary him:
But is there any reason to believe Trump’s prediction of a Roy primary loss (which reads more like a threat) will come true? Matt McCall, who lost to Roy 47.3 percent to 52.7 percent in the 2018 GOP primary runoff, certainly hopes so.
“I have asked Trump for his endorsement to run against Chip Roy. If Trump endorses, I will run, and we will kick Chip Roy’s ass,” McCall told National Review in a phone interview. “I’ve approached [Trump’s] team. Steve Bannon, I think, is working on that for us.”
Ultimately, McCormack seems to think Roy will be OK. But wow, it would be a shame if his willingness to go in the tank for Trump, but only part of the way, was not enough for the Vindictive Retired Guy in Chief.