Thursday, May 6, 2021

GOP paints bullseye on Liz Cheney

Trump, GOP Leaders, and Even Liz Cheney Allies Say She Is a ‘Dead Woman Walking’ reports Matt Fuller, Senior Politics Editor, and Asawin Suebsaeng, Senior Political Reporter.

And former President Trump couldn’t be happier with her potential replacement.

As House Republicans prepare to purge current conference chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) from leadership, former President Donald Trump’s pals on Capitol Hill have been keeping him posted on the efforts to demote her—and the ex-president has been assured that Cheney will be punished by her colleagues as soon as next week.

In recent days, Trump has been on the phone with several key allies in the House GOP conference, asking for updates on the Cheney situation, as well as on whether there will indeed be a vote to remove her from her leadership post, according to two sources with knowledge of the calls.

Two different people familiar with these conversations say that, in the past few days, one of the top House Republicans who Trump has spoken to about Cheney was Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). And on the call, McCarthy told Trump that Cheney would be on her way out soon. McCarthy’s office declined comment for this story.

On Wednesday, Trump took a break from golfing and dining with Republican Senators at Mar-a-Lago to again wade into internal House GOP politics, this time to post on his blog about his choice for Cheney’s would-be successor.

“Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership,” Trump said in his statement. “We want leaders who believe in the Make America Great Again movement, and prioritize the values of America First. Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!”

While the twice-impeached former president has persistently called for Cheney’s political ruin—and his statement of support for Stefanik and against Cheney probably is the nail in the coffin—the reality is, Trump probably doesn’t need to lift a finger. Conversations with a dozen sources on Capitol Hill and in Trump’s orbit revealed that Cheney is almost certainly playing out her last week as the GOP conference chairwoman.

Is that a good thing? Depends on who you ask. For starters, Cheney wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post. in which she said: “The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.” “The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.”

More from the DailyBeast report …

[Anonymous source] … a source familiar with Cheney’s thinking told The Daily Beast that everything she’s said has been “chiefly motivated by telling the truth and saying what needs to be said.”

“Liz Cheney is the kid at the parade that says the emperor has no clothes,” Sarah Longwell, an anti-Trump GOP strategist, told The Daily Beast.

“They want their message to be built on a lie,” Longwell said, “and she’s not letting that happen.”

According to Longwell, it’s an obvious problem for Republicans: Cheney is “objectively correct,” but that’s not the reality in which Republicans want to live. It’s much more politically expedient to pretend that Trump actually won the election, thus necessitating voting access reforms, and to pretend that Trump bears no responsibility for the insurrection.

Finally, Cheney writes in the Post op-ed: “we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality. In our hearts, we are devoted to the American miracle. We believe in the rule of law, in limited government, in a strong national defense, and in prosperity and opportunity brought by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.”

Now I don’t agree at all with Cheney about the role of government and fiscal policy. But I do know this: we cannot even begin to have a debate so long as one party cannot recognize truth, champions lies piled on more lies, and does not even care.

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