Trump Has Handpicked Liz Cheney’s Successor
The Republican Party no longer exists as an independent political party
I remain fascinated by the dissolution of the Republican Party. It no longer has an ideology or even any policies. All that matters is loyalty to Trump, a disgraced, twice impeached former president who is living in exile in private clubs in Florida and New Jersey. He has had to start his own social media platform because he has been banned from existing social media.
And yet, his strange hold over the Republican Party remains as firm as ever, maybe even more firm. Case in point — the downfall of Liz Cheney and her replacement by a candidate who has vilified Trump in the past but has recently converted to supporting him.
There is nothing wrong with Liz Cheney other than the fact that she refuses to subscribe to the Big Lie that the election was stolen from Trump. I have to agree with the Republicans that the House Republican Conference Chair should hold the same views as the members of the Party. It makes sense that they should get rid of Cheney who does not believe Trump won the election, voted to impeach him and speaks out against him every chance that she gets.
Trump has already handpicked her successor, Elise Stefanik, a Republican from upstate New York who until very recently disparaged him. Her voting record is more liberal than Cheney’s — she only voted with Trump 78% of the time. Cheney voted with Trump 93% of the time. Stefanik opposed Trump’s tax cuts, his budget maneuvers to fund his wall and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
So why is Trump endorsing her? Because in 2019, she suddenly started to support him by opposing his first impeachment. Since then she has supported him in all of his election challenges and voted against certifying the election.
And that’s all that matters to Trump. That she whole-heartedly supports him now. The fact that she “spoke out against Trump’s ban on migrants from majority-Muslim countries. She criticized his proposed border wall. She opposed his deep budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. She demanded more information on Russian election interference, calling herself an “outspoken supporter of the [Robert] Mueller investigation, which I believe is best equipped and our best hope to get to the apolitical truth. The list goes on. She broke with Trump on NAFTA and trade. She called for an end to family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. She voted with Democrats on a bill that would have blocked Trump from withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. She backed LGBTQ antidiscrimination bills. She opposed Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria. And she even voted against his signature 2017 tax cuts,” doesn’t matter.
That was then. This is now.
Personally, I think that she is using Trump and Trumpism to further her own ambitions. She is using this jump to the #3 position within the House Republicans as a springboard to a plum committee assignment. She has said she would only serve until the 2022 midterms and then move on the top Republican position on the Committee for Education and the Workforce.
Not bad for a 36 year old who has only been in office since 2015. Most politicians labor away in obscurity for years before scaling those kinds of heights.
And Trump? His grasp of reality seems to become more and more tenuous. Even his diehard supporters in the Republican Party oppose his endorsement of Stefanik. Rep. Bob Good, of VA issued a statement that said in part:
The Club for Growth, concerned with Stefanik’s opposition to Trump’s tax cuts as well as her opposition to his easing of environmental regulations, wants to delay the vote on Cheney to give time for other candidates for her position to come forward rather than allowing Trump to choose her successor.
But we all know that in the end, Trump will have his way and Stefanik will win Cheney’s position. Those who oppose her may grumble a lot under their breath but they will accept Trump’s choice. As they accept so much else that he has imposed on their party.
Including the Big Lie. He has repeated it so many times, his supporters have repeated it so many times, the conservative media has repeated it so many times that they are slowly convincing voters of the validity of his claims.
That’s almost one-third of American voters who believe that our president is not truly the president. That Trump won the election and should be the president.
How scary is that?
The Republicans are confident that they will win the midterms with the help of Trump and his MAGA candidates because Trump has told them so. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, is preparing to be the Speaker of the House after the midterms. He has already kissed the ring and earned Trump’s backing. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, is making plans to leave the Senate because he refuses to genuflect to Trump.
And Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans with a conscience, is battling for her political survival both in the House and at home in Wyoming where she was censured for her vote to convict Trump in his January 2021 impeachment trial.