Did McCarthy Create The Liz Cheney We See Today?
I understand that a big chunk of the Republican Party is angry at Congresswoman Liz Cheney – and thinks she should be tossed out of office by the voters of Wyoming. Me too.
Cheney has been condemned by both the Wyoming Republican Party and the National Republican Committee. And now wannabe House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has endorsed Cheney’s primary election opponent. I think all that could be justified – but more on her actions and statement AFTER being booted from leadership. But maybe much of the damage she is doing could have been avoided.
In my judgment, Cheney deserves to be ostracized and thrown out of office by Republicans – but not because she voted to impeach President Trump. I think she sealed her fate with all the things she has done SINCE being booted from her leadership position by McCarthy.
She has not only maintained her belief that Trump acted badly – defending her vote. But she has expanded her animus to the Republican Party generally. She has mounted more general attacks on the Republican Party in general. She has viciously attacked McCarthy (understandable) and others in congressional leadership – more gratuitous than deserved.
Cheney’s greatest sin of the commission was agreeing to serve on House Speaker Pelosi’s kangaroo Select Committee investigating the Capitol Hill riot. Since it was Pelosi who invited her – and Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger – to give the Committee a faux appearance of bipartisanship, Cheney essentially switched political sides.
Besides Kinzinger, Cheney was the only GOP member of the House, who voted to impeach and who accepted Pelosi’s invitation to participate in that bogus one-sided investigation.
She reinforced her GOP apostasy when she and her father – former Vice President Dick Cheney – were the only Republicans to appear on the floor of the House for Pelosi’s moment of silence on the first anniversary of the Capitol Hill riot – which was more of a partisan political stunt than a sincere moment of remembrance.
But did it all have to come to this? I am inclined to think – not. And I blame McCarthy for egregiously mishandling le affaire Cheney at the onset. In fact, I wrote about it at the time – and my worst fears seem to have come to pass.
We must keep in mind that prior to the vote on impeachment, Cheney was in GOP leadership because she was one of the most consistent and dependable conservative Republican votes in Congress. She was at the top of most conservative rating organizations. Ironically, she was everything that Pelosi and the Democrats loathed.
In my previous commentary, I suggested that McCarthy erred in booting Cheney from leadership. At that time, the political disdain for Cheney was coming from Trump – and pretty much Trump alone. One can understand why he was not happy with those Republicans who voted for impeachment – and those in the Senate who voted to convict him in the second impeachment. But only Cheney suffered official rebuke. The others were left to weather their won personal political storms.
Yes, there were Republican officeholders and voters, who believed voting for impeachment was an unforgivable sin. But it was up to them to take any retribution at the polls. It goes along with my general belief that such decisions are best left to the voters and not the decisions of politicians.
I feared that removing Cheney from leadership by edict would elevate her to major national status as a hero to Democrats and a villain for the Republicans. It would further divide the GOP. It literally forced her into the arms of Pelosi & Co.
If McCarthy had just expressed his disappointment with Cheney and let it ride – as he basically did with others in his caucus who voted for impeachment – Cheney would have been constrained in her criticism. She would not have become the prominent pain in the arse that we see today. There was no way she would have – or could have – joined Pelosi’s Select Committee. And if Cheney did not, it is unlikely that Kinzinger would have done it on his own. It would have denied Pelosi the dubious claim of bipartisanship. And … Cheney would have continued as a reliable conservative vote in the House.
Instead, McCarthy’s decision was the proverbial thread on the sweater that unraveled the situation into what we see today – a vehemently hostile Cheney.
As I wrote at the time, I thought McCarthy was making a big mistake – and not his first or last. It is the reason I believe the Republicans in Congress – and the Party generally – would be better served with a Speaker other than McCarthy.
Yes, Cheney should be booted in the upcoming election. I just think all the damage she has done would not have happened were it not for McCarthy’s propensity for bad judgment.
So, there ‘tis.