Republicans on Wednesday expelled Wyoming State MP Liz Cheney from party leadership in the House of Representatives. The vote to expel legendary number 3 was due to his refusal to remain silent about Donald Trump’s lies about the election.
It was an extraordinary humiliation on the part of a partisan, reflecting both the Republican Party’s intolerance of dissent and absolute loyalty to the former president. The decision was taken by oral vote in a brief and boisterous closed-door meeting in an auditorium on the Capitol, after Cheney gave a final and provocative speech that was praised by his colleagues.
The MP urged Republicans “not to let the ex-president drag us behind,” according to a person who followed the comments behind closed doors and detailed them on condition of anonymity. Cheney also warned that the Republicans were following a path that would lead to their “destruction” and “possibly the destruction of the country,” the source said, adding that if legend wanted a leader who “facilitates and spreads his destructive lies “, should vote to get rid of it.
That’s exactly what Republicans did and ended up choosing not to let every registered member vote. Republican bench chief Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California said they should vote orally to demonstrate unity.
As he left the meeting, Cheney remained steadfast in his position. He said he was determined to do “all he can so that the ex-president never comes close to the Oval Office again.” “We must move forward on the basis of the truth,” she told reporters. “We cannot accept the big lie and adopt the Constitution at the same time.”
The action came a day after the Republican lawmaker gave an inflammatory plenary speech against Trump and the Republican leaders who were maneuvering to expel him, accusing them of complicity in weakening the Democratic system.
In a caustic speech, Cheney said the country faced an “unprecedented” threat from a former president who sparked the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol and “resumed his aggressive efforts to convince Americans that his electoral victory had been stolen from him ”.
“Keeping silence and ignoring the lie strengthens the author of it,” said the MP. “I will not participate in this. I will not watch in silence, doing nothing, as others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.
Trump joined the discussion to give his opinion on Wednesday morning, when lawmakers met to expel Cheney. He said he looked forward to the expulsion of a woman he described as “a leader who leaves something to be desired, someone who offers great arguments to Democrats, a person who fights disputes, a person who has absolutely no personality or heart “.
Cheney’s remarks on Tuesday night – and the cold reception the speeches received from Republicans, who left the precinct when she started speaking – made it clear how Republican Party leaders have linked to Trump as a question of political survival.
Republican leaders have done their best to avoid talking about the attack on Capitol Hill and have described Cheney’s withdrawal as a forward-looking move that will get them through this day and move on.
“Each day that we spend reliving the past is one less day that we need to take control of the future,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to Republicans Monday. “If we are to prevent the radical democratic agenda from destroying our country, these internal conflicts must be resolved, so as not to weaken the efforts of our collective team.”
Instead, the whole episode only drew attention to the party’s slavish dedication to Trump, its tolerance of authoritarianism, and the internal divisions between its more dominant and conservative factions over how to regain control of the House in 2022. All of these dynamics threaten to alienate independents and suburban voters, thus undermining something that would otherwise look like a golden opportunity for Republicans to win back the majority.
To replace Cheney, Republican leaders rallied around New York MP Elise Stefanik, whose former loyalty to Trump and support for his unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud won her broad support from the party base. that Cheney, a lifelong curator, has ceased to command.
This is a remarkable achievement for the MP, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. She was even considered a future mayor, but she is now on the verge of being deported into political exile.
If Stefanik is elected this week to succeed Cheney as planned, the top three Republican leadership positions in the House will be filled by lawmakers who voted not to certify Joe Biden’s victory in January.
In recent days, however, some hard-line Republicans have criticized Stefanik, deeming her insufficiently conservative, and suggested the party consider a different name.