Donald Trump Demands Lauren Boebert Fall in Line, She's Having None of It

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

As the fight over who will be the Speaker of the House rages on, there are some interesting sub-battles going on within the Republican Party.

Perhaps the most surprising dynamic is Donald Trump reiterating his full-throated endorsement of Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday, while McCarthy’s detractors remain almost universally Trump-supporting Republicans. It’s hard to get more “MAGA” than Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz, with the latter actually doing an “America First” tour during the last election season.


Yet, here we are, with previous alliances fraying, and several members of the anti-McCarthy group weren’t afraid to defy the former president. According to Lauren Boebert, Trump called them to tell them to “knock this off.” She took to the House floor and was having none of it.

Good for her. It’s refreshing to see actual free-thinking taking place in Congress, a body that has long been plagued by groupthink and a domineering leadership that essentially tells its members how to vote. As I wrote in an earlier piece, I believe Republican voters are sick of having an elite cabal (which yes, includes Trump) making all the decisions.

And while I get that Trump wants to flex his influence, in doing so, he’s managed to endorse two-thirds of the party’s establishment (Kevin McCarthy and Ronna McDaniel), which makes him part of the establishment. That reality can’t be brushed aside, and I think Boebert has realized she can’t straddle the fence anymore. Trump is her opposition here, and she’s not afraid to deal with that head-on. Seeing that is far preferable to seeing Republicans fall in line because they are told to.


Matt Gaetz also shared criticism of the former president and derided the endorsement of McCarthy.

I’m not sure what Trump is thinking here. He could have been a hero on Wednesday morning by endorsing Byron Donalds and joining some of his biggest supporters in fighting the establishment. Instead, he doubled down on his support for McCarthy. That feels a lot like Trump just wanting to be seen as supporting the “winner,” given McCarthy is likely to prevail eventually once he makes enough concessions.

That’s not leadership, though. Rather, it’s the same kind of inside baseball that so many Republican voters have come to despise. Is Trump really so desperate to regain power that he’s willing to become part of the establishment to get there? It’s hard to come to a different conclusion at this point.

That aside, the now-21 holdouts (McCarthy lost a vote on the sixth ballot) are providing a bit of inspiration in being willing to defy the person who has previously defined their movement. Donalds stepping up as a viable candidate has changed the game.



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