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Will GOP Turncoats Finally Get Their Comeuppance?

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP

Remember the Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after he was out of office for supposedly inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building? Well, it appears that at least some of them will live to regret that decision.

A report published by The Hill detailed the fate of those who played along with the Democrats’ politically-motivated attempt to further smear Trump. The author explains that GOP lawmakers who sided with the left “have increasingly become pariahs as their party moves in the opposite direction.”

Only one year after voting to remove Trump from office after he was already out of office, these individuals are “finding themselves ostracized” and “facing death threats” for participating in the action against Trump. “Three of the 10 have decided not to run for reelection this year. The others are all facing Trump-allied primary challengers who accuse them of lacking fealty to the most influential figure in the GOP,” the authors noted.

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). As you might recall, she was stripped from her leadership position among House Republicans and is now participating in the Democrats’ House Select Committee to supposedly investigate Jan. 6. The witch hunters committee members are set to start releasing their “findings” over the next few months in the lead-up to the upcoming midterm elections.

It did not take long for it to become apparent that Cheney stands a good chance of being voted out in the primaries. Lawyer Harriet Hageman, one of Cheney’s challengers, has received Trump’s support and recent polls suggest she just might bring about the lawmaker’s political demise.

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) is not faring too well at the moment either. He was set to face a challenger backed by Trump as well, but then he decided not to run for re-election, citing “toxic dynamics” in the GOP. “While my desire to build a fuller family life is at the heart of my decision, it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party, is a significant factor in my decision,” the lawmaker said in a statement.

Trump, in true Trump fashion, released a statement responding to Gonzalez’s announcement. “1 down, 9 to go,” he gloated.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) has also been on the receiving end of criticism from Republicans and conservatives. Last year, the Washington State GOP passed a resolution condemning the impeachment effort and Herrera Beutler’s and Rep. Dan Newhouse for supporting it. She will face several primary challengers, along with another who has received Trump’s blessing.

Rep. John Katko (NY) has gone against the former president on numerous occasions and was also one of the GOP lawmakers who supported impeachment. He backed the Democrats’ original effort to form an investigative committee to look into Jan. 6. He also voted in favor of the massive infrastructure bill. Like Rep. Gonzalez, he also announced he would not be seeking re-election.

Of course, we can’t forget Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who is known for the Oscar-worthy performance he gave in front of Congress as he tearfully recounted the events of Jan. 6. Along with Cheney, he is also helping House Democrats with their witch hunt investigation. He, along with his other colleagues, has also announced he is not seeking re-election.

Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer voted to impeach Trump in his first term in Congress. County-level GOP groups in his district voted to censure him for his vote last year. He is also facing primary challenges from a number of contenders. Former Housing and Urban Development official John Gibbs got President Trump’s backing to challenge Meijer.

Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, who was also condemned by the state GOP, is also facing numerous primary challengers. However, Trump has not yet endorsed any of these individuals.

Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) was also on the receiving end of a state GOP vote to censure him for going along with the Democrats’ impeachment farce. Interestingly enough, he also voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election. But he later indicated he regretted the decision.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who has been a representative since 1987 has been slammed for seemingly working too much in Democrats. Not only did he vote to impeach Trump, he also supported the infrastructure bill and voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from her committee assignments for her past ridiculous statements about violence against Democrats and Jewish Space Lasers™. He is also facing primary challenges, one of which has been endorsed by the former president.

Last, but not least, we have Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), whose vote for impeachment was one of his first votes after being re-elected to Congress. Of the ten representatives, he might be the one who is most likely to survive a primary attempt as he is supported by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

It would be an understatement to say that those who backed the Democrats’ attempt to use the Jan. 6 riot to further their anti-Trump agenda are facing a reckoning. These individuals’ political careers are likely over, assuming conservative voters actually show up during the primary season.

And therein lies the rub.

As I’ve stated previously, none of this matters unless non-establishment conservative voters are willing to make their voices known during the primaries. Voter turnout on both sides tends to be low during these particular races. But the establishment is counting on Republican voters to stay home and not pay attention during the primaries so they can continue trying to pull the GOP back to pre-Trump days. However, perhaps voters will help to turn things around in 2022.