A meaningless vote followed the sham impeachment hearing held today in the House of Representatives. The whole thing is nothing more than an exercise in score-settling on the part of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. They deeply resent the mess that President Trump made of their plans to install Hillary Clinton as president and who managed, with damned little help from anyone in the GOP, to push back the hands of the clock that were creeping towards a dark midnight of socialism and the triumph of collectivism. As in most things involving President Trump, there was an element of virtue signaling from some Republicans, which were led by a posturing Liz Cheney.
“1. Liz Cheney (Wyo)
2. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio)
3. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash)
4. John Katko (NY)
5. Adam Kinzinger (Ill)
6. Peter Meijer (Mich)
7. Dan Newhouse (Wash)
8. Tom Rice (SC)
9. Fred Upton (Mich)
10. David Valadao (Calif)” https://t.co/W7hztNCEwe pic.twitter.com/gI2hv68CgS
— Paul Stewart (@PaulStewartII) January 13, 2021
Cheney is in the Number Three leadership position in the House GOP Caucus. Her vote to impeach a president of her own party is unprecedented by any measure but particularly when the grounds were so obviously contrived and wrong. The challenge to Kevin McCarthy is very much an in-your-face one. It signals to the GOP caucus that if McCarthy can’t hold his own leadership team together on a vote of this magnitude that the GOP caucus is now a gathering of free agents who can do whatever the hell they want to do.
This is just one of the acts that Cheney has taken to raise her own national profile at the expense of McCarthy and Scalise and her colleagues. Shortly before the vote to certify the Electoral College votes, a vote on which 120 of her colleagues decided to challenge the votes of several states with “peculiar” election results, she circulated a lengthy letter informing anyone who cared to read it that such a vote is un-Constitutional (SPOILER ALERT: it isn’t). It wasn’t enough that Cheney do what she thought was right; she had to make it clear to the press that what she was doing was highly principled and what everyone else was doing was unprincipled. We lived through that here on RedState a few years ago.
Representative Jim Jordan has called for a vote to strip Cheney of her leadership post. This vote shouldn’t be necessary. Anyone as principled as Cheney should know that when you are in a leadership role and can no longer support your leaders or respect your teammates, it is time to go. That being said, if there is one thing that the Trump years have taught us, it is that for a certain type of Republican, principles are more related to favorable press clippings than too much else.
To get the vote, just 42 GOP Representatives need to sign the petition; then, it will be secret ballot time. She says she’s “not going anywhere.” And her buddies are telling Politico about the horrible atmospherics:
Cheney’s allies, however, expect her to remain safe, and also argue it would be a bad look for the GOP to punish Cheney and not Trump.
A plugged in House Republican — who is NOT part of the Freedom Caucus and doesn’t want to see Liz Cheney step down — predicts that the majority of the GOP conference will support ousting her from leadership.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) January 13, 2021
The vote is a vital one for the present and the immediate future.
As I said above, if McCarthy is going to have any power in the next two years, he has to build rock-hard cohesion in his caucus. He needs to develop the kind of relentless discipline that the Democrats and the North Korean Politburo have shown for decades. The Democrats only have a tiny majority, and without a lot of GOP defections, nothing will get done. Cheney is corrosive to that discipline.
Strategically, this goes back to two recent pieces here on RedState, Tucker Carlson Wonders Why the GOP Loathes Its Voters and Explains a Lot of Things in the Process, and Mitch McConnell Reportedly Sees Impeachment as a Chance to ‘Purge’ Trump From the Party. We know the GOP establishment leadership would like to be rid of the Trump influence and Trump voters. The question is, how does that happen and still get them to send money to campaign committees and show up to vote. My guess is that it doesn’t, but that does not mean there isn’t some GOP consultant of the caliber of Steve Schmidt or Rick Wilson selling the GOPe on the way to gull the rubes.
Should Cheney survive this vote, it will be a signal to GOP voters that this is back to business as usual.
It is also clear that Cheney is positioning herself as a leader in this proposed post-Trump and resurgent GOPe. Earlier in the year, she was a critic of the Wuhan virus response for no greater reason, it seemed, than to get attention and lay down a marker separating her from President Trump. True to her heritage, she fought tooth and nail to continue wars that have no purpose and no end. She also played at being a “king maker” during the GOP primaries. She supported a primary challenge to libertarian and Liberty Caucus member Thomas Massie (Massie won 81-19). Some political savant recently touted Cheney as the new leader of the GOP Republicans Have a Choice to Make Post-Trump, They’d Best Choose Wisely This means her acts of virtue-signaling will grow only more fierce and her contempt for her colleagues greater as we get closer to 2024.
McCarthy should demand that she step down from leadership. He won’t. So the House GOP must act. If it doesn’t, then their next two years will be spent jumping through whatever hoop Nancy Pelosi holds in front of them, and the two years after that, they can relax because no one will vote for them in 2022.