Yesterday was a shameful day for the House GOP. During a vote on a highly partisan and patently fraudulent bill of attainder…er…I mean impeachment against President Trump, ten members of the GOP caucus crossed over to vote with the Democrats. One of those was a GOP leadership member, Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney (read If the House GOP Conference Doesn’t Boot Liz Cheney From Leadership They Will Deserve What Happens Next).
It is hard to credit the motives of those voting for impeachment to anything but a craven desire to ingratiate themselves with the new bosses in DC or to compete for power in what they are convinced is a reanimated version of the desiccated corpse of the GOP establishment. But to hear them tell it, “muh principles” demanded that they go along with helping the Democrats exact vengeance by a political cheap shot.
One of those bold rebels was Adam Kinzinger.
According to Kinzinger’s statement
“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve sought to do the right thing for the good of the people I represent and for the country as a whole. We are in unchartered waters here, and in a moment in history we have not experienced in modern times.
“On January 6, 2021, the President of the United States encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes. This angry mob turned violent and caused destruction to our nation’s symbol of democracy. This insurrection led to countless injuries and the death of several people, including two of our U.S. Capitol Police Officers.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative. So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions–the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch–are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?
“I will vote in favor of impeachment.”
In return, Kinzinger wanted seven minutes of face time with a camera, any camera, to memorialize his reasons for breaking faith with his colleagues and the voters in his district.
2/ to respond to some of the replies: a) Kinzinger has been pushing back on the sedition and election lies since they began b) the goal was to convince House Republicans to vote to impeach and c) Kinzinger might’ve been more effective to preach to the non-choir nationally
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 14, 2021
The very fact that Kinzinger thought that his turning his back on his colleagues would encourage the Democrats to give him time to make re-election footage speaks volumes for how little these people understand what is going on.
The lesson that should be learned here is that the Democrats are serious about consolidating power. They don’t need the votes of weak and spineless Vichy Republicans to accomplish their goals. Weak sisters like Kinzinger are not allies; they are targets. They will be high on the list of seats for the Democrats to flip, and they will probably be successful because I can’t imagine any Democrat voting for Kinzinger over this vote while I can imagine a crap-ton of Republicans voting against him.