For a couple of months, it has been obvious that the raison d’être of the GOP establishment and the Lincoln Project wing of the fake conservative industry has been the defeat of Donald Trump and the banishment of his supporters from the GOP.
That first part was accomplished on January 6 in a contentious vote by the House and Senate to accept the results of the Electoral College. To that end, we saw an unholy alliance of media, Big Tech, financial interests, and political powers join in what some might call a “conspiracy” (if you were a Law & Order fan you must remember the always tipsy Jack McCoy saying “in a conspiracy, it isn’t necessary that one hand knows what the other is doing”) to change laws and processes and suppress information to defeat President Trump, see TIME Claims a Secret Cabal Manipulated the 2020 Election to Stop Trump, and People Have Questions. Nothing here, of course, suggests the outcome of the election was not completely legitimate.
The second part started coming into view not long afterward. Mitch McConnell was reported by the New York Times to be in favor of impeachment as a way of “purging” (it’s funny how all these anti-Trump phrases have a Stalinist/Maoist ring to them) Trump and his supporters from the GOP.
NeverTrump New Left Sorta-conservative publications like NRO picked up the call (be sure to read Opinion: Great Move NRO; You Just Insulted 75 MILLION Americans and Opinion: I Am Cletus).
This is Rod Dreher in the so-called American Conservative:
[W]orrying about whether or not you’ll pay a greater political price for abandoning Trump. Of course many of them will. But it’s the right thing to do. How about showing some leadership, for once? If the price of winning your next primary is remaining silent on the question of Trump and his post-election behavior, which culminated in the storming of the Capitol by a “Hang Mike Pence!” mob, then you have lost your priorities. If you cannot explain to voters why they are wrong to give a pass to a president who behaved as Trump has done, and what it means to have a president who fouls American democracy by rousing the rabble to break down the doors of the Capitol and shout for lynching the vice president, then why are you in public service? If that’s what it takes to keep your job, why would you even want a job like that? Honestly, I do not get it.
When it came time to vote to impeach an out-of-office President Trump for the crime of holding a rally on the National Mall, ten quislings crossed over to vote with the Democrats. House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney made it very clear last Sunday that there was no room in her GOP for anyone who thought President Trump had a leadership role in the GOP or who supported him.
I think that when you look at both his actions leading up to what happened on January 6th, the fact that he was impeached in a bipartisan fashion, the fact that he lost the presidency, the fact that we lost the Senate. We have to be in a position where we can say we stand for principles, we stand for ideals, somebody who has provoked an attack on the United States Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral votes, which resulted in five people dying, who refused to stand up immediately when he was asked and stop the violence, that is a person who does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward. We have to make sure that we are able to convey to the American voters, we are the party of responsibility, we are the party of truth, that we actually can be trusted to handle the challenges this nation faces like COVID and that’s going to require us to focus on substance and policy and issues going forward, but we should not be embracing the former President.
Read more on Cheney’s doubtful political future and this curious interview with Chris Wallace at Liz Cheney Takes Aim at Kevin McCarthy After She Earns Scorching Rebuke From Her Home State Party.
Perhaps this should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched the GOP establishment in action over the years, particularly over the last four years, but it seems that the GOP establishment really isn’t all that smart or competent.
Let’s look at some facts. Last week, Liz Cheney survived a demand that she resign for her disgraceful impeachment vote. This from Business Insider shows how it played out.
Axios reported Sunday that Rep. McCarthy asked Cheney, the third highest-ranking House Republican, to apologize for her handling of the vote during last week’s closed House GOP conference meeting, saying that colleagues wanted to hear her say sorry.
The meeting was called to discuss possible punishments for Cheney as well as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, an avid Trump supporter who has promoted multiple conspiracy theories.
Two sources told the outlet that Cheney refused to apologize for voting to impeach Trump, telling colleagues that “it was a vote of principle — a principle on which I stand and still believe.”
Republican House members subsequently voted overwhelmingly during the meeting for Cheney to keep her position as GOP conference chairwoman, a vote which was reportedly called at her insistence.
A total of 145 GOP House members voted to keep her in post, while 61 voted against her.
Reps. McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise were both reported to have offered their support, but McCarthy’s request that Cheney apologized underlines the tensions that remain in the House GOP caucus, with some of her pro-Trump critics reportedly subjecting her to “fiery” questioning at the meeting.
Many House members were also reported to have given Rep. Greene a standing ovation at the same meeting after she apologised for previously adhering to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
There is an attempt to portray this as strength. Strength doesn’t require you to apologize to your colleagues. She survived because there was no consensus replacement and a weak Cheney was a better alternative than a strong replacement, see Liz Cheney Will Probably Survive but It Won’t Mean What the Media Will Tell You It Means. A caucus that supports Liz Cheney is not going to give a standing-O to Marjorie Taylor Greene — before or after a neo-Maoist struggle session. The repudiation of Cheney by the Wyoming GOP speaks volumes about her eventual self-purging from office,
This from Axios:
- The Arizona Republican Party voted yesterday to censure three faces of the Republican establishment — Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake — and reelected state party chair Kelli Ward, a fierce Trumper.
- The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are being hit with swift punishment, including brewing primary challenges, censure votes and public scoldings, the N.Y. Times reports (subscription).
When it comes to the final analysis, what my people would call nut-cutting time, there is a lot more evidence that if there is any purging to be done, it won’t be done by the GOP establishment.
For instance, some of the reasons the Wyoming GOP cited, when they were demanding that Cheney resign and give back the money the GOP contributed to her campaign, were people changing their voter registration to independent and difficulty in convincing people to give money to support a party that had elected someone who voted to impeach a president who won 70% of the Wyoming vote. Consider this:
One line in the memo:
"An alarming result for the national Republican committees in Washington D.C. is that only 10% of Republicans and 7% of Trump voters will support and donate money to those committees who continue to back Republicans like Cheney who voted to impeach" Trump
— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) January 28, 2021
If you aren’t talking about the Chamber of Commerce and Big Tech fat cats, but rather small donors, I suspect this number is high.
Last month, Hill/HarrisX poll made this interesting discovery:
Sixty-four percent of registered Republican voters in the Jan. 28-29 survey said they’d join a new political party led by the former president, including 32 percent who said they would very likely join.
The survey found 28 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats said they’d likely join a third party led by Trump.
Actually, if those numbers are true, the “purge” so beloved of NeverTrumpers and other Lincoln Project allies would make the GOP Establishment into the “third party.”
Honestly, I think all the talk of purging folks is done by grifters who were pushed away from the trough by Trump and are trying to get back to it. The fact that human windsocks like McCarthy and McConnell did not vote to impeach and voted to declare the ongoing impeachment trial unconstitutional, respectively, is a sure sign that they’ve gauged the odds of getting rid of Trump and his supporters and they don’t like them. Whether these people like it or not the people Trump energized and the ideas he championed are going to be around for a while.