When we heard that Rep. Liz Cheney’s future atop the Republican Party leadership was in doubt, we can’t help admitting that it made some of us around here pretty giddy.
The Wyoming Republican’s vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump along with her stated claim that he alone was responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and that his claims of ballot irregularities last fall were bogus went a long way towards fueling our contempt.
And when we heard the Trump was backing someone to oppose Cheney as Republicans prepare to vote on whether to keep her as House Republican Conference chair — Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York — our initial response, and that of many rank-and-file GOP voters who still back Trump were sold.
But in the days since, some folks have done some digging into Stefanik’s voting record and have begun to question why the party should replace as its No. 3 leader, a woman with a very high-percentage conservative voting record (and a pro-Trump voting record, essentially) with another whose conservative voting bona fides are considerably lower, historically.
Now, Stefanik herself is causing new doubts just a few days ahead of a leadership vote scheduled for Wednesday.
Citing her voting record from 2018 to CBS morning co-host Gayle King, Stefanik said, “I’m in the top 10 percent of the most bipartisan members of Congress. That’s something I’m proud of. That’s something that I ran on. And if you look at our voting records and the bills that we introduce, women tend to be more bipartisan than our male colleagues.”
“It’s great to see women running on both sides of the aisle. We’re more bipartisan,” she continued.
“If you look at our voting records and the bills that we introduce, women tend to be more bipartisan than our male colleagues,” Stefanik added.
What’s this ‘bipartisan’ stuff?
The Democratic Party of today doesn’t want to be ‘bipartisan’ on much of anything, save for a couple of standard annual spending bills that fund vital government functions. But on everything else — stealing election authority from states, making D.C. a deep-blue state, and funding political payoffs to constituents disguised as “coronavirus relief” or “infrastructure” — they don’t want to hear anything from Republicans except ‘yes.’
Moreover, the GOP caucus in the House is decidedly pro-Trump, and the Democrats most certainly don’t want anything at all to do with his agenda.
So that begs the question for many GOPers: Why ditch Cheney (if the party is most concerned about Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda) for someone who prides herself on ‘bipartisanship?’
Here’s the answer: Cheney isn’t on board with Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda. In fact, according to a Politico report last month, she is adamantly opposed to most of it.
“Cheney argued the GOP is not the party of class warfare and that dividing society into classes while attacking the private sector is neo-Marxist and wrong,” Politico’s Melanie Zanona wrote in early April.
There’s another reason: Trump has come out in support of Stefanik, who defended him during his first impeachment. And she’s singing Trump’s praises now as well.
Either way, the die appears to be cast: Cheney is likely out and Stefanik likely in. Here’s hoping this isn’t a mistake.