GOP Unpersons Cheney And Kinzinger For Crimes Against Trump
Republicans are gleefully eating their own in Utah this week, passing a censure resolution rebuking Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for "participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse, and they are both utilizing their past professed political affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power for partisan purpose."
It is now the official position of the Republican Party that the insurrectionists who overran the Capitol screaming to "Hang Mike Pence!" and "Shoot Nancy Pelosi in the fucking head!" were just "ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse." Unlike Black Lives Matter protesters, who are terrorists, obviously.
If there was any doubt that these people are completely unspooled, that resolution passed unanimously out of committee yesterday and will be approved by the entire RNC later today at its winter meeting in Salt Lake City. Trump allies David Bossie and Harmeet Dhillon pushed hard for a resolution to expel the pair from the Republican Party, which would have backed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy into a corner. As Punchbowl notes, the wingnuts in his caucus are braying to boot the pair of "traitors," but McCarthy really needs them pissing out of the tent rather than into it as they head into the midterms. The whole thing is basically performative anyway, since Kinzinger isn't running again and Cheney may well lose to Harriet Hageman, a primary challenger backed by Trump.
But performative outrage is the entire GOP platform these days. Just get a load of this insane screeching:
WHEREAS, The Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress have embarked on a systematic effort to replace liberty with socialism; eliminate border security in favor of lawless, open borders; create record inflation designed to steal the American dream from our children and grandchildren; neuter our national defense and a peace through strength foreign policy; replace President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” with incompetence and illegal mandates; and destroy America’s economy with the Green New Deal;
Yes, yes, President Joe Biden is trying to goose inflation as part of a PLOT to "steal the American dream from our children and grandchildren." It all just makes too much sense!
"Rather than focus their efforts on how to help the American people, my fellow Republicans have chosen to censure two lifelong Members of their party for simply upholding their others of office," Kinzinger responded in a statement. "They've allowed conspiracies and toxic tribalism to hinder their ability to see clear-eyed."
Later he added, "Starting Friday morning I will be on military duty for a few days and will not be commenting further during that. Afterwards I will have some Followup thoughts on defending our country from lies, and profit driven con artists. America deserves better." The "unlike the rest of you unpatriotic bastards" is implied. And by the by, Kinzinger's wife just had a baby three weeks ago.
Cheney was also breathing fire.
"The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy," she tweeted. "I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump. History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what."
The pair did receive a bit of support from sitting Republicans.
"The RNC is censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger because they are trying to find out what happened on January 6th - HUH?" tweeted retiring Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who also voted in favor of impeachment.
And it seems safe to read Senator Mitt Romney as subtweeting his niece, RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, who supported the censure resolution.
Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol. Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.— Mitt Romney (@Mitt Romney) 1643986002
But that's more or less it. It's a conspiracy of silence from a party that is totally supine before the Dear Orange Leader.
Back in Wyoming, the state party was also busy un-personing Cheney this week, and their move wasn't just symbolic. As the Postreports, the Wyoming GOP "privately signed a special letter" which treats Hageman as the presumptive nominee.
Bossie described the national and state resolutions as a “one-two punch.” Because he would.
This allows both the state and national party to begin plowing money into Hageman's campaign. And she'll need it, since Cheney is raising a shit ton of money — $2 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone — while her challenger raised just $443, 460 in that time period.
At the end of the day, it's a cult. There's no platform, no pretense of even trying to win support from the majority of voters. Just ever more orgiastic displays of fealty to an aging megalomaniac. This is no way to run a country, but ... here we are.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.