When will the House GOP do something about its Liz Cheney problem?
Poor Ross Douthat, unable to chide the left without throwing in an anti-Trump comment to keep The New York Times' management happy. This light bulb was switched on by his January 13 column, "Let's Not invent a Civil War." Through paragraphs remarkably turgid, one sensed that Douthat was dismissing leftist talk of a looming civil war between the red and blue states. Yet the following appeared in the penultimate paragraph: "[I] want to stress that the problems that undergird the civil war hypothesis are serious, the divisions in our country are considerable and dangerous, the specific perils associated with a Trump resurgence in 2024 are entirely real."
There is no mention in this column of the divisions resulting from the aggressive vows of "resistance" following the election of Donald J. Trump as our 45th president, November 8, 2016 — and certainly not of the perils that threatened to flow from false and specious assertions that Mr. Trump was a "Siberian Candidate," as the title of Paul Krugman's July 22, 2016 Times column charged.
Now comes Douthat to see visions of "specific perils" swirling about a "Trump resurgence in 2024"? And what "real" threats would Donald Trump, as our 45th and 47th president, pose to the country? An end to inflation, control at the borders, renewed energy independence, an end to woke-ist control of our military, respected standing in foreign relations once more, the return of a sane approach to confronting criminals and criminal behavior? How far does Bidenism have to descend before the NeverTrump crowd realizes that it is no reason for solace to say the 2020 presidential result was on the up-and-up because that would underscore the success of the anti-MAGA miscreants in deceiving the voters to see Donald J. Trump as the enemy of the American way of life.
Donald J. Trump is, in fact, the personification of a Frank Capra populist conservative hero in the manner of a Longfellow Deeds, a John Doe, or a George Bailey. With every passing day, it seems, Biden's administration represents government by the lie of "domestic terrorism" — to stamp out dissent, by conjuring up images of white supremacy to criminalize free speech. And the more authoritarian this administration becomes, the louder the clamor from the left that Republicans would provoke civil war and crush democracy.
Interestingly, there was no comment in Douthat's January 13 column on the apparent political civil war taking place within the GOP. The same day his column appeared in print, The Times carried a story on the refusal of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy to appear before Pelosi's January 6, 2021, House Select Committee, issuing a statement terming the committee "'illegitimate" and only seeking "to damage its political opponents."
This story, from Luke Broadwater, included that suggestion of Liz Cheney, one of two "Republicans" named by Pelosi to her panel, that Mr. McCarthy was "not faithful to the Constitution." Congresswoman Cheney has said as much, and worse, about former president Trump, and while her anti-Trump views ended her tenure as third-ranking House GOP member, her blatant hostility to Mr. Trump has resulted in no further disciplinary action against her from the House Republican Conference.
But can the GOP House conference accept her declaration that its leader is unfaithful to the Constitution? Office-holding Republicans, most of them, have a lamentable tradition of not rushing to the defense of Donald J. Trump. Can House Republicans accept, equally passively, an angry charge against their leader from a "Republican" whose anti-Republican vituperation is consistent with the anti-GOP libels from the leftist playbook?
Republicans need not even go so far as to vote to end her position in the House Republican Conference. All they need do, it seems from here, is to issue a statement, signed by all House Republicans, expressing regret and dismay that a Republican would speak in accusatory terms, directed at the Republican leader, that echo the worst calumnies hurled, quite without basis, in fact, at Republicans by Democrats who respond to efforts at comity with loathing and vitriol.
This pathetic case of a "Republican" Member of Congress should then decide if she chooses to remain a member of a conference that has signaled its discomfort that she has placed the ambitions of the Democrat party above her commitment to party and country.
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