Are Republicans right to oust Liz Cheney?
- Liz Cheney has served as Wyoming’s sole member in the House of Representatives since 2016. Previously, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East and practiced law at White & Case and the International Finance Corporation.
- On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, Cheney was ousted from her GOP leadership position in the House of Representatives because of her insistence on President Trump’s “election falsehoods.” Critics say her viewpoint wasn’t the problem, but the “persistence in publicly expressing it.” Cheney vowed to “ensure” that Trump would not get reelected and stated he was “a threat to American democracy.”
- As of February 2021, Statista reported Liz Cheney’s favorability rating at 7% and an unfavorability rating of 20 percent.
- Trump is seemingly planning to run in the 2024 election based on his comments on Fox News on April 19, 2021. The majority of Republicans want Trump to run in 2024 according to a March 2021 survey.
House Republicans removed Representative Liz Cheney due to her outspoken opinion that former President Donald Trump spread lies about election fraud and for being an overall 'distraction' to the party's goal, which is unproductive in uniting the GOP. She was not ousted for simply disagreeing with Trump, but rather because of 'her persistence in publicly expressing it.' While other Republican politicians have taken various views of Trump's presidency, Cheney's criticism of him was determined so problematic in threatening party unity that her removal was necessary. It is, of course, notable that Trump made incredible progress for the Republican party's morale by being outspoken and unashamed about its beliefs and his willingness to stand up for them.
Yet Cheney's opinion appeared to align her with many on the left whose platforms seemingly focus on being anti-Trump. By removing Cheney, the GOP has also separated itself from her ideologies, showing that it more so embraces an 'inward-focused America First agenda' rather than one overly interested in foreign affairs. Some Republican politicians have criticized Cheney's 'neoconservative policies,' while others claim that she 'recites Democrat talking points.' The fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Cheney so highly following her being ousted by her own party speaks volumes to this fact.
This is an especially important time for Republicans to strengthen the party from within, considering that it has little power in Washington; Democrats currently control the Presidency, House, and Senate. Opinions surrounding President Trump have certainly caused division throughout the nation. However, the takeaway here is that Republicans cannot allow this to infiltrate their own party when there is a radical Democratic administration in the White House.
The problem Republicans have with Liz Cheney is based entirely on her position of standing against Donald Trump, which they view as also standing against them. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise recently told Axios that the 'idea that you just disregard President Trump is not where we are, and, frankly, he has a lot to offer still.' In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Cheney said, 'We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process.' Speaking out against the Trump wing of the party, and particularly those still supporting the narrative that the 2020 election was stolen, is her way of doing that. However, this seems to have been the tipping point for her own party rivals, but her principles on this matter are something that should be rewarded, not punished.
Republicans, including Trump, have put their backing behind Elise Stefanik and have attempted to frame the issue as a question of policies and principles. However, as the hosts of Rising have pointed out, Stefanik and Cheney actually hold similar positions in most of the areas these Republicans talk about. The real issue here seems to be that Cheney has made it clear that she has ambitions of becoming president herself and has voiced her intention to 'wage a protracted political war' against the Trump wing of the GOP. Although unsurprising, this decision to continue backing Trump and all he represents may not serve them well in the long run.