Trump fuels GOP schism over Taylor Greene and Cheney


Party leaders will resume consideration of whether to censor Greene, who spent several hours in a meeting with Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday night. There is pressure from Democrats and Senate Republicans to lose her committee assignments due to offensive social media activity before running for office and her behavior in just a month in as a representative of Georgia.

The challenges facing Cheney and Greene sum up the fierce battle for control of the GOP between orthodox conservatives and pro-Trump radicals who are seen by the establishment as “cancer” and “wacky weeds.”

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is the epitome of the old-school, ultra-conservative but internationalist Republican Party that scorns Trump’s assault on democracy. Greene is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory and is an avatar of the savage fringe welcomed into the GOP by Trump.

McCarthy’s painstaking effort to walk a line between the wings of the party represented by the two lawmakers was made immeasurably more difficult when, according to Greene, she and Trump spoke on a recent phone call. the former president intervened after receiving McCarthy for an audience at his Florida resort. The visit was a startling indication of how Trump is still calling the spotlight for much of the House GOP – even after his mob stormed the Capitol in a Jan.6 insurgency.
In a grim reminder of the cost of Trump’s actions, President Joe Biden visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to pay tribute to fallen police officer Brian Sicknick who died from the assault. Sicknick’s cremated remains lay resting in the same rotunda raped by Trump’s rioters nearly a month ago.

No sign of regret from Greene

The volatile state of the GOP is evident in the way Cheney has faced far more public criticism from his House colleagues than Greene, a proponent of a marginal conspiracy theory rooted in baseless claims according to which Democratic leaders are pedophiles.

Two officials familiar with his meeting with McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju Tuesday night that the GOP steering committee had not decided to remove Greene from his committee positions. There was no indication that Greene showed remorse for his extreme behavior, which included past support for the assassination of senior Democratic officials, 9/11 truth and claiming that the school massacre in Parkland, Fla. 2018 was a false flag hoax.

Top GOP senators, like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have defended Cheney. But underlining her growing estrangement from the GOP House caucus, a Trump sidekick, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz even traveled to Wyoming last week to join her and launch an effort to end her. career. The visit highlighted how Trump’s loyal base continues to dictate party leadership, even with the former president out of the White House and as some GOP power players hope his influence wears off.

Tensions will surely rise after the impeachment trial

The struggle that tears the GOP apart from the House – and alienates its members from their Senate brethren – comes at a particularly difficult time with Trump’s second impeachment trial set to begin in the Senate next week.

The former president’s team said on Tuesday they intend to re-emphasize Trump’s dangerous lies about a stolen election, as Democrats present graphic evidence of his insurgency that will annoy GOP senators.

Cheney Boosts GOP Support Behind The Scenes Ahead Of Critical Conference Meeting

The result of the drama involving Cheney and Greene are skirmishes in the broader search for GOP identity that will shape the preparation for the midterm races next year and weigh on the GOP’s chances of fielding candidates capable of. helping to take over Congress – a crucial consideration for Biden’s presidency.

Basically, the fight that tears the Republican Party apart every day is the one that sparked the moment Trump declared his candidacy for president in 2015 and led the GOP in a savage populist and nationalist race.

She was exacerbated by a generation of pro-Trump figures inspired to run for Congress by her success.

The choice before House Republicans was best captured by John Thune, one of the many Senate Republicans who spoke up after their leader McConnell dismissed Greene’s “wacky lies and conspiracy theories” as a “Cancer” for the party.

Thune argued Tuesday that “House Republicans are going to have to decide who they want to be.”

“Do they want to be the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility, free markets, peace by force and life, or do they want to be the party of conspiracy theories and QAnon, and I think that is? is the decision they made must face, ”Thune said.

Another mainstream Republican, the party’s 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney – who is now an outlier cut by the Trumpian tide – also weighed in.

“I think our long history as a party has shown that it is important for us to separate ourselves from the people who are the wacky weeds,” the Utah senator said. “If we don’t, then our opposition tries to mark us with their image and with their point of view, which has been detrimental to any party that does not.”

GOP is hostage to its most radical elements

The challenge for the Republican Party as a whole, however, is that there is plenty of evidence that the party’s militant base is not excited by small government, debt reduction, globalization and a hawkish foreign policy – four pillars of the Republican Party for decades between Ronald Reagan and Trump.

“We have to be aware that Marjorie Taylor Greene has a very large following in this country,” said Gabriel Sterling, one of the Republican election officials who firmly resisted Trump’s attempt to steal the Georgia election.

“I mean, she raised millions of dollars based on what she said and sometimes … being attacked by the ‘elites’ quote / no only raises her in terms of esteem. that she is viewed by many, many people, ”CNN’s Sterling Kate Bolduan said on Tuesday.

In many ways, this is a schism that the Republican Party in Washington caused itself, and which is already more destabilizing than the influxes of radical lawmakers brought to Washington by the Tea Party uprising and the Republican revolution. by New Gingrich who conquered the House in 1994..

Four years spent appeasing Trump’s crass character, unconstitutional power grabbers and appeals to lower instincts – in a Faustian pact that made a Supreme Court conservative – have effectively provided a pathway into the party for them. extremists who found inspiration in the former president. .

McConnell is now turning against die-hard Trumpists like the Greene and Capitol Hill insurgents. But his failure for weeks to condemn the former president’s assaults on electoral integrity helped create the atmosphere of madness Trump exploited when he incited the insurgency on Capitol Hill on Jan.6.

The strength of the pro-Trump faction within the GOP – at a time when more mainstream conservatives like McConnell would like to shed its influence – was underscored by the fact that a majority of Republicans in the House voted not to certify Biden’s electoral victory over the electoral fraud lies.

And even in the Senate, 45 Republicans – including McConnell – voted to support Senator Rand Paul’s attempt to declare unconstitutional the impeachment trial that begins next week.

The conundrum for the GOP at large is that the path to wealth, fame, and primary fundraising success lies in Trump sponsorship. McCarthy’s pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to meet the former president last week shows he believes his hope of winning the House is closer to Greene’s call than Cheney’s.

Senate Republicans, however, have long memories of past races wasted by extremist candidates. And Trump’s style of politics just cost the party two runoff elections in Georgia that handed the Senate over to the Democrats.

“Which side do I want to be on?” Liz Cheney or Marjorie Taylor Greene? former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, himself kicked out of the party for his opposition to Trump’s revolt, asked on “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer, summing up the electoral conundrum in the face of a GOP more and more ungovernable.

“Where do you think the party will probably grow bigger or where do I want to be as an elected representative? It’s pretty tough and that’s what the party is facing right now.”

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