Statements by two congresswomen have left their fellow party members in a dilemma
The controversy within the ranks of the Republican Party became particularly evident this week with the controversy surrounding lawmakers Liz Cheney and Marjorie Taylor Green, two political figures who have little in common besides a working address.
Republicans in the House were already debating how to respond to Cheney’s decision to vote to impeach Donald Trump when CNN reported that Green had posted posts on the Web supporting calls for violence against Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was the most prominent figure among the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on sedition charges related to the Capitol storming.
Green, first elected to Congress from Georgia in the November election, has been a vocal defender of Trump and has criticized Democrats on issues ranging from the impeachment vote to installing metal detectors at the entrance to the House of Representatives. In addition, even on the campaign trail, she spoke out in support of the conspiracy theory of QAnon.
Following the CNN report, Green posted a tweet in which she noted that some of her social media posts “don’t reflect her beliefs.” She also accused the network of bias against her.
According to Doug Hay, a former aide to Eric Cantor, who once served as House Republican majority leader, saying if Republicans come out against Cheney but don’t rebuke Green, “it will take a very detailed explanation of what they hope to accomplish now and in the coming years.”
As Hay notes, privately, many Republicans admit they are tired of Trump, his aggressive rhetoric, nepotism “and other things they would never forgive Obama or Clinton for.”
Tensions between Cheney and some of her fellow conservatives could escalate Thursday, thanks to a speech by Republican Congressman Matt Getz in her home state of Wyoming regarding her position on impeachment.
“I think we have to embrace the spirit and style of President Trump,” Getz told reporters Monday.
Republicans are expected to discuss Cheney’s action during a “family” meeting, as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy put it this week. But removing the 54-year-old congresswoman from office would require a multi-step process, and some Republican congressional sources have expressed doubt that enough support would be gathered to do so.
Cheney, who declined to be interviewed, backed Trump’s impeachment after the Republican leadership decided not to insist on voting against it.
McCarthy, though he said in an interview with Fox News that the party is tolerant of dissent, has recently criticized Cheney for his unwillingness to be a team player.
“I believe Cheney will continue to come under a barrage of fire from within,” notes Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
That said, he thinks Cheney’s “bold words” could turn in her favor in the long run, especially if Trump’s popularity fades.
As for Cheney herself, she has defended her position forcefully, telling reporters, “I’m not going anywhere.”