Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday May 14, 2021
House Republicans oust a defiant Liz Cheney for her repudiation of Trump’s election lies
In a remarkable display of loyalty to Donald J. Trump, Republicans moved quickly to purge Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from House leadership on Wednesday, voting to oust their No. 3 for repudiating the former president’s election lies and holding him responsible for the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
The action, orchestrated by party leaders, came by voice vote during a raucous closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill that lasted just 15 minutes. Ms. Cheney made a defiant final speech rather than fight the ouster, warning that Republicans would follow Mr. Trump to their “destruction” by silencing dissent and refusing to reject the myth of a stolen election. She drew boos from her colleagues.
Ms. Cheney urged her colleagues not to “let the former president drag us backward,” according to a person familiar with the private comments.
“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” Ms. Cheney told reporters afterward.
Republican leaders, who portrayed Ms. Cheney’s removal as a way to unify the party, declined to allow members to register a position on it. When Representative Tom Reed of New York, a moderate who has announced his retirement from Congress, rose to ask whether a recorded vote was allowed, he was told no. Mr. McCarthy had told his colleagues that a voice vote was important to show “unity,” and that it was time to “move forward” and look toward winning back the House, according to a person familiar with the remarks.
When the time came, the ayes loudly drowned out the noes. The ouster was so swift that some Republicans were still trickling in to take their seats when Ms. Cheney strode up the center aisle to make her way to a bank of microphones and reporters waiting outside.
The action came the day after Ms. Cheney had delivered a broadside on the House floor against Mr. Trump and the party leaders working to oust her, accusing them of being complicit in undermining the democratic system by repeating his false claims that the 2020 election results were fraudulent.
“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” she said.
Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who helped lead the charge against Ms. Cheney, said his case boiled down to a simple idea: “Can’t have a conference chair who recites Democrat talking points.”
“It’s time to focus on stopping the Democrats and save the country,” he said.
Mr. Trump weighed in Wednesday morning with multiple statements attacking Ms. Cheney and cheering her removal, including one calling her “a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart.” (New York Times)