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Liz Cheney is Out, But Elise Stefanik Could Be Even Worse
GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney is out. You know it was the right decision when rabid anti-Trumpers like Adam Kinzinger side with her. Rather than accept her colleagues’ final overwhelming decision at 9 AM ET by voice vote on May 12th, Cheney rushed to get in front of reporters, saying, “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.” In a statement released shortly after her ouster, the outspoken President Trump wrote that “Liz is a Bitter, Horrible Human Being.” He got that right.
So, who’s next? The prevailing opinion still falls in favor of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Representatives Chip Roy (R-TX) and Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) are warning against a rush to decide by saying more discussion is needed given her past voting record. Joining Trump’s endorsement of Stefanik, however, other pro-America First advocates like Matt Gaetz are weighing in her favor. That’s powerful. They believe she has evolved since her early anti-Trump-agenda days and will put the Caucus role first. The big question is, will her constituents back home agree?
There’s an old saying in the GOP that deserves repeating given what the party is poised to do. “Republicans never miss an opportunity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” With Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on the verge of getting booted as Conference Chair of the House Republican caucus, the newest top pick for her replacement is perplexing, to say the least.
Cheney survived a similar move to oust her in February after a persistent and public bashing of President Trump for the January 6th Capitol event, voting for his impeachment, and mocking his insistence that the November 2020 vote was fraudulent. At that time, Republican leadership was hoping she’d have her say and move on. But she didn’t.
The latest rub was her recent op-ed in the anti-Conservative Washington Post. As if trashing her own Party wasn’t enough, whining about it to a liberal rag may have been a bridge too far.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) says that enough votes are now in place to rid the Party of Cheney’s toxicity on May 12, the date scheduled. (Two-thirds of Republicans in the House are needed.) In reality, this should have been done months ago.
Lest you think Republicans are on the verge of redeeming themselves, given Cheney’s low ratings and divisive rants, wait until you hear who is the leading contender positioned to take her place.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was one of the most outspoken Trump defenders during his impeachment trials. And, unlike Cheney, Stefanik emerged a darling of Trump supporters after defending his right to question the election results. She’s smart, determined, and positively vocal. When her name emerged as one of the top picks to replace Cheney, most Americans were relieved, including me. Then, upon further research, a few things emerged that changed my mind.
According to ABC News, in “2016, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., was one of a handful of prominent Republicans to skip the GOP convention in Ohio and later refused to mention former President Donald Trump’s name when asked if she would vote for him.” That was after having “initially endorsed and voted for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 GOP presidential primary”. That’s major, don’t you think?
Then again, at the Republican National Convention four years later, she called Trump “the only candidate who is capable of protecting the American dream.” So, which “Stefanik” would the GOP be getting?
Stefanik recently told Steven Bannon, Trump’s former adviser and host of Warroom, that her “vision is to run with support from the president and his coalition of voters.” That certainly sounds promising. And one can’t help but remember her impassioned defense of President Trump during both impeachment trials. It’s what endeared her to Trump supporters in the first place.
According to The Gateway Pundit, Trump himself has endorsed Stefanik. That’s strong. His statement reads, “Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool … We want leaders who believe in the Make America Great Again movement, and who will prioritize the values of America First. Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair.” Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time Trump picked the wrong person to have his back.
Still, one cannot forget that Stefanik was one of the 147 Republican members of Congress “who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election after pro-Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol on January 6” and also “objected to the Electoral College votes” in some of the contested states. That’s huge.
But, because Stefanik worked on the campaigns of anti-Trumpers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 2012, gaining their backing and respect, one has reason to be concerned. If it’s one thing the Republican Party does not need, it’s another long-serving RINO in a position of influence.
Reviewing Stefanik’s voting record unveils a troubling past throughout President Trump’s four years in office. Beyond troubling, to be honest. Certainly, one that begs further scrutiny.
The Red State reveals her astonishingly un-Conservative voting trend. According to them, Stefanik “voted against President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 … co-sponsored the amnesty-lite USA Act … voted against funding the border wall; voted to end Trump’s emergency declaration that served as a justification to divert federal funds to the construction of the border wall … opposed the Trump administration’s fight against Obamacare … voted to continue to permit the military to accept transsexual recruits in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act…a bill that also embedded Critical Race Theory into the military via the creation of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity offices in the Pentagon and subordinate headquarters. When President Trump vetoed the bill, she voted with the Democrats to override the veto … voted for the so-called Equality Act that strips churches and religious groups of the ability to refuse to hire people living a lifestyle that conflicts with their beliefs … voted against her own caucus to support a DC abortion law that….” Whew, that’s a helluva lot of wrong-headed votes to overlook.
Even more astonishing, compared to Cheney’s 92.9% pro-Trump policy votes during his Presidency, Stefanik did so only 77% of the time, according to the Washington Examiner.
Sure, she has a moderate base in New York to satisfy. It’s not inconsequential that her district went to Obama in 2008 and 2012. But, do Republicans really need a Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski in the third-highest position in the House? That’s insane. Even taking the gamble is just too risky given the current lack of confidence voters already have.
Saul Alinsky’s Tactic #2 is one that the GOP would be wise to follow at this critical moment in time: “never go outside the experience of your people.” If “America First” Republicans get another Liz Cheney in Elise Stefanik, it will take years to reverse the damage, and voters will not be the least forgiving.
The elections of 2022 will be difficult enough to win should the filibuster end and the HR-1 bill pass without steadfast leadership going forward in the Republican Party. Another RINO is the last thing we need.
While the country is on the brink of a communist revolution, a Liz Cheney wannabe is not in America’s best interest. It’s time for our own revolution, and Elise Stefanik is in no position to lead the charge.
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