Within moments of the announcement by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) that she would vote to impeach Donald Trump, the usual suspects pulled hamstrings as they rushed to throw Cheney as far under the bus as they could. From disgruntled Republican lawmakers to political pundits, the Wyoming congresswoman became persona non grata — bigly.
Not among those doing the throwing was Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
A favorite among conservatives, Crenshaw not only refused to participate in the frenzied attack on Liz Cheney; he forcefully defended her. “We can disagree without tearing each other apart,” tweeted the former Navy SEAL who lost his right eye to an improvised explosive device in the War in Afghanistan.
“Let’s get some truth on the record: @Liz_Cheney has a hell of a lot more backbone than most, & is a principled leader with a fierce intellect. She will continue to be a much-needed leader in the conference, with my full support.
“We can disagree without tearing each other apart.”
Novel idea. Disagreeing without attempting to destroy people on your side with whom you disagree. Problem is, that has been a staple of the Republican Party for four years.
Let’s get some truth on the record: @Liz_Cheney has a hell of a lot more backbone than most, & is a principled leader with a fierce intellect. She will continue to be a much needed leader in the conference, with my full support.
We can disagree without tearing eachother apart. https://t.co/yMLary1kLj
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) January 13, 2021
To Crenshaw’s point, it stands to reason — in my mind, at least — that a united Republican Party would fare better moving forward against a Democrat Party intent on destroying America as we know it, than would a fractious Republican Party.
Cheney earlier told Politico’s Congressional reporter Melanie Zanona that she’s “not going anywhere,” amid calls for her resignation — and worse.
“I’m not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience. It’s one where there are different views in our conference.”
“Different views in our conference” has not been the chosen (accepted) coin of the Republican realm over the last four years.
So how did Crenshaw’s support of Cheney’s right to vote to impeach Trump — based on her “conscience,” she said, although Crenshaw disagreed with her vote — play among staunch supporters of President Trump? Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is a good place to start.
Gaetz, who forcefully and emotionally called out the sheer hypocrisy of House Democrats during Impeaching Hearing Charade 2.0 on Wednesday was not happy with Crenshaw for defending Cheney.
“With all due respect to Rep. Crenshaw,” Gaetz tweeted, “this is a minority view within the minority party.”
From what I saw as the farcical impeachment hearing played out on Wednesday, Gaetz was correct. But that was not Crenshaw’s point. On the contrary, Crenshaw suggested, regardless of how “minority” Cheney’s view might have been, why is it required that she be thrown under the bus for voting her conscience? Sounds a bit, oh, Democrat Party, to me.
NEW: Top House Republican allies of Trump are circulating a petition demanding that House Conference Chair Liz Cheney resign from her leadership position over her support for Trump's impeachment. https://t.co/9irVv0diuE
— Axios (@axios) January 13, 2021
As reported by Axios:
Top allies of President Trump in the House Republican conference circulated a petition on Wednesday demanding that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) resign from her leadership position over her support for Trump’s impeachment.
Cheney, who as GOP conference chair is the third-ranking House Republican, publicly announced her support for impeaching President Trump on Tuesday, saying there has “never been a greater betrayal” by a president than his incitement of the Capitol siege.
The petition states that Cheney’s support for impeachment has “been used multiple times by Democrats as justification” for the process.
Cheney’s “personal position on issues does not reflect that of the majority of the Republican Conference and has brought the Conference into disrepute and produced discord,” the petition states.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who remains one of Trump’s most loyal allies, told reporters on Wednesday that House Republicans “ought to vote on” whether to keep Cheney as conference chair.
As reported by The New York Times on Wednesday, the following nine Republican congressmen joined Liz Cheney in voting in favor of impeaching Trump.
Rep. John Katco (NY)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Rep. Fred Upton (MI)
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)
Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA)
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (OH)
Rep. Peter Meijer (MI)
Rep. Tom Rice (SC)
Rep. David Valadao (CA)
Crenshaw told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Thursday, January 7 — the day after the Capitol riot — that “many members of Congress” and “many members of the media” told Trumper supporters “this is our time to fight,” and “lied” that “January 6 was going to be this big solution for election integrity.” “It never was going to be,” he said. “That was just some time for some opportunistic politicians to get five minutes of time on the floor.”
“It was never going to solve anything,” he said. “It was always unconstitutional.”
Like it or not, Crenshaw was right.
As I wrote, also the day after the Capitol riot, in an article titled Vice President Mike Pence Commits ‘Unforgivable Sin’ of Adhering to U.S. Constitution, Donald Trump pressured Mike Pence to take an unconstitutional action — to “reject fraudulently-chosen electors” — which he could not do, per the 12th Amendment and the Elector Count Act of 1887.
“Thomas Jefferson and John Adams would disagree with you,” wrote one commenter, to which I responded, “They would be wrong — today.” 218 years ago, Jefferson and Adams would have been right — but not in 2021.
The bottom line.
I understand the frustration of some “of us” with Liz Cheney, along with other House Republicans who voted in support of impeaching President Trump. I share that frustration, as part of a greater disgust with Nancy Pelosi and her obsessive vendetta against Trump.
So here’s the conundrum:
Do we now throw Dan Crenshaw under the bus for refusing to throw Liz Cheney under the bus — many conservative political pundits were singing Cheney’s praises a year ago, by the way — or do we agree with Crenshaw, who, despite his disagreement with Cheney over her vote to impeach, believes a cohesive Republican Party would be better equipped to do battle with the majority Democrats over at least the next two years than would be a fractious GOP that throws its members under the bus who “fall out of line” from time to time?