Liz Cheney, under attack by many of her Republican colleagues, could lose her leadership post.
The Wyoming congresswoman knew she was defying the base of her party by voting for President Trump’s impeachment, and she is fighting back.
Now comes a very different kind of battle in the House. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the newly elected Georgia congresswoman, is facing an intense backlash for incendiary Facebook posts before she entered politics.
As first reported by CNN, Greene, an adherent of Q’Anon, liked a comment that said the fastest way to remove Nancy Pelosi was with a “bullet to the head.” Greene also agreed that FBI agents should be executed as part of the “Deep State.”
What’s more, when Greene wrote about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Iran nuclear deal, a commenter said: “Now do we get to hang them?? Meaning H & O???” Greene replied: “Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient.”
The reaction of the leadership? House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he’d have a talk with Greene.
In fairness, McCarthy also opposes ousting Cheney from her No. 3 leadership position. He’s a guy trying to hold together a fractured caucus. But he expressed unhappiness that Cheney hadn’t confided her impeachment position in advance.
For her part, Greene released a statement:
“Over the years, I’ve had teams of people manage my pages. Many posts have been liked. Many posts have been shared. Some did not represent my views. Especially the ones that CNN is about to spread across the Internet.”
No expression of horror, no denunciation of the death threats. Just that some of what was posted in her name may have been written by others.
Pelosi, naturally, was harshly critical. “What I’m concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, who is willing to overlook, ignore those statements,” she told reporters yesterday.
In a fundamental way, the two women represent opposite wings of the GOP in the post-Trump era.
As the former vice president’s daughter, Cheney has long been at odds with Trump, who ran against the Bush administration’s foreign policy. But it took the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol for the congresswoman to make such a clean break.
Anti-Cheney Republicans claim they have commitments from 115 of their 211 members to boot her from the leadership, though they haven’t released a list. For them, voting to oust Trump is an unforgivable offense that should be punished. And their argument–that Cheney is out of step with the caucus–may be true, given Trump’s hold on the party.
Yet the party seems in no rush to penalize Greene. A Democratic member, Jimmy Gomez, has called for her to be expelled from the House. Greene condemned the Capitol violence and, without evidence, blamed “Antifa/BLM terrorism,” and slammed what she called their “accomplices”: Vice President Harris, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The Georgia lawmaker is embroiled in other controversies. CNN unearthed video from last year showing Greene following Parkland High School shooting survivor David Hogg as he walked to the Capitol to lobby for gun control. She is seen asking him a series of questions and then saying “he’s a coward.”
Earlier this week, Greene had a sheriff’s deputy eject a local news crew from a town hall after a reporter tried to ask a question, even though the media had been invited and the station had credentials for the event.
So far, at least, I haven’t seen any conservatives on the air defending Greene as she is denounced by liberal commentators. The Republican Party is in a fierce fight for the future as its two factions vie for supremacy in the wake of the Trump years. The treatment of Cheney and Greene will go a long way toward resolving that question.