Is the GOP like the sinking Titanic?
The analogy is an increasingly credible one amid the news that Rep. Liz Cheney is not only almost certainly going to be dumped from her House leadership role, but is going to be fired with the support of the House Minority leader.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed on Sunday that he backs Rep. Elise Stefanik for the role of House Republican conference chair, as Rep. Liz Cheney faces a vote to oust her from the influential GOP leadership post.
“Yes, I do,” McCarthy told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo when asked if he supports the New York Republican for the No. 3 role in the House Republican conference. Stefanik thanked McCarthy for his support in a tweet later Sunday.
CNN reported last week that McCarthy has been privately supporting Stefanik to replace Cheney, and the No. 2 member of House Republican leadership, Rep. Steve Scalise, publicly endorsed Stefanik’s bid for the job on Tuesday.
Stefanik has signaled to some of her colleagues that if she replaces Cheney, she plans to stay in leadership and as chair of the House GOP Conference only through 2022, wanting to pursue the top GOP job on the House Education and Labor Committee next Congress, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks. The vote on the position could come as early as Wednesday.
McCarthy argued the impending vote to oust Cheney, who represents Wyoming, is as an opportunity for the party to choose the most effective leader to take on the Biden administration’s agenda.
“Everyone in leadership serves at the pleasure of the conference and as you know, there’s a lot at stake. Democrats are destroying the nation,” McCarthy said, citing immigration issues and Friday’s less-than-satisfactory jobs report as top concerns.
“That’s why we will have a vote next week and we want to be united and looking – moving forward and I think that’s what will take place,” he added.
Asked if Cheney’s stance against former President Donald Trump hinders her from delivering the party’s message, McCarthy said, “No, any member can take whatever position they believe in,” but he went on to suggest that a leadership role is different than rank-and-file membership.
“What we are talking about, it’s a position in leadership. We are in one of our biggest battles ever for this nation and the direction, whether this century will be ours. As conference chair, you have one of the most critical jobs of the messenger going forward,” he explained.
As even a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli on the shelf at Safeway knows, that is bull excretion.
Cheney is number one on former President Donald Trump’s political hit list since she is not backing what has widely become known as The Big Lie Trump continues to repeat: that he won the election and it was stolen from him by Joe Biden and the Democrats. Cheney is basically taking the same position McCarthy did after the January 6th insurrection. McCarthy, widely viewed as drooling at the prospect of becoming House Speaker in the 2022 elections, has done an about face in his original comments. Cheney hasn’t.
Plus, according to a report, Cheney was the secret organizer of a bombshell Washington Post op-ed signed by former defense secretaries to stop Trump from using the military to overturn the election results.
Today, Adam Kinzinger, one of the 10 GOP House members to vote to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection and who’s most assuredly on Trump’s political hit list, compared the GOP to the Titanic:
When asked about the intraparty conflict by host John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Kinzinger said the GOP is “in the middle of this slow sink.”
“Right now, it’s basically the Titanic. We’re like, you know, in the middle of this slow sink. We have a band playing on the deck telling everybody it’s fine. And meanwhile, as I’ve said, you know, Donald Trump’s running around trying to find women’s clothing and get on the first lifeboat,” Kinzger said.
“And I think there’s a few of us that are just saying, ‘Guys, this is not good,’ not just for the future of the party, but this is not good for the future of this country,” he added.
Kinzinger also zeroed in on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) comments regarding former President Trump’s role in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, adding that Cheney has been consistent.
“Liz Cheney is saying exactly what Kevin McCarthy said the day of the insurrection. She’s just consistently been saying it. And a few weeks later, Kevin McCarthy changed to attacking other people,” Kinzinger said.
Whether the GOP goes down like the Titanic remains to be seen — but it has been hit by and is now embedded in a political iceberg named Donald Trump.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.