Republicans and Cheney Fight Each Other Instead of Democrats

Why is it important to replace someone who says the wrong things with someone who says the right things but votes the wrong way?

Democrats are in the middle of handing the Republicans a 2022 victory on a silver platter and Republicans are trying to kick it out of their hands. Biden demanded $6 trillion in spending and taxes within his first 100 days, ICE is playing people Jenga in “hospitality centers” at the border, the messaging on masks and vaccines is a disaster, people are resigning faster than departments can replace them, and … the GOP is arguing who gets to sit on the conference chair golden throne.

Their choices for conference chair are between Liz Cheney, a woman with political family baggage who alienates the base and her own party members with rhetoric seen as hostile to Trump, and Elise Stefanik (because it has to be a woman, apparently), whose voting record is hostile to Trump’s policy on lower taxation, border wall funding, and pro-life issues. The latter woman can fundraise better than the former woman so congressional Republicans will pretend that rhetoric counts more than actual votes. Actual voting apparently doesn’t matter, fundraising is what matters.

I don’t have a dog in this power-jockeying slap fight, but if I did, it wouldn’t be either woman.

Let’s roll the tape:

Stefanik voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. How does any conservative, or Republican for that matter, vote against one of the more important accomplishments from the Trump administration?

Stefanik voted to block Trump’s ban on serving as openly transgender in the military and for those dealing with gender dysphoria to be cleared as medically stable.

Stefanik voted for HR 271 to “Condemn the Trump Administration’s Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans’ Health Care.”

Stefanik voted in favor of the Climate Action Now Act, described as “This bill requires the President to develop and update annually a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

Stefanik voted against a disapproval resolution of D.C.’s abortion bill:

The House is voted on a disapproval resolution (H.J. Res. 43) related to the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, which was passed by the District of Columbia Council in January. Introduced by Diane Black (R-TN), the resolution would ensure pro-life individuals and organizations in the District of Columbia would not be forced to violate their religious beliefs or organizational missions.

Stefanik voted in favor or the Equality Act, a piece of legislation that mandates “baking the cake” by would eliminating further victories like that of Masterpiece Cakeshop; force medical professionals to administer care not dictate by science but by ideological decree, end girls’ sports, and more. (The Times-Union noted that she voted for it in 2019 before voting against it in February without explanation.)

Stefanik voted six times for government funding with no border wall: H.J. Res. 1 funded DHS without money for a border wall: H.J. Res. 27, H.J. Res. 28 , H.J. Res. 31, H.R. 268, and H.R. 648. She also voted to end Trump’s emergency declaration regarding border wall funding and to override Trump’s border wall funding.

Stefanik voted an awful lot against Trump during his term, with a 77% scoring:

Heritage ranked her session score at 56%:

The besieged Club for Growth has her 2019 score at 40 and her lifetime score at 35:

Club for Growth came out against Stefanik as GOP Conference Chair, saying: “"Elise Stefanik is NOT a good spokesperson for the House Republican Conference," the group tweeted. "She is a liberal with a 35% CFGF lifetime rating, 4th worst in the House GOP. House Republicans should find a conservative to lead messaging and win back the House Majority."

Stefanik’s a former Paul Ryan adviser who changed her approach to vocal supporting Trump. Becoming the anti-Cheney is good positioning to advancing up the ranks of House Republicans.

This isn’t personal, I’m not picking on Elise Stefanik and I sincerely hope no actual patriot believes that merely pointing out the record of an elected official is beyond our authority as citizens. I’m just confused as to why some of the most conservative congressional members think it’s important to replace someone who says the wrong things with someone who says the right things but votes the wrong way. Do they not have anyone in their conference who can both say the right things and vote the right way?

As far as Cheney, she supported Trump’s tax cuts and, with few exceptions, voted to the right of Stefanik on these issues.

Cheney had no recorded vote on overriding Trump’s border wall funding;

Five Thirty-Eight shows Cheney voting more often with Trump than Stefanik did:

Heritage ranked Cheney’s score for the same period as 98%:

Club for Growth score Cheney at 65:

It’s not a debate that Cheney has the more conservative voting record of the two. Unfortunately, it gets covered up with messaging like this:

You can believe that there was and is voter fraud (someone illegally registered to vote at my address last election so I’ll skip the lectures) and also either question or disbelieve whether or not there was enough fraud in our decentralized-for-a-purpose system to steal the entire election. Not every Republican lands on the same square when this topic arises and nuance is not a divorce-worthy disagreement — but tone could change this. There is a way to state this without seeming to attack voters who, quite honestly, aren’t to blame here.

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Why help Democrats sidestep the consequence of their previous four years’s harangue on a stolen 2016 election? Who was the party that elections can’t be trusted and the system is broken for an entire presidential term? It wasn’t Republicans and it sure as heck wasn’t Trump. Why blame voters — or even fellow congressional members — for questioning a system that covered up FISA abuse that enabled officials in positions of trust motivated to spy on Americans because of disparate positions on policy?

You’re damn right Americans are suspicious of our government; it’s woven into our American DNA and is the spark for checks and balances. Adding the documented abuse of authority demonstrated by the Democrat administration preceding Trump was a weight too much to bear for the fragile trust Americans had for their government.

Conservative and Republican voters want their elected officials to act as their champion, their gladiator. Cheney is sticking to speaking her conscience, but if she wanted to do so in a way that guaranteed her ascension to greater power, she wouldn’t drive away the grassroots base that made up the bulk of the fundraising last election cycle. Some think she’s playing the long game, betting that Trump’s influence will fade and when populism wanes she’ll be left to call the shots. That is, if she can keep her seat:

This is the risk of going too hard.

The brave thing for Cheney to do right now would be to just state that she dislikes Trump but his policies were right for America, which is why she voted for the most of the time in the House. You can disagree with Trump without seeming to attack your base and even if Cheney is playing the long game, voters have an equally long memory, and populism isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Republican chances for a future majority may go away, however, if Republicans don’t show voters that they’re willing to fight harder for them than they are with each other over control.