Sunday is the Super Bowl.
Once thought of as an unofficial holiday in the United States (and around the world?), the NFL’s annual championship game no doubt will entice millions of interested fans to tune-in. It’s something to do on the first Sunday in February when many are still trapped in the unrelenting grip of winter, global climate change again failing to liberate us from our icy habitat. Of course, Dr. Anthony Fauci recommended cancelling all traditional big game gatherings under the auspices of “controlling the spread” this year, but such hysteria is getting a little old, isn’t it? I haven’t looked lately, but the NFL’s ratings were down significantly earlier this season as outspoken liberal “woke” players joined colleagues in practically all major pro sports to give lip service to Black Lives Matter and other leftwing causes that portend to “End racism” or “Promote equality” or “Demand Social Justice”. The language of the left is easy to mimic and simply translated is -- “Don’t vote for Donald Trump and don’t complain if your free speech is shouted down, you intolerant cretin!” Yet I’m guessing there will be a huge audience for Sunday’s game. Even if you don’t have a rooting interest in either team, you probably still will find yourself shouting at the screen whenever one of the players, coaches or referees does something idiotic. It’s a human reaction to point out inanity. House Republicans did something ill-advised and foolish this week as well, but nary a shout of protest was heard from a majority of establishment party members. Juliegrace Brufke, Mike Lillis and Scott Wong reported at The Hill:
“The establishment wing of the GOP won a rare and dramatic victory Wednesday night when Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) beat back an attempt by Donald Trump’s staunchest allies to knock her from power as retribution for voting to impeach the former president just three weeks earlier. “The 145-61 vote in favor of keeping Cheney in leadership, conducted by secret ballot, followed a marathon closed-door ‘family discussion’ in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center, where dozens of House Republicans lined up to voice their frustrations with the Wyoming representative, the most powerful GOP woman in Congress, and called for her removal as conference chair, a role that entails leading the party’s messaging efforts. “The vote was the latest — and most dramatic — manifestation of the civil war raging within the GOP over the direction the party should take in the post-Trump era, a debate that has become increasingly contentious following the deadly attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
First off, I take umbrage with the accuracy and gist of the Hill writers’ reporting. GOP Establishment victories aren’t rare at all on capitol hill. If anything, it’s the other way around -- it’s uncommon indeed when conservatives are able to muster the organization, numbers and fortitude to defeat the leadership in either chamber.
The daughter of George W. Bush’s vice president, Liz Cheney is about as establishment as they come in Washington. If she’d been defeated, that would’ve been the deed to crow about. This week’s real headline should’ve read, “Ho hum, Cheney beats ouster effort; the establishment wins again.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy allegedly made a passionate speech in Cheney’s defense during the intra-caucus meeting before Liz’s fate was decided.
I wasn’t there, but loosely interpreted, McCarthy’s script probably said something like, “Yeah, this is a secret ballot, but if my pal from Wyoming goes down in flames, I’m gonna find out who voted to can her and then sic the dogs on that moron. We ruling elites protect two things: our rears, and our own. Since Cheney qualifies under both categories, there ain’t no way she’s losing this one. Get in line or get out!”
It’s arguable conservatives never had a chance to knock off Cheney in the first place. Rep. Jim Jordan also spoke at the pre-vote powwow, suggesting Cheney shouldn’t be forced to relinquish her House seat but neither should she retain her leadership position when 96 percent of the caucus voted the opposite way. Jordan was right. This wasn’t just a run of the mill survey on the type of coffee members prefer before a particularly non-controversial procedural matter. It was a sounding board for how Republicans feel about the Democrats’ all-inclusive witch hunt of the most effective party president since… Ronald Reagan?
I know someone who lives in Wyoming and they indicated the grassroots feeling against Cheney is extremely strong out there. The establishment baron supposedly doesn’t spend much, if any, time in her large district, either. So much for representing the will of the people in her state. It’s obvious Liz didn’t take kindly to what Trump said about the Bush/Cheney war party foreign policy and advocacy for neoconservative perpetual military mobilization. She held a grudge and found a means to capitalize on it.
There may not actually be a “civil war” within the Republican caucus -- yet -- but there will be if the leadership keeps ignoring the views of the grassroots. As Jeffrey Lord eloquently explained last week at The American Spectator, the dust-up between the old Bush people and today’s Trump backers is just the latest iteration of the conflict between the establishment and conservatives that’s been raging since Barry Goldwater won the party presidential nomination in the early 60’s.
Meanwhile, Democrats took issue with conservatives’ attempt to demote Cheney while failing to insist on a complete committee purge of controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. For her part, Greene apologized for her statements and openly disavowed QAnon, but it wasn’t enough to satiate the liberal majority party. They wanted a scalp. So much for free speech.
Here’s thinking that the grassroots would prefer forgiving Greene to keeping Cheney in her leadership post. Saying something kind of nutty in the past versus actively undermining the people you represent (as Cheney consistently does in the House) are two completely different animals. Liz saw an opportunity to dig at Trump when the whole world was rushing to rip their pound of flesh -- and she took it.
The people at home could only look on and wonder about where she stands -- for herself, or the voters.
Watching something stupid will always engender a response from those observing the action, even if it’s on the couch during the Super Bowl or quizzically wondering why the House Republican caucus opted to allow a corrupted establishmentarian like Liz Cheney to remain in her leadership position. Republicans will not unite until they see themselves being represented at the highest levels.
It ain’t happening under the current GOP team captains on the field.
Marjorie Taylor Greene