House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is pushing Rep. Liz Cheney out of her leadership post for saying almost exactly what he said after the Trump-fueled attack on Capitol Hill on January 6. He doesn’t disagree with her. He wants to replace her because he is a coward and doesn’t have the courage to stand for the truth.
After the deadly insurrection, Cheney said: “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
The next day, on the floor of the House, McCarthy said he would not vote for impeachment, but added this: “The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action of President Trump.”
Both statements sound pretty similar, which makes McCarthy’s announcement over the weekend that he was backing New York Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney all the more ironic.
In reality, Cheney is being pushed out from her post as Republican conference chair because she has been insufficiently loyal to Trump and willing to speak out on it. And McCarthy is allowing it all and even spurring it behind the scenes because, uh, Cheney isn’t focused enough on the GOP message. Or something.
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R), a regular Trump critic within the party, took note of the hypocrisy on Sunday during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation”:
“Liz Cheney is saying exactly what Kevin McCarthy said the day of the insurrection. She has just consistently been saying it. A few weeks later, Kevin McCarthy changed to attacking other people. I think what the reality is, as a party, we need to have an internal look and a full accounting as to what led to January 6. Right now it is basically the Titanic. We’re in the middle of this slow sink,” Kinzinger said, before adding:
“Right now, it’s basically the Titanic. We’re like, you know, in this 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,” Kinzinger said.
Why did McCarthy flip-flop? Well, because he is a coward.
The simple fact is this: Liz Cheney and Kevin McCarthy were in a very similar place about Trump and the January 6 attack in the immediate aftermath of the riot. McCarthy flip-flopped to appease the Trump base and his QAnon colleagues. Cheney didn’t, and she will be punished. Because Kevin Mccarthy is a coward.