Is this really “news”? If you vote to impeach a president from your own party, you’re basically committed to never supporting him again.
…although one shouldn’t underestimate the average Republican politician’s ability to reconcile himself to supporting Trump, whatever his misgivings about the former president may be. John Boehner is scathing in his new book about Trump’s role on January 6, writing that he “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullsh*t he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November… He claimed voter fraud without any evidence, and repeated those claims, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters and ultimately betraying that trust.” When Boehner was asked this week whom he voted for in November, though, he said: Trump, of course.
When he was asked yesterday by Jake Tapper whether he might vote for Trump again in 2024, he … dodged on grounds that the question was hypothetical.
Which, actually, was bolder than Mitch McConnell’s answer to the same question in February. Not long after he excoriated Trump for the insurrection in a speech following the end of the Senate’s impeachment trial, Cocaine Mitch reassured Fox that he’d “absolutely” support Trump for president if he’s nominated again three years from now.
Just this week, in fact, we saw another prominent demonstration of how hard it is for a Republican who’s been critical of Trump to stay critical of him. So, yeah, it is newsy when an antagonist sticks to her guns. Watch, then read on.
CAVUTO: If Donald Trump were the 2024 nominee, would you support him?
CHENEY: I would not. pic.twitter.com/fJ52M0oVwM
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) April 14, 2021
She’s in better shape politically than I expected her to be after making an enemy of Trump. She raised $1.54 million in the first quarter of this year, which isn’t Marjorie Taylor Greene money but is five times more than Cheney raised during the same period two years ago. She also had a big win locally in Wyoming last month against the Trumps, who were angling to make it easier to primary her:
Wyoming lawmakers rejected a measure that would have required candidates to win a majority of votes in primary elections to avoid runoffs — a change endorsed by Donald Trump Jr. in his campaign to undermine Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
The state Senate defeated the proposal with a 15-14 vote Wednesday after lawmakers raised concerns over the cost of adding more elections and the burden that doing so would put on voters and local officials…
In her first run for U.S. House in 2016, Cheney won a nine-way Republican primary with just short of 40% of the vote while the runner-up got 22%.
Figure Cheney tops out in the primary next summer at 35-40 percent with the rest of the vote split among MAGA candidates various and sundry. In a runoff system, she’s a dead duck. The populists would unite behind the Trump-approved Not Cheney candidate. In the first-past-the-post system we actually have, she stands a chance of winning in a splintered field. The Trumps will need to create a runoff dynamic the old-fashioned way, by handpicking one candidate among Cheney’s challengers and designating them as the MAGA favorite. Unite the populist base behind that person from the start and you don’t need a runoff to create a “Cheney vs. Not Cheney” race.
I think it’s possible, and maybe likely, that Trump will whittle his targets for revenge in next year’s primaries down to a select few instead of everyone who crossed him on impeachment. No doubt some money will be spent and endorsements will be made against all the pro-impeachment Republicans but some will get the personal treatment more than others. I suspect Cheney and Brian Kemp will each see personal visits by Trump himself to their jurisdictions to rally voters against them. I don’t see how she survives that. But it’s always foolish to underestimate the Cheneys.
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