Have you heard? Republicans are engaged in a civil war. If you don’t believe that, ask Rep. Adam Kinzinger. Ask Liz Cheney. Ask the 100 or so former Republican elites who wrote a letter warning the current Republican leadership that they would leave the party if the GOP persists in supporting Trump, or else — or else they’d hold their breath for a very long, long time and pout because Republicans won’t do away with the former president.
But, aside from the aforementioned apostates, who are the combatants in this “civil war”? The Republican National Committee — where you’d expect to find at least one or two rebels — has been a font of unity. Donations to the party and to individual candidates have never been higher.
So if the GOP leadership is united, and most donors are united. just who the hell is there to be on the other side of this “civil war”?
Cheney was voted out of her leadership position because she doesn’t believe in “The Big Lie” about the election — at least, that’s what most of the media would have us believe. More to the point, Cheney refused to stick to the “unity” narrative being promoted by the rest of the party. She was becoming a media lightning rod and a Democratic Party example of “what is wrong” with the GOP.
At a moment in history when it was absolutely essential for the Republican leadership to present a united front to the voters, Cheney failed. She went off the reservation in pursuit of a personal quest to assuage her conscience. For that, she had to go.
If Cheney had been some backbench House member, her heresy could have been tolerated. A political party that can stomach a Marjorie Taylor Green can certainly absorb a Liz Cheney. But Cheney’s very public disavowal of the party leader while a member of the leadership raised the question: “Well, if she feels like that, why not resign her leadership position and quit the party?” She didn’t, so she was made to walk the plank.
How badly does the media want there to be a Republican civil war? The Israelis and Palestinians are getting close to war with dozens of people already killed, but that topic wasn’t important enough for CNN to cover. War is not as important as Liz Cheney.
However, the biggest international news story was not urgent enough to receive any mention on “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Cuomo Prime Time” or the top hour of “CNN Tonight,” according to Grabien transcripts. Host Don Lemon brought on Fareed Zakaria to discuss the violence in his second hour.
Instead, all three anchors spent at least half of their hour-long programs showering the “profile in courage” that is Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who made a speech on the House floor on the eve of her expected removal from GOP leadership.
Collectively, they spent over 90 minutes Tuesday night on the Cheney obsession, with zero minutes on Israel in the 8, 9 and 10 p.m. ET hours.
Every GOP heretic is given a megaphone to make it seem as if Republicans are at loggerheads over Trump, over the election — over everything. The truth is a lot more prosaic. Even though Trump’s popularity appears to be slipping at the moment, almost every Republican mentioned as a possible 2024 candidate is a Trump loyalist.
And yet, the myth of a GOP civil war persists. Republicans should hope that the delusional Democrats continue to believe in the myth and not the reality. It will make the looks on their faces all the sweeter when they wake up the day after the 2022 election and find themselves in the minority in Congress again.