House Republicans want to punish each other for not loving Trump enough


Republicans have taken stronger action against those who voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection than they have against members like Marjorie Taylor Greene, a known bigot who has called for violence against Democrats.

In a sign Republicans have no intention of leaving Donald Trump in the rearview mirror, GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump for inciting a  deadly insurrection have faced more criticism within the party than a freshman lawmaker with a long rap sheet of violent and bigoted comments.

At least four of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump have faced punishment from state Republican parties, or in the case of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), face being removed from a leadership role within the House GOP.

Three GOP lawmakers — Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Tom Rice of South Carolina, and Dan Newhouse of Washington — were all censured by either state and local Republican parties for voting to impeach Trump.

House Republicans have also publicly decried Cheney — who currently serves in the No. 3 leadership spot. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) went as far as to go to Cheney's home state of Wyoming to hold a rally to denounce her.

Other Republicans have backed Gaetz's effort to remove Cheney from leadership.

"As House Republican Conference Chair, Rep Cheney's decision to impeach the president days before he leaves office is inexcusable. We need a leader who represents the majority of the conference. She needs to step down," Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) tweeted after the impeachment vote.

Meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has faced no such punishment, even after comments surfaced last week in which Greene called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be executed, said the school shootings were "false flag" operations meant to build support for gun control, and pushed an antisemitic conspiracy theory that a deadly 2018 wildfire in California was started by a space laser owned by Jewish billionaires.

Few Republicans have spoken out about Greene's bigoted and violent remarks.

In fact, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has had harsher words for Cheney than for Greene. In late January, McCarthy said he had "concerns" over Cheney's vote to impeach Trump.

"She can have a difference of opinion, but the one thing if we're going to lead within the conference, we should work together on that as a whole conference because we're representative of that conference," McCarthy said in an interview with former Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren.

"I do think she has a lot of questions she has to answer to the conference," he added.

As for Greene, McCarthy has said he plans to sit down with her this week, though it's unclear what he will say to her or what punishment he will hand down, if any.

Greene claims to have the full support of Trump and said that she plans to meet with Trump in person soon — two points that could make it hard for McCarthy to punish Greene if he is reluctant to anger Trump or go against his wishes.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a group of right-wing, Trump-defending House Republicans will wage an effort to oust Cheney from her role as chair of the House Republican conference.

But Democrats have now given McCarthy an ultimatum: He has three days to remove Greene from her committees or Democrats will bring the issue to the House floor.

Committee revocation is just the first step that Democrats plan to take against Greene.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) introduced legislation last week to expel Greene from the House — a move that requires a two-thirds vote of the chamber. That means Republicans will be forced to go on record about whether they find it acceptable to serve with someone who pushes dangerous conspiracy theories and has a history of making overtly racist, antisemitic, and Islamophobic comments.

If they do not vote to punish or condemn Greene for her violent and antisemitic comments, it will be a 180-degree turn from Republican behavior in 2019, when the party tried to force Democrats to denounce Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over her criticism of Israel.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.