Wednesday Rep. Liz Cheney, in a cowardly voice vote so no one would have to take responsibility for their vote, was bounced from the Republican House leadership team. The remaining House GOP leadership and it seems the immediately former president are backing New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik for the number three leadership slot that Cheney held.
Stefanik is telegenic, sharp, and made a good name for herself during last year’s impeachment hearings. But to protect her seat in liberal New York she does not vote consistently conservative. Far from it. In fact, her voting record is well to the left of Mitt Romney and Stefanik is even more liberal than Lisa Murkowski according to the American Conservative Union. This may be news to some of you who supposed the Trump Republican Party was always conservative. Nope. The Trump Republican Party is always about Trump.
Liz Cheney lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 78%
Elise Stefanik lifetime ACU rating: 44%
Cheney is more conservative, but Stefanik is more willing to lie to further her political career.
Simple as that. https://t.co/BuW044FLH4
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) May 10, 2021
FNC: “Interestingly, Stefanik has a far less conservative voting record than Cheney, who represents deep-red Wyoming. The conservative group Heritage Action gave Cheney a 91% score compared to just 56% for Stefanik during the most recent Congress.” Stefanik’s ACU rating is even worse at 44 percent. Which means according to them, she votes with liberals more than she votes with conservatives.
Mitt Romney tops Stefanik at 77 percent on the American Conservative Union rating. Lisa Murkowski has a better ACU score than Stefanik at 56 percent. Ben Sasse tops them all at 94 percent from the ACU. Yet all are anti-Trump yet more conservative than Stefanik. What gives?
Could it be that the House Republicans want more liberal leadership? Because they are certainly getting it trading in Cheney for Stefanik. And Cheney comes from the solid red state of Wyoming, while Stefanik comes from deep blue New York. So why trade a conservative in for a moderate who almost votes 50-50 with the Democrats? What ever could it be?
It is plain and simple. In today’s Republican Party conservatism takes a back seat to the Trump personality cult. Trumpers have canceled a conservative and put in her place a New York moderate. So all of you who think you are conservatives, but applauded the firing of Liz Cheney from Republican House leadership, are not as conservative as you think. You approve of more liberal leadership in the House Republican caucus. Which is your prerogative, as long as you don’t lie to yourself and think you were taking the conservative line. Nope, you canceled a conservative and substituted a moderate in her place.
However, politics is more than about ideology. It is also about backing the right horse and going with the flow. Actual leaders don’t do that. They have the courage of their convictions and pay a price for it, like Churchill in the 30s over German rearmament. But successful politicians often know how to ride the wave of party and public opinion. Given the likely final outcome of today’s vote, Elise Stefanik is a successful politician.