House Republicans ousted U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership post Wednesday.
The neoconservative Cheney is a top GOP critic of former President Donald Trump. She voted for his impeachment at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and vows to continue pushing back on Trump’s grip on the Republican Party.
Cheney — who is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — was booted as House Republican Conference chair over her anti-Trump stances.
Her battle with Trump displays just how much American politics have changed. Many Democrats (as well as many in the media) have sided with Cheney and anti-Trump neoconservatives in their battles against Trump.
Those same neoconservatives were the prime drivers of the Iraq War, free trade deals and a more expansive U.S. foreign policy.
Politics — and Trump in particular — can make for very strange and changing bedfellows.
Trump is such a focus that it can team Democrats with the Cheney and Bush crowds.
Trump’s personality, policy stances and the events of Jan. 6 continue to confront the Republican establishment.
On the policy front, the GOP faces continued divides between its populist and more isolationist Trump wing and its party establishment, which has historically focused on business interests, the wealthy and more interventionist foreign policies.
The quandary for the establishment is that right now Republican voters remain with Trump. The base continues to see more hope in Trump addressing their social and economic concerns and establishment, which has not really delivered for them on issues such as jobs and abortion.
At some levels, Republican leaders are at odds with Republican voters — their customers in marketplace terms. Like it or not, Trump has been able to exploit that schism.
That is in stark contrast to Democrats where opposition to Trump has been a unifying factor. Democrats cleared the 2020 field at the right time for Joe Biden. The Democratic establishment was able to help stop Bernie Sanders’ presidential bids in both 2016 and 2020. Democrats turned out in November with the primary aim of defeating of Trump.
Democrats, including now President Biden, have also been adopting popular aspects of the progressive agenda.
The GOP has been at a Trump crossroads since his fateful 2015 escalator ride to announce his presidential bid.
Roughly six years later, Trump and his working class supporters are still confounding the party. Liz Cheney is another skirmish on that tumultuous trail — with some unlikely political allies in her camp with short-term memories about the Iraq War and Bush-Cheney years.