The GOP (Grand Old Party), also referred to as the Republican Party, is one of the two main current political parties in the United States, its main rival being the Democratic Party. Republican Party was formed in 1854 by Kansas-Nebraska Act opponents; the act allowed the extension of chattel slavery into the western countries. The first president of the Democratic Party was Abraham Lincoln, and there have been 19 GOP presidents since its foundation.
Republicans had long been searching for someone to fill the gap for the former conservative icon Ronald Reagan. In their search, they found Donald Trump, and now they are stuck with him- even after losing reelection last year. The party is struggling with how to progress without an integrating ideology to define their future.
The internal struggle was evident when House Republicans removed the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, from her position as leader of the Republican conference in a voice vote by House GOP. Coincidentally, Cheney is more of Reagan rightist than most of the party’s current members, especially her replacement.
After facing the ouster, Cheney told the reporters that she would do everything she can to ensure Trump does not get anywhere near the president’s office. “We have openly seen his unfaithfulness to the constitution, and it very crucial that we appoint someone who will show commitment and dedication to the constitution,” Cheney said.
One of Cheney’s confidants, Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, told the reporters that the vote was swift; there weren’t speeches before the vote- “it was just Kevin McCarthy standing up” and telling those in his conference it’s time to move on from Cheney. Kinzinger said he does not blame voters for assuming the election was unfair because their leaders have pushed those lies.
McCarthy insisted that the vote to oust Cheney was because the role of the conference chair is about messaging and members of the GOP believed she was not the best in delivering the message. “To perform the conference chair job is about delivering the message. It does not have anything to do with how somebody voted,” McCarthy said. “This has nothing to do with whether they voted for impeachment or not; that would have been decided the last time. This is simply who is best at delivering the message, that’s all.”
In a speech on the eve of the vote, Cheney was empathetic that the vote was over. “Today, we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive efforts to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him.’
She requested her colleagues to speak the truth because millions of Americans have been misled by the former president. “They have heard only his words but not the truth,” Cheney added that she would not sit back and watch in silence amid his baseless claims. “This is not about policy; this is not about partisanship; this is about our duty as Americans, remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”
Liz Cheney dared to confront Trump and disagreed aggressively with Trump’s argument that the votes were rigged. Republicans didn’t like her as she did not play up with Trump, though she was not alone. “The real Reagan conservatives are being forced to leave the party,” said John Campbell, a sociology professor. “It puts American politics and democracy in a dangerous situation,” he added.
Finding a new Reagan in the party has been unfruitful, and it’s hard to see at the moment, says Jeff Flake, a former senator. Some Republicans threaten to start a third party if the GOP does not change and free itself from Trump’s control. “I could not stand on a campaign stage with Trump and look at my shoes while he insulted his partners,” said Flake as he explained when he stepped down from public service instead of working with a GOP headed by Trumps.
Trump has threatened to punish the existing Republicans he believes were not loyal to him, committing to campaign for primary opponents aiming to challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The former president still seems to be keeping a political list, even as he awaits a return to leadership.
North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer remembers a chat with Trump early this year when he asked about a specific senator. Trump said that particular senator has not been good to him.” This senator you are inquiring about might not have run into the wall with you, but he is more likes you than I am in sharing the ideological view of government and policy.
Liz Cheney replacement, Elise Stefanik
Elise Stefanik of New York was elected by the Republicans as the conference chair, completing a shift from the outspoken Liz Cheney, Trump critic. She was elected to serve with House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise. Stefanik will be the only woman in the leadership of the House.
Speaking after the vote, Stefanik called herself a “proud, conservative Republican” who would lead her party to win in the mid-term elections come next year. “We are going to win the majority in 2022,” she said.
The former president congratulated Stefanik and said her victory indicates his political coalition remains strong. Stefanik, 36, currently in her fourth term, joined congress with a more political view. She had told the lawmakers she doesn’t intend to stay in leadership in the long term, and she targets the top committee spots on the House Education and Labor or intelligence boards.
Many Republicans had raised concerns about Cheney pursuing her own agenda instead of representing the entire House. Republicans said Ms. Stefanik could deliver the message of the whole conference. Democrats said the appointment of Stefanik demonstrated how the House Republicans were opting to embrace Trump and his false election allegations.