While the Republican Party continues to bend to Trump’s whims, forgive his dangerous behavior, and quiver in the face of his election threats, the judiciary and the legal profession are adhering to a higher ethical standard — and have largely refused to tolerate his efforts to ramrod the nation’s democratic institutions and founding principles throughout his baseless election charade — making the GOP’s loyalty to Trump even more appalling.
The case of both Trump — who is expected to be acquitted in the Senate — and Greene is the latest example of how the party of Lincoln has become the party of no consequences, untethered from its moorings by Trump’s embrace of baseless conspiracy theories and his coddling of the most dangerous fringe elements of the party.
“I had a GREAT call with my all-time favorite POTUS, President Trump!” Greene tweeted Saturday. “I’m so grateful for his support and more importantly the people of this country are absolutely 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people and America First.” Trump’s office has not responded to requests for comment about the call.
Republicans feeling the heat for impeachment vote
A number of the other nine House Republicans who joined Rice in that impeachment vote are facing a backlash at home, with the Trump-aligned flank of their party promising primary challenges, rebukes from local leaders and an onslaught of spending against them.
In Cheyenne, Gaetz sought to inflame the divisions within his party as he championed “prairie populism” and called on Republicans to defeat Cheney when she runs for reelection, going so far as to take a phone call from Donald Trump Jr. to amplify that message. He claimed that Cheney was part of a “private insider club” that includes President Joe Biden, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Pelosi that wants to use government to “enrich themselves.”
“Washington, DC, mythologizes the establishment power brokers like Liz Cheney for climbing in a deeply corrupt game. But there are more of us than there are of them and we see the fakes and the phonies more clearly than ever before,” Gaetz said during the rally. “If you want to prove you have the power, defeat Liz Cheney in this upcoming election and Wyoming will bring Washington to its knees.”
Cheney told her party that her vote on the impeachment article — accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection” — was a vote of conscience. McCarthy has said he supports Cheney but has “concerns.” The votes for impeachment by Cheney and the nine other Republicans could come up at a meeting with all House Republicans on Wednesday, but it is unclear whether or how McCarthy intends to address the controversy over Greene’s social media posts. So far, he’s only publicly weighed in through a spokesman who called Greene’s comments “deeply disturbing.” The minority leader already canceled a GOP leadership meeting scheduled for Tuesday — because he will be traveling back from Houston from an energy event, his spokesman told CNN. However, he offered no additional details for why it wasn’t rescheduled, and a source familiar believes one of the reasons McCarthy canceled is because he doesn’t want to discuss Greene.
‘Lies of a feather flock together’
She was rebuked by Romney — a rare Republican who’s frequently spoken out against Trump — on Twitter Saturday: “Lies of a feather flock together: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nonsense and the ‘big lie’ of a stolen election.”
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, said on Saturday that “the Republican leadership has to step up at this point” because Greene “is an embarrassment to us all.”
Thompson called on McCarthy to take a stand for the good of his party, calling it a sad day for Republican politics in America: “He has the number one position in the Republican party in the House of Representatives,” Thompson said of McCarthy during an interview with CNN’s Ana Cabrera on “Newsroom” Saturday.
“He has to demonstrate that leadership. Otherwise, he’s complicit in what she’s doing with his silence.”
But McCarthy’s visit to Mar-a-Lago this week suggested his top concern is staying in Trump’s good graces, which means Greene — and those who share her beliefs — likely won’t be going anywhere.
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