A Wild Wednesday Night in Republican Politics

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McConnell on Impeachment; McCarthy and Trump; MJT, Liz Cheney, QAnon and Let Them Eat COVID

If you’re trying to figure out the direction of the Republican Party after Wednesday’s circus of a five-hour (!) House GOP Conference meeting, good luck. One hour, Republicans were rallying around — and literally standing to applaud — the QAnon congresswoman. The next, they voted to protect the avatar of the Republican establishment from DONALD TRUMP cronies itching to boot her from leadership.

A day that was supposed to be clarifying was anything but. Yet many House Republicans emerged feeling more confident about their political fortunes — a bit of a mystery to us.

Kevin McCarthy is hugging former President Donald Trump as tightly as he can. Liz Cheney voted to impeach him. But Mitch McConnell isn’t making any sudden movements as House Republicans tear each other apart in Trump’s wake.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 03: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at the weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on December 03, 2020 in Washington, DC. McCarthy told reporters the election is over so I’m more optimistic now that we can get something done. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

All that talk about kicking the third-ranking House Republican out of leadership was, it turns out, just that: talk. House Republicans voted overwhelmingly to allow Cheney to keep her position — despite weeks of attacks from Trump backers who were determined to punish her for voting to impeach the ex-president

The Senate minority leader is deferring a final verdict on Trump, even with the opportunity to do so via the president’s forthcoming impeachment trial. McConnell’s strategy reflects the consensus of his fellow Senate Republicans, who have watched uneasily as the House minority leader and conference chair staked out polarizing positions on Trump’s conduct.

All that talk about kicking the third-ranking House Republican out of leadership was, it turns out, just that: talk. House Republicans voted overwhelmingly to allow Cheney to keep her position — despite weeks of attacks from Trump backers who were determined to punish her for voting to impeach the ex-president

McConnell has done little to hide his annoyance with the president, but allies say he is extremely unlikely to make a further break with Trump now. In fact, since his speech assigning blame to Trump, he’s said nothing to his colleagues about Trump other than referring to his contacts with the former president’s legal team, said one senator who attends meetings with McConnell.

Source: Politico and Politico