One of the sidelight items surrounding the vote today among the House GOP caucus on Capitol Hill to oust Liz Cheney from her position as chair of the GOP conference has to do with yet another stupid move by Bill Cassidy.
We’ve theorized that Cassidy’s complete inability to make good, or even neutral, decisions anymore is that he’s getting horrid advice, and current and former members of his team have privately told us it’s his wife Laura who plays an outsize role in the repeated political bungles of which he’s guilty.
Including an astonishingly dumb own-goal Cassidy committed yesterday in advance of this morning’s vote.
— Melinda Deslatte (@MelindaDeslatte) May 11, 2021
Give Cassidy credit that he’s consistent. On Sunday he stoked the ire of most of the people who voted for him back in November by telling NBC News’ Chuck Todd that the GOP won’t survive if it doesn’t choose Liz Cheney over Donald Trump.
Seriously, he said that…
Cassidy’s declaration follows the Louisiana Republican arguing in a Sunday interview with NBC’s Meet the Press that if the GOP wants to win in 2022 and 2024, the party must agree with Cheney’s view that former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden.
“If you look at polls, there’s a whole group of folks that agree with Liz Cheney. And so, for us to win in 2022 and 2024, we need everybody. We need those who feel as Liz, those who feel as Lindsey. Ultimately it’s about the policies. You see that Cheney, Cassidy, support those policies. Those policies are a ticket to victory. Those policies bring us back in 2022,” Cassidy told host Chuck Todd.
That’s the same kind of drivel he spewed at CNN’s Dana Bash back in March, and it was gibberish then.
Cassidy supported the appointment of people like Miguel Cardenas as Education Secretary, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador and Merrick Garland as Attorney General. What policies is Bill Cassidy talking about? Does he not realize personnel is policy? And should Republican voters be good with a Merrick Garland who sends the FBI to raid Rudy Giuliani’s house while refusing to accept a copy of Hunter Biden’s hard drive when Giuliani repeatedly attempts to give it to them?
Those policies, Bill?
Playing pet Republican to the mainstream media, which requires repeated bashings of fellow Republicans for the pleasure of the woke leftist corporate suits who run those networks, is a decent way to catch a big check at the first of the month, at least until the cable news networks and NBC Newses of the world run off so much of their audience that the cash dries up. It’s a pretty good bet that’s exactly what Liz Cheney is going to do after she gets tossed out of Congress by the voters in Wyoming in next year’s GOP primary.
But it’s an especially lousy way to win elections.
What makes Cassidy’s repeated statements so stupid is that even if he’s correct that the GOP has to be united behind its policy agenda in order to win, you can’t get that unity by constantly picking at scabs.
It’s May. You might have a great argument for the notion that Trump lost fair and square in November and there were no irregularities in the election, but what difference does that make now? Why relitigate it? In state legislatures across the country they’re passing bills to tighten up the integrity of elections, and whether you think Trump really lost or not, as a Republican you can’t be opposed to those bills – assuming you actually do want the party to do well election integrity is a majoritarian issue which is always good for the GOP.
So you can do the NeverTrump thing without alienating others in the party by talking about that, and largely papering over whether it would have made a difference in 2020 or not.
Instead, Liz Cheney has spent six months demanding that everybody in the GOP kowtow to the Democrats’ narrative that (1) Trump lost the freest, fairest election ever, and (2) what happened on Jan. 6 was the worst assault on American democracy anybody’s ever seen.
Even the people who would like to move on from Trump aren’t in favor of that. Anybody can see that all such talk does is piss people off all over again.
And for Cassidy to re-engage with that stupid line of reasoning in the context of Liz Cheney’s ouster as House GOP conference chair is utterly moronic.
Liz Cheney is in the House. Bill Cassidy is in the Senate. His opinion of Liz Cheney as the House GOP conference chair is completely irrelevant. It isn’t his circus and those aren’t his monkeys.
And then he puts himself on the losing side of the Cheney vote on the eve of her ouster, when even Liz Cheney knew it was coming. The time to champion a lost cause is early on, not after the matter is already decided.
What’s more, he’s now put himself at odds with Steve Scalise, the House minority whip who openly backed Elise Stefanik to take over for Cheney. Good job promoting that unity inside the Louisiana delegation Bill. Top-notch.
It comes off like the drunk who wanders up to the guillotine and asks the executioner to give him a live demonstration while tucking his head into the stock. It’s an unforced error.
And if he thinks he’s going to persuade the majority of the GOP to see Liz Cheney as some sort of 21st century Joan of Arc by continuing to hector us about Trump, we can’t even blame his advisors anymore. Even somebody of average political intelligence would reject such terrible guidance, even if it did come from his wife.
Louisiana has a fairly deep bench with respect to Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate. 2026 can’t come soon enough, particularly if Cassidy can’t be made to cool it with the Pet Republican anti-Trump nonsense.
POSTSCRIPT: For more on Liz Cheney’s ouster, check out yesterday’s episode of the Post-Republic podcast, which streams live every Tuesday and Thursday at The Speakeasy. Sign up and/or listen here.