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We’ve reported extensively on the ongoing Republican leadership battle in Congress involving Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Conference Chair Liz Cheney over whether or not Cheney should continue to hold her leadership position going forward as she seeks to “Never Trumperize” herself and effectively become the Mitt Romney of the House.
But in the midst of the GOP tug of war and as the mainstream media crafts their Official Narratives™ as to what this situation Is Really All About, Rep. Elise Stefanik has stepped up to the plate and thrown her hat into the ring as a possible replacement to Cheney.
Party leadership tussles in the House and Senate are generally not something the political opposition will weigh in on, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about Stefanik during a PBS NewsHour segment earlier this week. In response, she threw a cheap shot (bolded emphasis added):
PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff: “Any comment on Elise Stefanik?”
Pelosi: “That’s necessarily up to them. Maybe she’s more, shall we say, compliant. It’s not my business. I don’t really know her.”
Pelosi on Elise Stefanik: "Maybe she's more, shall we say, compliant…" pic.twitter.com/rmbre3fajK
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) May 6, 2021
Understandably, the ignorant, dishonest, and yes sexist attack did not sit well at all with Stefanik, who ripped Pelosi a new one on the Twitter machine in response:
🚨🚨”Maybe she’s more, shall we say, compliant?”🚨🚨
A sick sexist smear from Pelosi who will lose her gavel in 551 days. Yet the media doesn’t bat an eye!
Imagine if these words were uttered about a Dem woman? Would be outrage coverage & the Speaker would have to resign. https://t.co/NtSeytzAXN
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 6, 2021
Along those same lines, is there really any Republican outside of maybe Liz Cheney who should care about the opinion of a Democratic sycophant who mixes up Cheney and her mother Lynne when commenting on GOP leadership fights? I don’t think so.
Pelosi’s “compliant” comment is a more direct version of things I’ve seen written and said by various media figures and political commentators about how Republicans in the House are allegedly more keen on Stefanik having Cheney’s leadership position because she’s supposedly a “Trump stooge” or whatever, but that suggestion ignores a pretty big counterpoint, namely that when it came to actual legislation Cheney was more in line with Trump than Stefanik:
Elise Stefanik was not a Trump loyalist…
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) May 4, 2021
And while it’s true that Stefanik earned kudos in the GOP for how she kicked a** during the impeachment hearings and has supported asking questions about last year’s election results, those issues are no longer up for debate in the House, which is where Stefanik would hold the leadership position. Stefanik’s focus as GOP Conference Chair would be on making sure that House Republicans are on the same page regarding legislative priorities and messaging, and fielding inquires along those fronts.
As some of my colleagues here have already argued, the Republican House leadership’s pushback on Cheney doesn’t appear to be based on her support for Trump’s impeachment. It’s because she cannot move on from it and is, in fact, exploiting it (due to possible 2024 ambitions?) at a time when the House GOP needs to be putting on a united front against the Pelosi/Biden agenda, not arguing over the former President and the Capitol riots.