The GOP's Old Guard Grifters Are In A Life Or Death Struggle With The Fascists They Enabled: Wyoming
Wyoming is the most politically backward state in America. Last year Trump won all but 2 counties,Teton and Albany, and beat Biden 193,559 (69.9%) to 73,491 (26.6%)-- his most overwhelming win in the whole country. The state has just one at-large congressional district, so that day the same voters had to also pick a congressional Representative-- and no one doubted the voters would reelect Liz Cheney. But 7,827 Trump voters-- and 12,368 voters who helped elect Cynthia Lummis to the Senate that day-- opted out of voting for Cheney. She still won in a landslide, 185,732 (68.7%) to just 66,576 (24.6%) for Democrat Lynnette Grey Bull.
Wyoming, which really should be consolidated with the Dakotas to form one state, has a 30-member state Senate with 28 Republicans and 2 Democrats and a 60-member state House with 51 Republicans, 7 Democrats, a Libertarian and an independent. To get a better idea of how red Wyoming is, these are Trump's percentages in the half dozen most backward counties in the state:
Big Horn- 83.6%
In Crook County, Biden couldn't even muster 10% of the vote! Now that's red! And it's Trump Country. These people are collectively brain-dead. I almost feel sorry for Liz Cheney who is walking into their buzzsaw. Almost. She's about as right-wing as you can get... only not a Trumpist. This morning Washington Post reporter Paul Kane took at look at the mess Cheney finds herself in after voting to impeach Trump and then repeatedly standing by her decision. She's not giving up-- which means she'll probably go down fighting.
Money is rolling in for her campaign from the Republican Party old guard... but will money and what it can buy matter to the drooling neanderthals in, for example, Crook County? It didn't save Eric Cantor's career in 2014. Corporate PACs, including Google's, Toyota's, Wal-Mart's and GE's, are there for her and she's brought in $1.6 million in the first quarter, about half what QAnon queen and Trump sociopath Marjorie Taylor Greene brought in for her own race in the backwoods of northwest Georgia.
Aside from the corporate and lobbyist money from the DC swamp, Cheney has seen contributions from dozens of alumni of both Bush administrations, including a couple of Cabinet members, her parents, Jeb Bush, more than 10 current and former members of the House, including former Speaker Paul Ryan, and a handful of other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and 5 Republican senators, including McConnell, Mitt Romney, John Barrasso and Lindsey Graham.
Kane reported that "Almost the entire traditional Republican power structure is standing behind Cheney at this tough moment-- but not House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). McCarthy and Cheney have not appeared publicly together since a March 11 news conference outside the Capitol in which several dozen Republicans criticized President Biden’s handling of the surge of migrants at the border. Officially, Cheney and McCarthy have a good working relationship and both leaders are intensely focused on pushing back against the new president. Their aides say they are harmonious in trying to set Republicans up to win back the House majority in 2022. But, as House Republicans gather Sunday for a three-day retreat meant to unify around a new policy agenda, the former president, residing 170 miles south of the GOP’s Orlando gathering, continues to be a divisive figure, pitting the small band of Republican lawmakers critical of him against the majority that remains loyal."
And the fault line in the conference runs over Trump’s role in cheering on the rioting criminals who ransacked the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6.
Cheney leads the smaller faction that views it as a foundation-shaking moment that must be dealt with, hoping to banish Trump to the political sidelines. These Republicans see her reelection as a critical marker for the party’s future.
...The loudest House Republicans view Jan. 6 as an aberration caused by a small group of people who don’t represent Trump’s values, even though they stormed the Capitol echoing his false claims that the election was stolen from him, and demand loyalty to the former president at all costs. Still another group would just like to see if the conference could go a few weeks without clashes between those two competing wings, and they question whether Cheney unnecessarily pokes at Trump when she could be more diplomatic.
McCarthy started out blaming Trump for the riot and supporting a censure as an alternative to impeachment. Within days of the Jan. 13 impeachment vote, however, McCarthy trekked to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort to plead with him to support GOP candidates next year. He has remained Trump solicitous for months now.
Still, when Trump allies tried to toss Cheney out of her No. 3 leadership post, McCarthy forcefully defended her and she won a lopsided vote.
But three weeks later, at a Cheney-led news conference, the GOP leader said it was fine for Trump to be the featured speaker at a prominent conservative conference.
“I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country,” Cheney said seconds later.
McCarthy did not attempt to conceal his anger. “On that high note, thank you all very much,” he said.
He has not returned since to the weekly Cheney-led leadership team news conferences.
Cheney, 54, is not one to soften her edges and instead relishes her role as the highest-ranking anti-Trump Republican in Congress.
Instead of becoming the first female Republican House speaker-- a more difficult task now that she has so many internal enemies-- Cheney’s legacy might be defined by her success or failure in steering the party back to its conservative foundation, starting Sunday in Orlando.
“There’s going to be a very substantive policy focus. We’ve got seven different sessions that we’re running focused on issues that matter most,” Cheney told reporters Tuesday, laying an agenda focused on issues such as health care and China. “What we have to do as Republicans is get back to being the party of ideas and the substance and the policy of conservatism.”
That’s why so many pillars of the old Republican order opened their checkbooks and called friends for donations, aware that Trump was out for revenge and trying to find a primary opponent to defeat Cheney.
...McCarthy has not donated to Cheney and he grows irritated when asked about her clashes with the former president, refusing at an April 15 news conference to address whether Trump should stop attacking Cheney.
“The number one thing I want to have happen is make sure the next century is the American century,” he said.
McCarthy has helped raised about $70,000 each for four pro-impeachment Republicans in battleground districts and donated $10,000 to Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who has a Trump-backed primary opponent next year.
On Thursday, unprompted at his weekly solo news conference, McCarthy boasted that he still regularly talks to Trump.
“I talk to him on the phone,” he said. “We talk quite often.”
McCarthy suggested that although Trump would not go to the Orlando retreat he should address House Republicans some other time.
Two days earlier, Cheney made clear she wanted no part of Trump visiting House Republicans, at the retreat or in the future.
“I haven’t invited him,” she said.
The Wyoming state GOP voted to censure her and formally requested that she resign from Congress. So far there are no Democrats who have stepped forward to run against Cheney, but at least 5 Republicans have begun primary campaigns against her, including state Senator Anthony Bouchard (the Matt Gaetz candidate), state Rep. Chuck Gray, Sheridan County Republican Party chair Bryan Miller, Marissa Selvig, the former mayor of Pavillion (a town with 230 people) and someone named Bryan Keller. Trump's former acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Perry Pendley, a far right crackpot and notorious Climate Change denier, is also rumored to be running.
I have a feeling any of them would be able to beat Cheney. The only public polling I've seen so far, shows that around 70% of Wyoming voters felt the impeachment was unconstitutional and that Cheney was wrong to vote to impeach. 85% of Republicans disapprove of her vote. 85% of Republicans have a positive view of Trump while just 20% have a positive view of Cheney. Only 13% of general election voters would vote to re-elect Cheney. In one on one primary match-ups, Bouchard beats her 54-21% and Gray beats her 55-20%. A three way primary doesn't save her: