Opinion: The need for accountability in the GOP

It is clear that after the departure of Donald Trump from the White House, the Republican Party is having a debate about how they want to go forward as a party. The Republican Party has always been a party that has stuck together to fight off progress; however, there are now significant divides in the party. On Feb. 3, the House Republicans voted on whether they should remove Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her position of leadership. Meanwhile, there was a house-wide vote to strip committee positions from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on Feb. 4, who has spread many outlandish conspiracy theories. 

Cheney has been a steady conservative voice ever since she moved to Washington D.C. in 2017, however, this week many of her colleagues decided to turn on her. The anonymous vote conducted by House Republicans showed that 61 of her coworkers wanted to remove her from her position as the number 3 Republican in the House. This vote was requested by many people in her caucus, as Cheney had been one of the 10 republicans to impeach Donald Trump on Jan. 13. 

“Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough,” said Cheney. “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”

While Cheney remains in her position of leadership, this attempt by Republicans to oust her from the party shows exactly where their party is headed in the coming years. While I disagree with almost everything Cheney stands for, her attempt to help administer justice is honorable. However, this attempt by Rep. Gaetz and others to cancel her for daring to take on their cult leader is embarrassing and shows how incompetent many of our representatives are. 

While Cheney has become a controversial figure in recent weeks, she comes nowhere near Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. In recent weeks it has come out that Greene has called for Nancy Pelosi to be executed, claimed the Parkland school shooting was a false flag attack, spread QAnon conspiracies on her social media and claimed that no plane ever hit the Pentagon on 9/11. She posted on social media saying that the California wildfires were started by a space laser that was controlled by Pacific Gas & Electric company. She also visited Washington to make sure that Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were sworn in on the Bible instead of the Quran. All of this activity was in the last three years.

The House voted on Thursday to remove her from the education and budget committees by 230-199 with 11 Republicans joining all House Democrats. During her remarks before the vote was initiated, we heard no apology to Pelosi or others she threatened. All we heard is her backtracking and lying about her past and that she is somehow the victim in this scenario. While the right to assign committees is usually dealt with by one’s party, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to take action and remove her from her assigned committees. This caused Democrats to draft a resolution to remove a member of the opposing party, which has never happened in United States history. The inability of McCarthy to discipline the far right of his party is worrying because it could allow more representatives like Greene to run for public office. According to a poll conducted by Axios, Republican voters have a more favorable view of Greene than Cheney. A few prominent Republicans have come out condemning Greene, including Senators Tim Scott and Joni Ernst. However, Scott and Ernst are still unwilling to call for her removal from committees. Many conservatives are still unwilling to speak on this issue due to the popularity Greene has gained in the last few months. 

By comparing the reactions to these two representatives, we can see that the Republican Party has no idea what to do in the coming years. They are questioning if they should keep moving forward with this Trumpist approach that has become widely popular in the party, or if they should move to a more sane approach to politics. The fact that only 11 House Republicans voted to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments should worry everyone. There needs to be accountability for those who run on a platform of pushing misinformation and deeply hurtful conspiracy theories. For example, in early 2019 Rep. Steve King of Iowa was removed from his committees by McCarthy for making white supremacist comments. This is how the Republican Party should have acted but it is clear that McCarthy and others are afraid of receiving backlash from Trump’s biggest fans. The Republican Party needs to hold its members accountable because no one in the People’s House should be able to act like Greene. 


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