Is Hard Core Conservative Sen. Joni Ernst Beginning to Break Up the GOP? Calls Out House MAGAs Over ‘Canceling Cheney’
In no way, shape, or form should Senator Joni Ernst be confused as a Republican moderate. Indeed, she’s more MAGA than moderate. Moreover, Ernst isn’t even being particularly courageous since she just won reelection in 2020 and won’t face the voters again until 2026. The voters will not likely hold anything Ernst does in 2021 against her in 2026. But we do know of some people that will hold her non-MAGA Cheney stance against her, people like Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and many others.
It is almost shocking that Joni Ernst came out today to defend Liz Cheney and call out the House Republicans, and Kevin McCarthy in particular, for their “Cancel Culture” move to dump Cheney from the number three spot in the House minority caucus.
According to Newsweek, Ernst wrote a letter (Often called “went to paper,” which is stronger than a statement):
Ernst spoke up to defend Cheney in a letter penned to GOP members on Monday, saying, “We are a big tent party. We represent Americans of all backgrounds. … And unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate.” She argued that trying to silence Cheney is counter to the Republican party’s free speech values.
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“Cancel culture is cancel culture no matter how you look at it, and unfortunately I think there are those that are trying to silence others in the party,” Ernst later told reporters.
Et tu, Collins? Sasse? McConnell? Murkowski?
Does Ernst give the rest of the GOP Senate cover to also come out against tossing Cheney? They have about twelve hours left to do it but twelve hours might well be sufficient.
To be sure, we oppose everything Ernst, Cheney, Collins, et. al. stand for with respect to their “conservative values,” but these people are coming out in favor of democracy, in favor of one’s ability to oppose Trump, and in favor of one’s right to speak the truth within the GOP. It happens to matter. Many have long predicted that Trump will split the Republican party, that there was no room for his need for loyalty versus the those in the GOP who want a future without looking to Trump to make all the decisions. We thought it was happening after January 6th and then the Republicans conveniently whitewashed it, except Liz Cheney. She is reminding everyone.
If there is to be a break, it has taken far longer than most of us predicted. This may not even represent a tiny fracture. But it could also be the beginning. This came out of nowhere and, as we said, it matters. It is often hard to predict what one thing might send the entire conflict careening out of control.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak