This article appeared in the August 05, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Liz Cheney, Donald Trump, and the future of the GOP

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (left) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney arrive as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing in Washington, July 21, 2022. Both voted to impeach former President Donald Trump. Representative Kinzinger is retiring and Representative Cheney is expected to lose her primary Aug. 16.
Peter Grier
Washington editor

One by one, they have been crossed off former President Donald Trump’s list. 

Ten House Republicans voted to impeach Mr. Trump last year following the Jan. 6 insurrection. Mr. Trump vowed revenge and pushed for primary opponents against most of these apostates. 

It is already clear that most of them will not serve in the next Congress. Four have announced they will retire, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who is serving on the Jan. 6 committee. Two lost to Trump-endorsed primary opponents. One, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, is locked in a primary battle that currently is too close to call.

Two survived primary season and will be on the ballot for the general election.

Then there is Liz Cheney.

Representative Cheney of Wyoming has embraced her pariah status in the GOP. A guiding force of the Jan. 6 panel, she has warned Trump supporters in her party that one day he will be gone, “but your dishonor will remain.”

Her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, cut an ad for her this week that hit Mr. Trump as a “coward” and a “threat to the republic.”

That said, polls show she is likely to lose to a Trump-backed opponent in her conservative state’s Aug. 16 primary.

The bottom line: Mr. Trump is not a lock for the 2024 GOP nomination. Some party voters seem to be looking past the former president for a successor with Trump policies but not Trump baggage. 

But reports of his sinking influence may be overblown. The fates of the Impeachment 10 show how inhospitable the GOP remains for Trump critics.

“I just feel lonely,” said one of them, Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, earlier this year. On Tuesday, Representative Meijer lost his primary to a Trump-endorsed successor.

This article appeared in the August 05, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 08/05 edition
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