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The GOP: Confronting the Big Lie

Updated: May 14, 2021

Rep. Liz Cheney is determined to continue her fight against Trump's Big Lie.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have unceremoniously dumped Rep. Liz Cheney (WY) as their conference chair because she insists on telling the truth about Trump's Big Lie.

They may regret their action and their kowtowing to the twice impeached and defeated former president, because one day saner heads will prevail and, one way or another, they will be sent packing.

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Cheney is not riding quietly into the night, and she is not riding alone.

According to this piece in The Washington Post, Cheney plans increased travel and media appearances to make her case that Trump is unfit for a role in the Republican Party or as president should he decide to run in 2024.

The article says Cheney also is considering an expanded political operation that would allow her to endorse and financially support other Republican candidates who share her opinion that Trump is a danger to the Republican Party and the country. She described her removal from leadership as “the opening salvo” in a battle for the soul of the GOP and the country.

Remember who else talked about "restoring the soul" of America? He's in the White House now.

Today, also in The Post, a group of prominent Republicans, in an op-ed piece wrote that "The Republican Party made a grievous error this week in ousting Cheney from the House leadership for telling the truth about Donald Trump’s “big lie,” which has wreaked havoc in our democratic republic by casting doubt over the 2020 election."

The article's authors were former U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent (PA) and Denver Riggleman (VA); Mary Peters, secretary of transportation in the George W. Bush administration; Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; and Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey governor.

"Cheney rightfully struck back against party leaders and warned about the GOP’s dangerous direction. She is not alone," they wrote.

They and dozens of other prominent Republicans, ex-Republicans and independents announced “A Call for American Renewal,” which they described as "a nationwide rallying cry against extremist elements within the GOP, and highlighting the urgent need for a new, common-sense coalition."

"Our alliance includes former governors, members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, state officials, seasoned political strategists and grass-roots leaders dedicated to offering a hopeful, principles-based vision for the country — and ensuring that our votes have decisive impact in key elections across the United States," they wrote.

"We want to give voice to the millions of Americans who feel politically homeless and mobilize them to help chart a new path forward for our country. It is time for a rebirth of the American cause, which we will pursue in partnership and loyal competition with others committed to the preservation of our Union."

Their article continued:

"Tragically, the Republican Party has lost its way, perverted by fear, lies and self-interest. What’s more, GOP attacks on the integrity of our elections and our institutions pose a continuing and material threat to the nation.

"The Jan. 6 insurrection was a wake-up call for many who had remained loyal to the party, even while harboring concerns about its direction."

Will this be the beginning of a new political party? Will the movement attract significant numbers to marginalize the power of the pro-Trump "Big Lie" GOP? That, of course, remains to be seen.

But the fact that such a movement has been launched and includes such a well-respected group of supporters is an indication that the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz will not have their way without a fight.

Much is at stake.

Buoyed by favorable census results, Republicans are confident that they will be able to regain control of the House and, perhaps, even the Senate, and if the dominant force within Congress then becomes the conspiracy theory, "Big Lie" advocates, we are in trouble, indeed.

As the GOP authors wrote in The Post, "We will not wait forever for the GOP to clean up its act. If we cannot save the Republican Party from itself, we will help save America from extremist elements in the Republican Party."

Let's hope that they succeed.

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