WASHINGTON — Has one political party decided to move on from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol? And what about one giant social-media company?
Those questions are the common thread linking today’s two big political stories: 1) House Republicans looking to oust Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from leadership after her continued criticism of Donald Trump’s actions on that day; and 2) Facebook’s oversight board deciding whether Trump should be reinstated after being banned following the Jan. 6 riot.
It appears we already have an answer when it comes to the Republican Party and Jan. 6.
In less than four months, we’ve gone from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy arguing that Trump bore responsibility for the attack and that he should be censured (though not impeached) — to McCarthy being caught on a hot mic saying: “I've had it with [Cheney],” regarding her criticism of the former president.
The more uncertain answer is the Facebook decision, which will have ramifications for 2024, as well as on the daily news cycle.
Without Facebook and Twitter, Trump’s statements and musings have received much less attention than they once did.
Is that now about to change?
Tweet of the day
New poll from @pewresearch finds Americans are almost evenly split on whether Trump’s accounts should be permanently banned from social media (49% say they should, 50% say they shouldn't) https://t.co/i39hbzCrcH https://t.co/K1lwp5CFID
— Monica Anderson (@MonicaRAnders) May 5, 2021
But back to the Republican Party and Liz Cheney: Kicking her out of leadership carries risk for the GOP.
For one thing, do the Cheneys and Romneys — names that have been on GOP tickets in 2000, 2004 and 2012 — have no place in today’s Republican Party and its leadership?
That would be one message expelling Cheney from leadership would send.
A second message it would send is that the party doesn’t tolerate dissent and critical comments about Trump and his behavior leading up to Jan. 6 — that it’s not a big-tent party.
And the third (and maybe biggest) message removing Cheney from leadership would send is that the GOP remains inextricably linked to Trump, despite the former president no longer holding power and despite his declining poll numbers.
“Republicans should find a way to speak this truth to voters in 2022 — and quickly turn to running on an agenda for the future that will check Mr. Biden and his cradle-to-grave entitlement state. Purging Liz Cheney for honesty would diminish the party,” the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page writes.
The GOP has spent so much time and energy trying to portray Biden’s presidency and the Democratic Party as being radical.
But it’s hard to think of a more radical move than ousting someone from power because she disagrees — and continues to disagree — with how the former president conducted himself leading up to Jan. 6.
Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
4 percent: The drop in the U.S. birth rate last year, the largest single-year decrease in nearly 50 years.
32,667,954: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 43,009 more than yesterday morning.)
582,709: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 947 more than yesterday morning.)
247,769,049: The number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.
29.5 percent: The share of Americans who are fully vaccinated
ICYMI: What else is happening in the world
Here’s all you need to know about the continuing fight between Liz Cheney and the MAGA center of gravity in the House GOP.
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The Washington Post reports on the Pentagon’s efforts to take a harder line on domestic extremism.
Charlie Crist is running for governor.