Republican ‘excuses’ for the RNC’s Cheney/Kinzinger censure are motivated by ‘spineless obeisance to Trump’: conservative

Republican ‘excuses’ for the RNC’s Cheney/Kinzinger censure are motivated by ‘spineless obeisance to Trump’: conservative

The Republican National Committee’s loyalty to former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement was painfully obvious when, on Friday, February 4, it passed a resolution to formally censure Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois for their work on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Numerous Democrats have slammed the RNC’s resolution as appalling, and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t think the resolution was a good idea.

But many Republicans have been defending the indefensible and twisting themselves into pretzels in order to make excuses for the RNC’s Cheney/Kinzinger censure. And journalist William Saletan, in a listicle published by the conservative website The Bulwark on February 11, describes 13 of those excuses.

The RNC, with its resolution, vowed to “cease any and all support of” Cheney and Kinzinger “as members of the Republican Party.” And they described the January 6 committee as a “Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

In other words, the RNC now equates a violent insurrectionist assault on the U.S. Capitol Building with “legitimate political discourse.”

“As the Republican Party continues to degenerate into a cult,” Saletan laments, “its leaders are stepping forward to do what they do best: rationalize the party’s mounting corruption…. With very few exceptions, elected Republicans lack the integrity or courage to stand up for Cheney, Kinzinger, or (former Vice President Mike) Pence. Instead, they’ve been inventing excuses for the censure, for Trump’s attempts to block the peaceful transfer of power, and for burying the January 6th investigation.”

Saletan goes on to list and describe those excuses, which range from “Cheney and Kinzinger deserved censure because they voted to impeach Trump” and “Cheney and Kinzinger are part of a plot to sabotage the GOP” to “Who are we to judge the RNC?,” “Who are we to judge the propriety of overturning elections?” and “Republicans aren’t responsible for the RNC.”

The last one, according to Saletan, came from former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said of the censure resolution, “Let’s not make it bigger than it is.”

“According to Christie,” Saletan writes, “Democrats are responsible for any leftist who says ‘Defund the police,’ but Republicans aren’t responsible for resolutions adopted by the committee that literally defines their party.”

Other excuse-making for the RNC resolution, Saletan notes, includes “Let the voters decide,” “Cheney and Kinzinger are losers” and “the January 6th investigation is illegitimate because it’s out to get Trump” as well as “the investigation is illegitimate because it goes beyond the events of January 6th” and “the investigation is illegitimate because it’s partisan.”

Another Republican excuse that Saletan notes is “Trump is right to question the election.”

“Even when Republicans concede President Biden’s legitimacy,” Saletan observes, “they appease Trump’s base by repeating myths, lies, or insinuations about the election… Not everything in the RNC’s censure resolution is a lie. It’s true, for instance, that Cheney and Kinzinger have engaged in behavior ‘inconsistent with the position’ of the House GOP…. That’s because the position of the House GOP is spineless obeisance to Trump.”

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