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The Big GOP Cancellation – The New York Times

Mr. Potato Head is under siege.

The same goes for the Muppets, baseball and Coca-Cola.

Even a horse was victimized. “It was kind of like a culture of cancellation,” the Medina Spirit coach told Fox News after the Kentucky Derby-winning horse failed a drug test.

In the Biden era, complaining about the culture of cancellation became a major tenet of Trumpism, a defining tenet of a Republican party much more focused on fighting culture wars than promoting any kind of platform. political form.

Yet in recent weeks, it’s Republicans who seem most focused on quashing ideas they don’t like. And on Wednesday morning, the GOP cancellation crowd picked up Liz Cheney.

After a provocative speech Tuesday night, she was purged of the Republican leadership of the House for refusing to echo Donald Trump’s lies about the election and hold him responsible for the deadly Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill.

His extraordinary speech on the House floor came immediately after Republicans ended a series of remarks condemning the cancellation of a long list of characters that included Pepé Le Pew, JK Rowling, Miss Piggy, Goya Foods, George Washington , “The guy in my pillow” and kids wearing MAGA hats.

Ms. Cheney only made a devious reference to the irony of the moment.

“I know that the subject, Mr. President, is the cancellation of culture,” she said, taking a seat at the desk. “I have a few thoughts on this. But tonight I rise to discuss freedom and our constitutional duty to protect it.

Republicans have tied their knots over whether Ms. Cheney had, in fact, been quashed.

“Liz Cheney was called off today for saying what she thought and disagreeing with President Trump’s narrative,” Colorado Representative Ken Buck said on Wednesday after his ouster.

Josh Hawley, the Missouri senator who built his post-election brand by portraying himself in media appearances as the victim of an annulment, disagreed.

“It will definitely give him a media platform,” he said. “I don’t think it’s canceled in terms of silence.

The Republican cancellation culture is not confined to Ms. Cheney. Sometimes the party seems to be trying to negate the truth completely.

When Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, was asked about Ms Cheney’s replacement – Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York – and his vote to oppose the 2020 election results, he gave an answer who turned his head.

“I don’t think anyone questions the legitimacy of the presidential election,” McCarthy replied after leaving a White House meeting with President Biden on Wednesday. “I think it’s over, sitting here with the president today.”

Six days earlier, Ms Stefanik had raised doubts about the integrity of the election in talks with Trump allies, which helped solidify her status as the leader of Ms Cheney’s post.

In Florida and Texas, Republican officials who have once praised the handling of the 2020 elections in their states are now saying a widespread lack of confidence in the electoral system requires largely restrictive election laws. This rationale is widespread: Lawmakers in at least 33 states have cited low public confidence in electoral integrity in their public comments as a reason to pass bills restricting voting.

It’s also a bit dizzying: as electoral experts told my colleague Maggie Astor in an article this week, it is the “fear of fraud” fueled by Republicans with their false allegations of electoral malfeasance that has eroded public confidence in the 2020 results.

And in a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Republicans called the January Capitol riot little more than a normal day, rewriting what many of them personally saw while huddling for safety. on the floor of the House. Many downplayed the violence of the time, describing the Trump supporters who attacked the complex as “peaceful patriots.”

“Watching television footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall, showed people in an orderly fashion between candlesticks and ropes taking pictures,” said Representative Andrew Clyde of Georgia. “If you didn’t know that the pictures are from January 6, you would actually think this was a normal sightseeing visit.”

Of course, an average tourist stop that involved crushing police officers violently, stealing historical goods, and urinating in Nancy Pelosi’s office.

There are many reasons to believe that despite this effort to rewrite history, voters will not annul Republicans at the polls in 2022. The ruling party typically wins seats in the first midterm elections of a new president. The redistribution favors the Republicans. And a number of House Democrats are opting against the re-election proposals, a sign of concern about their political prospects.

But internal conflicts are never good for a party’s chances of re-election. Nor is it about betting your political mark on the familiar issues of a former president whose ever-healthy favorability ratings have fallen further since his departure. Voters generally don’t respond well to lies which are easily refuted by video footage and their own recollections of national trauma.

The question worrying some Republican strategists as they look to next year’s midterm elections is not whether the country agrees with their fears of cancellation.

The question is whether voters still believe in the consequences.

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