On Thursday, Matt Gaetz, one of the Republican Party’s foremost purveyors of the art of trolling, parachuted into Wyoming to continue his campaign against Liz Cheney, capping off weeks of sniping between the two members of Congress, which at times naturally revolved around Gaetz’s makeup routine.
Now, I have no sympathy whatsoever for Liz Cheney, who sucks. But it’s certainly been fascinating to watch the battles over the direction of the Republican Party post-election play out. Cheney has taken a lot of heat over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, and for a reason that I suspect has a lot to do with Gaetz’s seemingly insatiable desire for mess and attention, he decided that the best use of his time would be to travel to the sparsely populated state and continue to beat the drumbeat for her ouster.
At a rally attended by hundreds of people in Cheyenne, Gaetz, dressed like an extra in a teen drama about a New England prep school, described Cheney as a “fake cowgirl” that betrayed residents of Wyoming. Via Politico:
“Defeat Liz Cheney in this upcoming election, and Wyoming will bring Washington to its knees,” he told a group of hundreds of spectators, many of whom did not wear masks. “How can you call yourself a representative when you don’t represent the will of the people? That’s what all the neocons ask about the Arab dictators. I figure maybe we ought to ask the same question of a beltway bureaucrat turned fake cow girl that supported an impeachment that is deeply unpopular in the state of Wyoming.”
Even Don Jr. got in on the action, speaking at the rally via phone. “It seems like Liz Cheney’s favorables there are only slightly worse than her father’s shooting skills,” he told the crowd.
Before one feels too much sympathy for Cheney, the Casper Star-Tribune reported that as Gaetz was blathering on and on, Cheney was “in the process of introducing legislation in an effort to prohibit President Joe Biden’s executive orders on drilling on federal lands.” Lovely.
In an interview with Fox News’s Lou Dobbs, Gaetz explained his motivations for traveling to Wyoming in the dead of winter. “She no longer speaks for Republicans or republicanism,” Gaetz said of Cheney, adding, “We are in a fight for the soul of the Republican Party.” Gaetz noted, “Based on the reaction I got in Wyoming, that America First is alive and well, and it will be the prevailing ideology of our political movement.”
Gaetz is right about one thing—the Republican Party is now defined by the politics of dangerous trolls like Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Madison Cawthorn. Fueled by little more than white grievance and resentment and violence, they’re giving their voters exactly what they want.