A day before November 3rd, 2020, Liz Cheney would have been seen as one of the most conservative Republicans in the house. Now she’s likely going to be ousted from her position as the third ranking house Republican and be removed in 2022 by a primary challenger. But how did the Republican Party become this way? Well, first, you have to see that this revolution in the GOP did not start with Trump. It actually started with McConnell. When Obama was elected in 2008, McConnell vowed to do everything he could to make Obama a one term president. In order to do that, McConnell decided to block every one of Obama’s bills and appointments (with of course from some assistance with his friend’s in the House of Representatives.) This brought rise to political obstructionism that the Republicans still use today.
Then came the Tea Party movement that gained momentum in beginning of the 2010s. The Tea Party movement was basically the start of today’s Republican Party. While the Tea Party was a minority, it was still there. For example, in the 2012 Indiana senate election primaries, Richard Lugar, the well liked, moderate, centrist Republican, was ousted in the primaries by a Tea Party backed candidate Richard Mourdock. But ironically when Mourdock ran as a far right candidate in the 2012 senate election, he lost heavily by more than 5 points, giving the seat to the democrats. This illustrates that the The Tea Party was really not taken that seriously until the presidential election of 2016, where they were largely credited to giving Trump the White House.
The Tea Party didn’t flock to Trump because he was incredibly conservative, which he wasn’t, but because he was anti-establishment candidate. And anti – establishment was something that far right hosts on Fox News perpetuated. They kept on portraying Trump as a successful businessman who was trying to stop corruption in Washington and change the path that Obama had put the country on. And this only furthered the Tea Party’s narrative, giving Trump the White House. And as a Tea Party supporter became President, the Tea Party circulated and grew in the Republican Party. It just grew in a different name – Trumpism. Trumpism basically took over the Republican Party. It became popular with the conspiracy theorists, far rights, and the Republican establishment (mostly because the establishment Republicans were scared of getting primary’ed out). Which is why it was no surprise that after the 2020 Presidential Election, the Republican Party still embrace Trumps big lie. So thats why when Liz Cheney decided to disavow a conspiracy theory in a party that has drifted so far from the center – she should have known what was in for her.