In the final weeks of 2020, there was a window of opportunity for House GOP leadership to marginalize the loudest voices in the Freedom Caucus — Reps. Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert and others — who parroted conspiracy theories about a "stolen election."
Instead, it was the other end of the GOP conference's spectrum that found itself marginalized. Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-AL) was joined by only nine other Republican members in voting to impeach President Trump over last week's Capitol siege. And the internal repercussions — in primaries and the conference — could be felt for years to come.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has sought to play peacemaker behind the scenes, discouraging staunchly pro-Trump members from verbally attacking Cheney and others who voted against objections to electors and for impeachment - both out of concern for those members' physical security and to limit 2022 primary fratricide that could distract from their bid to retake the House.
However, he's also twisted himself into a pretzel trying to mollify the growing Jordan/Gaetz (and
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