The governing board of the Ohio Republican Party censured and called for the resignation of Representative Anthony Gonzalez on Friday morning. The rebuke of Gonzalez, one of the ten GOP congressmen to vote to impeach Donald Trump after the January 6 Capitol riot, comes as efforts to oust House GOP conference chair Liz Cheney from her position heated up again this week. Of Cheney, Gonzalez has said:
If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit. Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes. She’s going to stand on principle. And if that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case.
Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio has called for Gonzalez’s “eradication” from the party and said in a statement: “From day one, I have strongly supported efforts to censure and expel traitor Congressmen like Anthony Gonzalez who voted to impeach President Trump.”
I think that those arguing that the attempt to remove Cheney from leadership is chiefly about Cheney’s emphasis rather than her position on Trump and the events of January 6 will need to reckon with the Ohio GOP’s meritless attacks on Gonzalez. Moreover, they’ll have to explain why Cheney is wrong about her intuition about the party’s need to be honest about and move on from the former president given the way Mandel is running for office as a shameless personality-cult adherent.