Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, July 29, 2021
You know things are getting crazy when even the term RINO is being stood on its head in Washington.
Two GOP members of Congress are very prominently working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lead a partisan assault on their own party so transparent that the designated “R” by their names ceases to have even the paper-thin resonance accorded to pretend Republicans such as Sen. Mitt Romney. Some GOP colleagues are finally saying enough is enough.
Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming have joined Pelosi’s Jan. 6 commission, which seeks to portray all Donald Trump supporters – i.e., the overwhelming majority of grassroots Republicans – as domestic terrorists.
It begs the question: Can you even be called a RINO if you are openly seeking to criminalize the people you claim to represent?
“The reality is, they’re now basically working with and for the Democrats, and so it’d be awkward for them to be sitting in our committee while we talk about policy, put, you know, strategy and how to stop bad policy from the Democrats and advance good policy from us. It’d be really awkward,” Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, quite reasonably told the Washington Examiner Tuesday.
Biggs “brought up a resolution during a House Republican conference meeting on Tuesday to expel immediately from the conference any person who sits on a committee that they were not appointed to by the Republican leader or the House Republican steering committee,” the Examiner reported.
Biggs also expressed his sentiments in a tweet attacking the pair of Pelosi partners:
We should help them out the door by formalizing their departure.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) July 27, 2021
He is not alone in his desire to banish the Double-Dealing Duo.
“I am extremely supportive of Representative Biggs’ resolution, which he attempted to introduce today,” Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana said in a statement. “You can’t spend halftime in the opponent’s locker room and expect the team to welcome you back for the rest of the game. I hope the GOP Conference will seriously consider this.”
Trump backers in Republican ranks should be relishing the roles currently being played by Kinzinger and Cheney in Nancy Pelosi’s menagerie. It brings the GOP one step closer to resolving deep fissures that have been present in the party for years. The two have become the face of a pre-2016 GOP that has never accepted the rise of America First populism in what had been a comfortably Swampy neoconservative nest.
Cheney, of course, is the daughter of former George W. Bush Vice President Dick Cheney. She has blood ties to the ruling oligarchy known as the Uniparty that was shaken to its core by the rise of Trump five years ago.
Kinzinger’s GOP roots go back to the “Young Guns” days of former RINO party leaders Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor. First elected to Congress in 2010, he worked with close personal friend and fellow Illinois GOP Rep. Aaron Schock to promote the notion that a surging new generation of Republicans was passionately fired by creaky Bush-era GOP establishment framing on globalist free-market economics and a rabidly interventionist foreign policy.
From an April 2012 article in the Peoria Journal Star:
So Kinzinger and Schock have both labeled it significant that they are committing themselves to building the party. Schock – on the statewide scene for a little longer – has already been out there supporting candidates throughout Illinois, and having another young colleague pulling the same weight can only help….
“I think we have to reach outside of where we’re comfortable,” Kinzinger said. Some people, “may not agree with us on the social principles, and I understand that, but they’re fiscal conservatives.”
Instead, Trump happened. That was not the plan.
“I think Jeb’s the guy,” a flustered Kinzinger told MSNBC host Joe Scarborough in August 2015, limply trying to prop up a sagging Jeb Bush shortly after Trump had literally crashed his party.
He’s been fighting Republicans ever since.
A look at the trajectory of Kinzinger’s party career makes it far easier to understand his Pelosi canoodling today:
- His champion Eric Cantor was humiliatingly defeated in a 2014 primary challenge, becoming the first House majority leader to lose a primary in congressional history.
- His Illinois pal Schock became embroiled in an ethics scandal over the lavish furnishings for his congressional office and other spending controversies. He was forced to resign his seat.
- His other main party leadership booster Paul Ryan saw his star wane precipitously during the Trump years, causing him to retire from Congress in 2019.
Kinzinger has taken his America First loathing so far as to establish a PAC named “Country First.” The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Jan. 31 on its donors:
“Kinzinger said ‘Country First’ is being bankrolled by one of his political action committees, the Future First Leadership PAC. The PAC had a balance of $39,956 as of Dec. 31. Its donors included philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, who each gave $5,000.”
But Kinzinger’s Gates connection goes much further back. Early in his congressional career, he earned the reputation for taking an inordinate amount of foreign trips sponsored by outside organizations.
“The state’s 20 members of Congress took 70 foreign trips and visited 44 countries over the past two years at a cost of more than $518,000,” a 2015 Chicago Tribune analysis revealed. “Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Channahon, was the most frequent flier. He has taken nine foreign trips since October 2013, the analysis found.”
Kinzinger gave details of one such trip in a May 2015 post on his official congressional web page:
“In April, I traveled to Ethiopia and Kenya with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition to explore the relationship between America’s national security and economic interests in the sub-Saharan Africa region.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) is dedicated to promoting America’s connection to what the Biden administration today calls the “rules-based international order.”
The first “Funder” listed on the USGLC website is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Other donors include coronavirus vaccine manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Adam Kinzinger has always been what you see right now preening and weeping on Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 commission. The only difference is, before Donald Trump came along, he was able to somewhat credibly label himself a Republican. He will never forgive Trump and his supporters for ruining that for him.