Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Delegation Won’t Follow Cheney’s Lead

By • July 5, 2022

It’s easy to write glowing editorials about Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who has openly called out former President Trump for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020
presidential election.

Her words during the first round of televised congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot were profound and courageous. “Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are
defending the indefensible: There will come a time when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”

History may prove her to be correct. But in the immediate future, the Idaho delegation is not about to side with Cheney, or Democrats who spent four years trying to figure out how to
remove Trump from office.

Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Congressman Mike Simpson are political survivors.

All held top leadership positions in the Idaho Legislature and now have lofty committee assignments in Congress. Crapo, who has served almost 30 years in Congress, is the ranking
member of the Finance Committee and once chaired the Banking Committee. Simpson, who has held his job since 1999, is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee – which has
been a cash cow for Idaho’s Second District. Risch has served 13 years in the Senate and is the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee. These are dream assignments for anyone
in Congress.

Congressman Russ Fulcher, serving his second term, hasn’t been around long enough to be called a “survivor,” but he knows the rules of the game for longevity. Don’t be fooled, it works
exactly the same for Democrats.

The first rule in the survival kit is that you don’t buck leadership. If Republican leaders say that the hearings are “political theater,” then (unless you are Liz Cheney), it’s all Phantom of the
Opera. And, until further notice, Donald Trump remains as the leader of the Republican Party – with at least a fair chance of taking back the White House in 2024. Political survivors on the
GOP side know better than to cross him.

Risch, a strong leader during his time as pro-tem of Idaho’s Senate, knows all about political pecking orders. He was not going to use his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee to openly disagree with Trump. Risch thought he could be more effective being a confidant to the administration. Risch’s reward was generous access to the president,
something that only a few senators have.

Crapo has made a political career of being a loyal soldier for Republicans. He slipped briefly when he pulled his endorsement of Trump a few weeks before the 2016 election, but quickly
came back to the fold after heavy criticism from Republicans. He has not waivered since then.

Simpson took an even bolder approach in 2016, declaring Trump “unfit” for the presidency. He then spent the four years backing Trump, as a political survivor would do. If Simpson went
along with Cheney’s approach, chances are he soon would be known as a “former” congressman. There’s a good chance that Simpson’s opponent, Bryan Smith, would have won this year’s primary election by a healthy margin.

Fulcher was the lone member of Idaho’s delegation who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results. It has not hurt him politically, even though commentators have
had a field day mocking Fulcher for his stand. People in the media talk about the “big lie” that Trump has been promoting about the 2020 presidential election being stolen, but for a good
number of Republicans in Idaho’s First District, it’s the “ultimate truth.”

I doubt if anyone in the delegation stands behind everything Trump has said or done, or totally agrees with his bombastic approach. Secretly, they may wish that the GOP finds another
“conservative” candidate to head the presidential ticket in 2024. But if it comes down to Trump vs. President Biden in 2024, there is no question over who the delegation would support. And
there’s little question that Trump would carry Idaho by a wide margin.

Political survivors like to go along with the “will of the people,” especially when conservative principles are on the line. Political survivors also like the power that goes with having their
party’s candidate in the White House.

In a survivor’s world, power – and party solidarity – are the keys for getting anything of substance accomplished. For the most part, “courage” can be relegated to the short-timers.

ctmalloy@outlook. Chuck Malloy is a long-time Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at

This Op-Ed was submitted by Chuck Malloy. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Chuck Malloy, January 6, Liz Cheney, Mike Simpson, Russ Fulcher

20 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Delegation Won’t Follow Cheney’s Lead

  1. All I hear in my head as I read this is:. “Blah, blah, blah, rino, rino, rino”. With the exception of Fulcher, Idaho’s delegation are all swamp creatures. Rich just got back from an enrichment tour of The Ukraine.

    1. It is interesting that Senator Jim Risch (the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) did not meet with Vladimir Putin in order to get the other side of the story.

      Instead Risch wants to waste more of our tax dollars on a Ukrainian leader who was put into power, in large part, by George Soros.

    1. Oooh! You said it out loud!

      Listen closely, you hear all those poppin’ and cracklin’ noises? That’s the sound of all the libbys minds goin’ apeshit with your comment!

      Good job I7! Today, you’re my hero!!!

  2. Even if they stop representing their constituents beliefs, once an incumbent they become lifers. Why? Wish someone would investigate our Election Systems & Software (ES&S) machines.

  3. People must remember that republican doesn’t equal conservative. We have a lot of republicans who play at being conservatives but they are not true conservatives. Vet your candidate and quit voting for the “R”.

  4. This article sent up giant RED. FLAGS! I’m SICK TO DEATH of Political Survivors! That means to me, the have been bought! The representatives from Idaho are ALL RINOS, WITH NONE of them standing up to the regime if this SICK administration! Making your lifetime in Congress, is an atrocity! Both parties are corrupt, with the Democrats leading the way! Idaho Republicans Representatives need TO. GO! Why some were voted back in, simply tells me the people of Idaho do not know their candidates and do NOT care to vote. We are in seep crap, and NO one in CONGRESS seems to care! Especially the voters! Wake up and ENGAGE WITH OUR REPRESENTATIVES with phone calls, emails etc., about what is going on.

    1. Crapo can still be defeated by Scott Cleveland, Independent Conservative, this November. Can’t do much now against Simpson since he won the May primary, but we CAN do something about Crapo…..

  5. Oh good, we’ve heard from another rino who hates President Trump. Trump won, Biden is destroying the country and people like this guy want it to happen. He acts like Cheney is some kind of hero. She’s a war monger trying to get rich on the backs of our young men and women. Anyone who looks at the evidence out there knows we have an illegitimate government. Our local politicians are an embarrassment with no testicular fortitude.

  6. I am a former democrat that believed in conservative principles. Enter the GOP. The Republican Party can shove their efforts where the sun doesn’t shine. They DO NOT VET their candidates. People like Cheney, Romney, and others still carry an R behind their name, but the R stands for RINO, not Republican. We see it time after time in their voting records. But you can bet that come election time they will spout the conservative agenda on everything from school issues to the 2nd amendment, and public idiots won’t kick them out of office – they just vote them back in to “fix” the very concepts that they helped destroy – America. This has been proven time and again, in voting records and new laws. Just remember that when you go to the gas station to fill up and (possibly) realize that the fuel that the truckers use to bring products to the stores now cost 4 and 5 times (under the democratic dictatorship) than it did under President Trump. Bottom line – I haven’t voted for a democrat (or a RINO) in decades, and won’t. And until the GOP starts properly vetting their candidates I will not support their efforts in ANY manner.

  7. Liz Cheny and ‘courage’ does not compute to me …..
    ‘Political Survivor’ equates to doing ANYthing to retain ones position of power and ego boosting authority.

  8. I take great solace in reading the comments before mine regarding this op-ed by Mr. Malloy. His op-ed smacks me of many of the actions/traits many of us find so disdainful in politics. Mr. Malloy calls out these politicians as “survivors.” Others comments preceding mine more accurately call this being a “RINO.” My larger concern as an Idahoan and conservative, is “where are the core conservative values of these Idaho republicans? Is their “ethos” yet another example of testing the wind and “calculating” their actions based upon what is best for sustaining their time in politics? And when the wind changes, so do their actions? If anything the past year and a half has shown us, we need clear thinking, conservative men that are responsible and accountable to their voters and the values that make Idaho – Idaho. BTW, I find nothing that Liz Cheney has said regarding former President Trump, “profound and courageous.” We should be engaged with these politicians and demand more from them.

    1. Bob
      Like the false administration, this false J6th is being put on illegally.
      Cheney is not there for the Jan 6th true findings. She’s there for revenge, hatefulness and greed.
      Why haven’t the January 6th “prisoners” been released or even had their day in court?
      Just remember, unless your blm or on the false government side, you or a family member/ friend could be jailed on false arrest.

  9. “But in the immediate future, the Idaho delegation is not about to side with Cheney.”

    In stark contrast, by supporting Cheney, I hope and believe that your prospects in the GOP will severely wane. You are a RINO.

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