Here we go: Liz Cheney gets a primary challenger

She’s at least a year away from having to worry about this but there’s something to be said for her would-be opponent wanting to strike while the media iron is hot.

Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R) announced on Wednesday that he will challenge Cheney for Wyoming’s lone House seat, saying that his campaign was spurred on by his opponent’s “long-time opposition to President Trump and her most recent vote for Impeachment.”

“Wyoming taxpayers need a voice in Congress who will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, and not give them cover,” Bouchard said in a statement. “That’s why I’m running for Congress.”

“I expect Never Trumpers to do this stuff. But Cheney should be run out of town, and back to Virginia for joining the blame game!” Bouchard wrote on Facebook last week, after she cast her vote for impeachment. The same post flagged this story about the anti-Trumper arrested during the Capitol riot, which has been used by some righties as “proof” that the MAGA fans who smashed up the Capitol were actually Antifa in disguise.

Basically, the guy primarying Liz Cheney is exactly whom you’d expect the guy primarying Liz Cheney to be — and then some. Hoooo boy:

We’re gonna get an honest-to-goodness “Liz Cheney versus QAnon Lady” proxy fight for the soul of the GOP in Wyoming next year, are we? A little something else from Bouchard’s Facebook, posted the night of the Capitol riot:

Matt Gaetz flagged the same bogus story about facial recognition technology supposedly having identified Antifa members at the Capitol during his floor speech after the mob had dispersed. That story was later retracted, yet Bouchard’s post remains live.

One more:

It’s gonna be real. The Cheney family and its vast establishment connections versus this character backed by Trump, Q fans, and diehard MAGA loyalists. I know which way I’d bet.

Liz can always get a job as a lobbyist after she’s gone, I’m sure.

The primary will need to wait awhile but the effort to oust her from leading the House Republican Conference is an immediate threat. Last night it sounded like the anti-Cheneys might have the votes to make it happen. Today sources are telling CNN not to jump the gun. Trumpers may hate her but there’s a certain type of voter that would feel assured by having Cheney in a leadership position, and Kevin McCarthy knows that. The question is whether he can bring his caucus to heel.

The effort to actually oust Cheney continues to be viewed as a long shot by GOP aides watching the process. While it is expected the conference may have to hold a special meeting on the topic, actually ousting Cheney is much harder. The conference would have to vote on a resolution asking her to step down and a majority would have to back it, something that aides don’t expect is possible right now.

“There is angst, but I don’t think they get there,” one Republican aide told CNN on the condition of background to freely discuss the issue…

One former senior GOP official told CNN that ousting Cheney would be a massive step backward for the party…

“If it is true they are trying to do this, the party is committing suicide,” the official said. “Taking out the most senior woman in leadership when your party is bleeding out suburban women is the definition of self-harm.”

Like I said last night, maybe McCarthy’s going to convince them to opt for some softer punishment for Cheney instead, like a resolution stressing that most of the conference disagrees with her on impeachment. It’d be nutty for the party to make an example of her after she cast a vote that a majority of the country supports. They can show their MAGA stripes by complaining about her in interviews, but keeping her around is ultimately to their own benefit. After all, having figures like Cheney at the top helps “launder” the extent to which the caucus is dominated by Trump cultists, which may help the GOP win a few suburban swing districts in 2022. That could be the difference between a House majority and another two years in the minority. The more that House races become a referendum on the Trump party versus the non-Trump party, the dicier it gets for Republicans. Having a (very) few token anti-Trumpers in the party to show off to centrists ultimately means more power for the Trump-dominated caucus.