House Republicans spoke out against so-called “cancel culture” in a series of floor speeches mere hours before voting to oust Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her post as party chair early Wednesday.
Republicans led by Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado railed against cancel culture for over 40 minutes immediately prior to Ms. Cheney giving a defiant speech late Tuesday, her last in the leadership role.
Calling it a “dangerous phenomenon,” Mr. Buck started the floor speeches by accusing progressives of seeking “to cancel, cut, sensor and silence” Americans for holding disagreeable points of view.
“Cancel culture is eroding the very foundation of who we are as an American people,” echoed Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, asserting its proponents specifically aim “to silence conservative” voices.
“We have reached a point in our society where the left says, ‘if you do not bow your knee to what we say is the new norm and the only acceptable dogma, if you’re heterodox in any way, we’re going to cancel you, we will dox you, we will erase you,’ and that cannot stand and it will not stand,” Mr. Biggs added.
Mr. Biggs was followed by several other House Republicans who voiced concerns about what they described as various efforts to “cancel” a number of entities, individuals, organizations and ideas.
Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, for example, slammed efforts to “cancel law enforcement” before complaining about “woke corporate boards” and what he referred to as the politicizing of professional baseball.
“We’ve got to reclaim our ability to live free in this country,” Mr. Roy said during his floor speech. “And we ought to ask ourselves that question more and more. Are we truly free?”
“As a physician, I recognize that cancel culture is a sickness in our society. It’s easy to diagnose, but we have to admit it’s going to be difficult to cure, because we are fighting the woke media and we’re fighting the woke left. And the left is using cancel culture to tear our country apart,” Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee said later.
Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, another of the several Republicans who spoke, claimed that “cancel culture is a synonym for fascism” and needs to be recognized as such and handled accordingly.
Following speeches from nine fellow Republicans, Mr. Buck yielded the floor to Ms. Cheney, who in turn quickly steered the discussion to reiterate her concerns about former President Donald Trump.
“I know the topic is cancel culture,” Ms. Cheney started her speech. “I have some thoughts about that, but tonight I rise to discuss freedom and our constitutional duty to protect it.”
Ms. Cheney once more urged Republicans during her speech to reject Mr. Trump’s false assertions of voter fraud that he and his allies have continued to spread following his defeat to President Biden.
House Republicans voted the next morning to remove Ms. Cheney as GOP conference chairwoman, resulting in Mr. Buck reportedly describing the congresswoman as an apparent victim of cancel culture.
“Liz Cheney was canceled today for speaking her mind and disagreeing with the narrative that President Trump was putting forward,” Mr. Buck said, the Denver Post reported shortly after the vote.
The vote to remove Ms. Cheney was done behind closed doors, making it unclear if several House Republicans who spoke out against cancel culture the night before had “canceled” her, as Mr. Buck put it.
Mr. Biggs, who railed Tuesday against canceling people for not confirming, said Wednesday that Ms. Cheney “was no longer in step with GOP leadership” and that he was “glad” she was removed as chair.