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Chip Roy Is A Cowardly Goldfish

Butching up with MAGA by condemning people who hold the same position you did six weeks ago.
February 25, 2021
Chip Roy Is A Cowardly Goldfish
(Photos: GettyImages / Shutterstock)

Here’s a take on Donald Trump that sounds like something you might’ve read here in The Bulwark or heard on MSNBC:

He deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly impeachable conduct. He purposefully seeded the false belief that there was a path for him to stay in power. It was foreseeable and reckless to sow such a false belief that could lead to rioting. Let us condemn what must be condemned loudly.

Hard to argue with, right?

Well that was what self-described “genuine conservative” and “true patriot” Rep. Chip Roy of Texas said one week after Donald Trump incited a violent riot in a last-ditch effort to retain power against the will of the people.

Roy, who was formerly chief of staff to Ted Cruz, had for a moment lived up to those autobiographical monikers, distancing himself from his erstwhile boss on the matter of whether Donald Trump should be allowed to overturn the election result because his feelings were hurt. (A low patriotism bar to cross, yes, but these days we’ll take green shoots where we can get it.)

You would think, given this bold stand and his avowed role as a genuine and true patriot that Roy would not waver in maintaining that attempting to overthrow our democracy via Capitol siege is bad. Right?


Chip, in the words of Ted Lasso, has become a goldfish. He’s got a 10 second memory.

Earlier today, Chip decided to hold a press conference in which he demanded that Liz Cheney be removed from Republican leadership for saying the very thing that Chip Roy said six weeks ago.

Brace yourself before clicking. Because it will shock you how much Chip Roy wants you to believe that Chip Roy’s January 13th press release calling for loud condemnation of Donald Trump never happened.

Yesterday Liz forfeited her right to be chair of the Republican conference. You cannot stand up and make a statement that is so completely out of step with the Republican conference and where the American people who support President Trump are. . . . She shouldn’t have said that.

That’s right. According to Chip, for the transgression of condemning the very thing he recently insisted must be condemned loudly, Liz Cheney must now be removed from her job.

By this logic, shouldn’t Chip himself resign? Because it’s not like any of the facts of the case have changed since January 13.

Trump has not taken any accountability for his actions or apologized for them. If anything, he has octupled down! He continues to advance the very arguments that—according to Roy himself—made it “foreseeable” that people would riot.

The only thing that has happened since the moment when Chip Roy and Liz Cheney shared the same assessment of Donald Trump is that Republican voters made it known that they demand fealty to Trump. So Roy changed his tune.

Which would be bad enough. If Roy’s views are completely and totally subject to the whims of Republican base voters, that would be one thing. But this man is such a pusillanimous poltroon that he’s going all the way to demand that others be punished for sticking with the truth. He doesn’t even have the common decency to slink quietly into a corner and stroke mUh pRinCiPles while letting some other red hat do the dirty work of going after Cheney.

Nope, in order to prove to the mob that he is at their beck and call, Roy now demands that his “friend” take the fall for saying something that they agreed on just six weeks ago.


I contacted Roy’s office this morning and asked if the Congressman stands by his January 13 press release and if so what exactly is the difference between demanding universal condemnation of Trump and what Rep. Cheney said yesterday.

We will update the article if he replies.

I’m not holding my breath. The rest of us don’t have the luxury of being a goldfish.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.