News of Rep. Peter Meijer’s loss to Trump-endorsed John Gibbs in the battle for the Republican nomination for Michigan’s third district saddened and angered Never Trumpers, the media, and other Democrats. They claimed it was because he was a principled conservative, and their evidence was based on his vote to join a Democrat political operation to harm the Republican Party by impeaching its leader.
“Noble, Meijer was. He can hold his head high — unlike others,” National Review’s Jay Nordlinger tweeted on Tuesday night.
The Dispatch’s Stephen Hayes, whose obsessive hatred of Trump helped kill one magazine and helped start yet another Never Trump publication, was angry.
“Disgusting … sinking a principled Republican,” he vented.
Commentators of all kinds also weighed in on how awful it is to see someone with “dignity” and a “backbone” depart office so soon.
A “courageous, honorable man,” a “decent, sane Republican,” was ousted from office, said Never Trump extremists David French and Sarah Longwell.
Even Meijer said in a statement that he’s “proud to have remained true to my principles, even when doing so came at a significant political cost.” That’s after he blamed his “Democratic colleagues” for trying “to sell out any pretense of principle for political expediency” in an opinion editorial published one day before election day.
But leaving aside whether joining with Democrats on their factually inaccurate, hypocritical, and histrionic political impeachment plot shows any principle, much less conservative principle, was Meijer a principled conservative? His track record — which is what the same constituents who voted for him in 2020, knew his name, and likely shopped at his family’s popular grocery store chain were voting on — suggests otherwise.
Meijer is hailed by the establishment as a “principled” conservative, but he certainly doesn’t act or vote like a true conservative. His first vote in the House of Representatives was to impeach Trump, joining with eight other Republicans who followed Liz Cheney’s mission. That’s the vote that curried him favor with politicians and members of the media who attack anyone with an R next to their name.
And he has often separated himself from the core Republican voting bloc to side with Democrats on legislation that is generally frowned upon by the majority of conservatives and their voters.
In just the last few months, Meijer has delivered “yeas” to multiple bills that, by all accounts, Democrats and the Biden administration consider wins for their agenda. Meijer was one of nine Republicans to vote to find Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the partisan Jan. 6 Committee’s sham trial. He was one of the 47 House Republicans who recently sided with Democrats to codify the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples. Meijer also gladly backed Democrats’ gun control bill, which is littered with vague language about “dating partners,” plus red flag laws and the controversial “CHIPS” act, which House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy specifically urged Republicans to oppose.
The only reason Meijer ever won the good graces of our Trump Derangement Syndrome-plagued ruling class is that he voted to impeach Trump.
Why? Because the only principle the anti-Trump regime even remotely cares about is hating former President Donald Trump. Republican voters don’t share that “principle,” and they want far more than hatred of a conservative president to demonstrate Republican leadership worthy of re-election.