Secretary mayorkas with capital building in the background

Zachary Hupp/U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Wikipedia Adobe Firefly

‘LFG!’: Far-right influencers plotting primary efforts aimed at Republicans who voted against impeaching Homeland Secretary

Other Republicans wondered why they were wasting time with an impeachment vote at all.


Marlon Ettinger


Posted on Feb 7, 2024

A Republican-led impeachment vote against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas failed in the House of Representatives last night on a razor-thin margin, with four Republicans voting against their own party to defeat the GOP effort. 

The narrow defeat left Republicans online bitter about the affair and trading blame. Now, furious internet commentators are pledging to oust the representatives, and at least one primary campaign has already been floated.

Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) all voted against the impeachment effort. A fourth Republican, Blake Moore (R-Utah) initially voted to impeach Mayorkas but changed to a “no” at the last second so that Republicans could bring it up for a vote again.

“As a Californian I’ve lost all respect for McClintock!” posted u/BF2468 on the r/Republican subreddit.

“Make sure these four are not re-elected,” added u/RedBaronsBrother. “and they will have to choose different compromised candidates to vote against the next bill. Repeat as necessary.”

“Get Texas to start sending 1000 illegals a day to Ken Bucks 5th district of Colorado and pay him back for his extremely stupid vote approving illegal immigration. Primary Ken Buck and remove him from ever representing the USA in any capacity,” wrote one user.

“Primary, Replace, Remove,” declared another.

The Hill reported on Wednesday evening that Alex Bruesewitz, a ride-or-die pro-Trump online warrior, was thinking of launching a primary bid against Gallagher. Bruesewitz thought of running against Gallagher last year but ultimately decided not to.

The primary announcement against Gallagher had Republicans giddy.

“LFG! These traitors need to go,” posted @mommapancakess. “They’re pushing Americans too hard. We have the 2nd Amendment to use against a tyrannical government. That’s quite literally what it’s for. I WILL NOT TAKE THIS ON MY KNEES.”

House Republicans were voting to impeach Mayorkas over allegations that he’d refused, in a “willful and systematic” way, to enforce border security laws, reported the Associated Press.

Those allegations stemmed from an upsurge in encounters on the U.S. southern border, with millions trying to cross into the United States.

The Republican Party has responded to the immigration surge with increasing calls for shutting down the border completely and keeping all new immigrants out, with some politicians like former President Donald Trump calling for mass deportations of immigrants who entered the country under President Joe Biden.

The Mayorkas impeachment was cast in terms of a military invasion by many Republicans.

“Impeaching Mayorkas is not some close constitutional question that requires carefully pouring over the federalist papers by candlelight,” tweeted former Trump immigration advisor Stephen Miller. “Mayorkas is leading an INVASION. No Secretary has ever necessitated impeachment more than Mayorkas.”

“He needs to be arrested!” replied @SamJuneau over an image claiming that mass invasion, Republicans’ chosen characterization of the border surge, is an act of war, and anybody allowing it to take place is committing treason.

But back over on the r/Republican subreddit, recriminations about the vote started as soon as it was lost, not for the people who voted against it, but for the party for undertaking it.

“Impeaching a cabinet secretary in a divided Congress is a waste of time,” wrote u/smauseth. “I am no friend of Mayorkas and he has to be the worst Homeland Secretary that we have ever had. As Republicans we should focus on winning the 2024 elections on all levels.”

“Why did we even go for this when it really had no chance?” added u/ImperialxWarlord. “And what for? I don’t like him or Biden ffs but I can’t see it.”

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*First Published: Feb 7, 2024, 4:29 pm CST