Republican men turned against Liz Cheney because she hurt their feelings by standing up to Trump
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming (AFP)

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was one of the few Republicans to publicly stand up to former president Donald Trump, and that hurt the feelings of some of her male colleagues.

The third-ranking Republican was among only 10 GOP representatives to vote for Trump's impeachment, and the only member of party leadership, and Cheney sat "as emotional as algebra" as her caucus decided whether or not remove her as conference chair, reported The New York Times Magazine.

"The conference voted to keep Liz in that position because we've got bigger fish to fry — fighting the Democrats, winning the next election — and this is a distraction from all that," said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), who voted against Cheney. "I think there's a huge disconnect with Liz and some others in the conference and the American people. She did have a conservative record, but then she became almost a Never Trumper, and I've been disappointed in her lack of humility. It's struck a lot of people as not only odd, but just as — wow."

Cheney survived the Feb. 3 challenge to her leadership by a 145-61 vote, but some Republican men complained that she never considered their feelings when she called out Trump's "betrayal" of the country after he encouraged the Jan. 6 insurrection with his election lies.

"But the other thing that bothers me, Liz, is your attitude," said Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC). "You've got a defiant attitude."

Individual Republicans told Cheney before the vote that they would happily move on from Trump, but her willingness to risk an attack from the GOP president only called more attention to their own fear of speaking out against him -- which factored into the anger directed at her during the meeting.

"I just got to spend four hours listening to a bunch of men complain to a woman that she doesn't take their emotions into account," said one congressman on his way out of the meeting, according to the Times Magazine.

Another GOP lawmaker expressed his feelings during the meeting in a way that caused women in the caucus to cringe.

"You look up into the stands and see your girlfriend on the opposition's side," said Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA). "That's one hell of a tough thing to swallow."

The women in attendance reacted immediately.

"She's not your girlfriend!" one woman yelled.

Republican women instantly circulated Kelly's comment around Washington by email, according to former congresswoman Barbara Comstock.

"We emailed that around, just horrified, commenting in real time," Comstock said.

Cheney's lack of concern for her male colleagues' feelings rankles Republicans back home in Wyoming, where her state party's central committee voted to censure her and demanded she meet with them to explain her impeachment vote -- which the congresswoman did not do.

"She's basically taken the attitude that the Republican Party isn't something she needs to interact with," said committee member Karl Allred. "I really hate that attitude."