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AP Photo by Andrew Harnik / Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., walks back to her office after speaking on the floor of the House Chamber on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

What should we make of the secret Republican vote in which 70% of the House GOP members voted to keep Donald Trump critic Liz Cheney in her role as third-ranking minority leader despite her vote to impeach the former president?

And what should we make of their later public vote, the one in which only 11 of those same Republican House members would join Democrats to strip freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her education and budget committee appointments after she pushed dangerous, threatening and ridiculous conspiracy theories?

In the secret balloting, the vote was 145 to keep Cheney in her position as House Republican Conference chair, and 61 to remove her, plus one member who voted "present," according to several people in the room who talked to CNN.

Imagine this. One of those Republicans in the secret Cheney vote was so afraid of the party's extreme right wing base — their base — that they would only say "present." And the rest were so afraid that they would only say aye or nay in secret.

That fear clearly carried over later in the public vote on Greene, when only 11 Republicans would vote publicly to merely remove the Rome, Ga., woman who has said — among other even scarier things — that the deadly Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings were "staged."

Logically, this wasn't a hard vote. Do you want a woman who says that on your school board? If your own child said the principal of his or her school or some of your neighbors should be executed, would you not think some intervention, some discipline, would be necessary?

For a congress member, this should never be a hard vote — unless you care more about your elected fanny than you do about the children, parents and schools in your congressional district.

Imagine this: Our own Republican representatives in Tennessee and Georgia taking a strong stand for both truth and safety.

Imagine Tennessee's seven Republicans — Reps. Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah, Scott DesJarlais of Sherwood, Tim Burchett of Knoxville, Mark Green of Portland, Diana Harshbarger of Kingsport, David Kustoff of Memphis and John Rose of Cookeville — all standing tall.

Imagine Georgia's seven Republicans (excepting Greene herself) — Reps. Rick Allen of Augusta, Buddy Carter of Pooler, Andrew Clyde of Athens, Drew Ferguson of West Point, Jody Hice of Greensboro, Barry Loudermilk of Cassville and Austin Scott of Tifton — all taking the high road on Greene's immoral suggestions that Democrats be "executed" or shot or hanged.

You will, of course, have to merely imagine such a stalwart event — because it absolutely did not happen.

They all voted against removing Greene from the committees. They couldn't even take that small step of disciplining her.

Only Tennessee's two Democratic congressmen, Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis, voted for her committee removal. Likewise in Georgia, only the six Democratic representatives voted for Greene's removal: Reps. Sanford Bishop of Albany, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Suwanee, Hank Johnson of Lithonia, Lucy McBath of Marietta, David Scott of Atlanta and Nikema Williams of Atlanta.

The Republicans making the secret ballot vote to back Liz Cheney as a leader — even though she voted to impeach Donald Trump a second time — shows where the House Republicans really are, aside from being afraid.

Likewise, the dearth of those same Republicans making a public vote to discipline Marjorie Taylor Greene shows where they are, too.

It all shows their unbelievable cowardice.

But, folks, make no mistake:

It isn't the failed, twice-impeached and twice outvoted Donald Trump that they are afraid of.

Nor is it Q or the Klan or the Proud Boys that makes them hide.

It's us. And our votes. They are afraid of our votes. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, they are afraid we will vote their cowardly backsides out.

Let's give them a reason to tremble.

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