Let me make this clear. My disagreements with Congresswoman Liza Cheney at a policy level are vast. However, her love of the Constitution and the country can’t be questioned. She is risking her political future, at least short-term, by standing up to Donald Trump and the Big Lie.
Cheney is no longer the Conference Chair of the Republican caucus. She was ousted by the leadership, working with the former president. This is now the legacy of Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise. This is the legacy of a party at war with reality. It is a party at war with American traditions and the American experiment.
This is not a big tent party. This is an authoritarian party of sycophants. This is the party of Donald Trump.
Mitt Romney, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney, are three names to be added to a very thin volume of profiles in courage. She now has a national profile. She will get interviews, even book deals. The party is represented very well by Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Marjorie Taylor Greene. These used to be backbenchers and considered part of a bowl of nuts.
Paul Gosar, who encouraged the actions on J6, painted an alternate view of reality. These were peaceful people. Those in military gear (oath keepers) were infiltrators. This is part of the storyline that the party is painting for the base. That it is a lie is beside the point.
This is what Cheney is standing against. This divorce from reality, and appellation to conspiracy and alternate reality. She stands against the lies, repeated by people who only desire power for its sake.
Republicans like Jordan accuse Democrats of doing all his party is doing. This is classic what-about-ism. It is a propaganda technique perfected by the Russians but now used by the party all the time. He is able to snow the base because that part of the base divorced itself from reality some time ago. It happened through the propaganda outlets that are the right-wing echo machine.
Will Cheney be effective with this base? No. But I suspect that is not the target audience for her. In this case, it is the never-Trumpers, and independent voters that may vote Republican, but will not follow the party down this road to perdition. Short term this will likely cost her reelection in 2022 because she is going to face a primary from an acolyte of the big lie.
No matter what happens to her short term, whether Republicans fracture into two parties, or somehow the moderates regain control, her ambitions may involve the White House. If nothing else, she will do all she can to prevent a second Donald Trump term.
I hope she is aware that what he woke up is not just toxic, but hard to get rid of. No, this sense of toxic grievance started before Trump, and yes, she enabled some of it. History though will be gentler with her, and the others. Because when the history books are written, her courage will be noted.