Liz Cheney, the Media, and the Really Big Lie - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Liz Cheney, the Media, and the Really Big Lie
Liz Cheney (YouTube screenshot)

So there’s this from Wyoming’s Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney in response to a statement from former President Trump. Said Trump:

The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!

Replied Cheney, she one of the 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment by deliberately lying about the then-president inciting an insurrection in his January 6 speech from the White House ellipse:

The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.

(And, to repeat, I was privileged to have a literal front-row seat at that White House rally. The president’s call to protest “peacefully and patriotically” did not qualify as anything close to inciting insurrection.)

Meanwhile, over in the media there is a meltdown at the idea that there were election shenanigans that caused the election to be dishonestly decided.

Our friends at the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial about the move to remove Cheney from the GOP leadership. It has this subheadline:

GOP leaders shouldn’t have to lie about 2020 to keep their job

The editorial applauds Cheney for “daring to tell the truth to GOP voters — and at personal political risk.” Yet strangely, the very same editorial goes on to say of Republicans:

They can truthfully say that Democrats used lawsuits to exploit the pandemic to change the election rules in some states. They can also say Democratic judges on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court let Democrats get away with it. Democrats did a better job of exploiting the pandemic rules than did the GOP.

Hello? Exploiting the pandemic? What the WSJ is describing right there is … theft of an election. To suggest otherwise is, if I may disagree with Mr. Trump, not a BIG LIE but rather a REALLY BIG LIE.

But the WSJ is not alone in pushing the claim that “there was no stolen election.”

Over there in Mediate is a headline about my former CNN colleague Jake Tapper. The story begins,

Jake Tapper is questioning the wisdom of inviting Republicans on his show who are pushing what has been dubbed the Big Lie by many in the media — that the election was stolen from former President Trump.

The story goes on to say that Tapper mentioned other examples of GOP lying, specifically citing “the lie about Joe Biden wanting to steal your hamburgers for climate change.”

He also goes on about the crazies at QAnon — who in fact have zero connection to either the GOP leadership or serious conservatives in the media.

To address the hamburger business: It is a fact — say again a fact — that all manner of environmentalists want to ban beef. The Environmental Protection Agency has said that the agricultural sector of the country contributed about 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. in 2018, per “Check Your Fact.”

It is perfectly true that Vice President Kamala Harris — during a CNN climate change town hall, no less — said that she supported reducing the consumption of red meat. Americans, she said, need to be “educated about the effect of our eating habits on our environment,” adding that “I love cheeseburgers from time to time.” It is also true that Harris co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) that would “temporarily suspend current and future USDA waivers allowing meatpacking plants to increase production line speed during the pandemic.”

Booker has also introduced a bill, as reported in Politico, “that would prohibit new large-scale animal feeding sites and shutter existing ones by 2040.”

And just in recent days the “foodie” website Epicurious has ostentatiously announced it will no longer publish recipes that require beef. The title of the article:

The Planet on the Plate: Why Epicurious Left Beef Behind

Epicurious says,

It might not feel like much, but cutting out just a single ingredient — beef — can have an outsize impact on making a person’s cooking more environmentally friendly.

The Biden administration, within hours of taking office, shut down the Keystone pipeline in response to pressure from far-left environmentalists. It takes no imagination — none — knowing these leftist environmentalists are intent on targeting cattle and the eating of red meat, to believe that at some future date Biden would do just that.

But as to the so-called “Big Lie” that says the 2020 election was stolen: It is decidedly not a lie to say — to focus on but one state, my own — that Pennsylvania has a seriously bad record with voter fraud. Not only did the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the secretary of state play fast and loose with election laws and the state constitution in 2020 — as the WSJ allowed — but the state has long had repeated and well-documented incidents of fraud.

Only last year — in 2020 — a Philadelphia Democratic election judge was indicted and convicted for stuffing ballot boxes in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 elections.

And he was paid to do this by a second person — ex-Democratic Congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers from Philadelphia, who was a political consultant. Myers’ latter job is something he created for himself after being released from prison for his role in the 1970s Abscam scandal. Myers was indicted with his pal the elections judge — for voter fraud. The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer from July 2020 was this:

A former Pa. congressman caught in 1970s Abscam sting has been indicted again — this time for election fraud

Prosecutors said Michael “Ozzie” Myers, now working as a campaign consultant, paid a South Philadelphia judge of elections to fraudulently add votes for candidates who had hired him for their races between 2014 and 2016.

In 1994, a federal judge in Philadelphia overturned a special election for the Pennsylvania State Senate because of what the New York Times called an “elaborate fraud.” The Times story reported this:

Saying Philadelphia’s election system had collapsed under “a massive scheme” by Democrats to steal a State Senate election in November, a Federal judge today took the rare step of invalidating the vote and ordered the seat filled by the Republican candidate.

In making such a sweeping move, the judge, Clarence C. Newcomer of Federal District Court here, did for the Republicans what the election had not: enable them to regain control of the State Senate, which they lost two years ago.

Judge Newcomer ruled that the Democratic campaign of William G. Stinson had stolen the election from Bruce S. Marks in North Philadelphia’s Second Senatorial District through an elaborate fraud in which hundreds of residents were encouraged to vote by absentee ballot even though they had no legal reason — like a physical disability or a scheduled trip outside the city — to do so.

The examples of voter fraud in Pennsylvania go on and on.

There are plenty of reasons to believe the 2020 election in Pennsylvania (and elsewhere) was not on the up and up. To say otherwise, as Liz Cheney is doing, is the Really Big Lie.

Then there’s Michael Gerson, the ex-Bush speechwriter. Mr. Gerson was being lionized on CNN for a column in the Washington Post titled,

Elected Republicans are lying with open eyes. Their excuses are disgraceful.

Wrote Gerson:

Nothing about this is normal. The GOP is increasingly defined not by its shared beliefs, but by its shared delusions. To be a loyal Republican, one must be either a sucker or a liar. And because this defining falsehood is so obviously and laughably false, we can safely assume that most Republican leaders who embrace it fall into the second category. Knowingly repeating a lie — an act of immorality — is now the evidence of Republican fidelity.

Where to begin? One would think that an ex-Bush staffer of all people — not to mention Liz Cheney — would be very, very careful about accusing today’s Republican supporters of deliberately lying and having “shared delusions.”

It was President Bush and Vice President Cheney who were repeatedly pilloried for deliberately lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the promulgating of which delusion led to a war that, between 2003 and 2011, killed almost 4,000 American soldiers.

Gerson and Cheney making the charge that Trump supporters are lying about the election is nothing if not a reminder of the “Bush lied, people died” mantra in the Bush era. That’s not exactly helpful to either former President Bush or former Vice President Cheney — both decidedly honorable men. Honorable men who, just like former President Trump and his supporters today, genuinely believed what they were saying.

What this really comes down to is a Republican and media establishment that cannot abide Donald Trump or his supporters. So they will repeat the Really Big Lie that there are no reasons to be concerned about the 2020 election.

Time, in fact, does move on. And the WSJ editorial is right when it says 2022 should be House Republicans’ focus because “their prospects for picking up the five net seats they need to regain the majority in 2022 are excellent.”

But the obvious question is: pick up five seats and regain the majority … to do what? Recall that Republicans in the House and Senate spent years campaigning against Obamacare, promising to repeal and replace it when they won back the presidency and both House and Senate.

And what happened when they did? Nothing. Zip, zero, nada, because the new Republican majority couldn’t get their act together to get the repealing and replacing of Obamacare accomplished.

With that lesson in mind, Republicans should indeed be focused on 2022. But if they ignore the Really Big Lie about 2020 — which Liz Cheney, various Establishment Republicans and some in the media want them to do — they will allow some version of the same thing happen all over again.

And told once again to ignore it.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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