Liz Cheney’s Defeat Taught Her Nothing - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Liz Cheney’s Defeat Taught Her Nothing
Liz Cheney speaking to Jonathan Karl on Sunday (ABC News This Week/YouTube)

In 1980, when the voters of Arkansas denied Bill Clinton a second term as the state’s governor, he responded by apologizing to the voters for the poor decisions he had made and asking them how he could have done a better job. This humble approach allowed him to regain the trust of the voters, and he was reelected in 1982. The rest, to coin a phrase, is history. There’s a lesson for Rep. Liz Cheney in this story, but she refuses to learn it. Indeed, on Sunday, she literally dismissed the Wyoming voters who rejected her as “sick.”

During an interview with ABC’s chief Washington correspondent, Jonathan Karl, she attributed her loss to a misplaced loyalty to former President Donald Trump and described this allegiance as a kind of pathology, saying, “I think it also tells you that large portions of our party, including the leadership of our party, both at the state level in Wyoming, as well as on a national level with the [Republican National Committee], is very sick.” It has clearly never occurred to Cheney that her defeat was precisely what happens in a healthy republic when an elected official ignores the will of her constituents.

She insists that her actions, including her vote to impeach Trump without due process and her collusion with profoundly dishonest Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff on the Jan. 6 Committee, have somehow been based on principle. To the voters of Wyoming, however, Cheney’s “principles” looked more like self-righteous arrogance combined with an obvious effort to raise her national profile for a future presidential run. Even worse, she has been a vocal supporter of the FBI’s unprecedented raid on Trump’s home. She reiterated this in the ABC interview:

I think that when you think about the fact that we were in a position where the FBI, the Department of Justice, felt the need to execute a search warrant at the home of a former president — that’s a really serious thing for the nation.…

I just think that for us as a party to be in a position where we’re reflexively attacking career law enforcement professionals in order to defend a former president who conducted himself the way this one did, it’s a really sad day for the party.

You will note that Cheney takes for granted that, despite a well-documented record of misconduct during the Russia-collusion hoax, the FBI had legitimate reasons for raiding Trump’s home. She said, “I’ve seen no evidence that there was any political motivation.” As with her impeachment vote, she seems unconcerned about his constitutional rights, despite the high probability that his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures was violated during the about nine hours the FBI spent ransacking his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Cheney claimed, without evidence, that Trump released an unredacted copy of the search warrant to media organizations who posted it without removing the names of the agents involved. She stated, “I was disgusted when I learned that President Trump had released the names of those agents, when he released the unredacted search warrant, and that has now caused violence.” At the time of this writing, neither ABC nor any other news outlet has been able to verify her claim. This is consistent with the many charges she has leveled at Trump.

During the interview, she also indicated that she would continue her “crusade” against Trump during the upcoming midterms by campaigning for Democrats facing challenges from candidates he has endorsed. The former president is by no means the only Republican she denounced Sunday morning. Other Republicans who have failed to live up to her standards include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), both of whom she declared unfit for office. She also heaped scorn on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.):

Well, my views about Kevin McCarthy are very clear…. The speaker of the House is the second in line for the presidency. It requires somebody who understands and recognizes their duty, their oath, their obligation and he’s been completely unfaithful to the Constitution and demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the significance and importance of the role of speaker, so I don’t believe he should be speaker of the House and I think that’s been very clear.

In addition, she singled out Florida’s Republican governor for dishonorable mention, saying: “[Ron] DeSantis is somebody who is right now campaigning for election deniers. And I think that, you know, that is something that we’ve got to have real pause about.” Cheney’s weird logic seems to be that, if DeSantis campaigns for anyone who has dared question the outcome of the 2020 election, he is a de facto “election denier” and thus a danger to the republic. Never mind that DeSantis hasn’t disputed the outcome of the election — guilt by association is enough for Cheney.

For all intents and purposes, Cheney is finished. She is already reviled by most Republicans, and her new friends in the Democratic Party and corporate media will kick her to the curb when they no longer need her. For them she is nothing more than a useful idiot. She fantasizes about running for president, but all her connections are has-beens. This was clearly demonstrated by the failure of her pathetic attempt to save herself by trundling out her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, in a last-minute ad that mainly revealed just how much contempt she has for the voters.

That’s the difference between Clinton in 1980 and Cheney today. Clinton was just as dishonest then as Cheney is now, and he had even less respect for the voters. But he was smart enough to convince the people of Arkansas that he had learned the error of his ways — and it worked. Cheney really believes the voters are the problem. She sees them as deranged members of a sinister cult from which they must be rescued. It has never occurred to her that she might be wrong. Consequently, although she doesn’t know it yet, her political career is over.

David Catron
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David Catron is a recovering health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter at @Catronicus.
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