Liz Cheney Walloped in Primary

The Trumper consolidation of their control of the GOP continues.

WaPo (“Liz Cheney loses primary while vowing effort to keep Trump from White House“):

Rep. Liz Cheney — the once-high-ranking Republican who defied her party to wage a lonely crusade against former president Donald Trump — lost her primary by a wide margin Tuesday while vowing she would do everything in her power to keep Trump from returning to the White House.

Harriet Hageman, a lawyer with Trump’s endorsement, ousted Cheney, clinching the GOP nomination for deep-red Wyoming’s only House seat. Cheney fell in defeat despite her appeals to Democrats and independents to re-register as Republicans and vote for her. The race marked the last primary challenge to a small group of House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year and are mostly set to leave Congress after withering backlash.

With more than 99 percent of the vote tallied, Hageman had about 66 percent to Cheney’s nearly 29 percent, according to the Associated Press, which projected Hageman’s win. Hageman headed into the day as the clear favorite and close observers had anticipated her victory for weeks.

The 45th president also loomed large Tuesday in two high-profile races in Alaska: Moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) faced a Trump-backed GOP challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, and both advanced from an all-party primary to the general election, the AP projected. Former governor Sarah Palin — an anti-establishment Republican backed by Trump — vied for Alaska’s lone seat in the House in a special election that did not yet have a projected winner.

The paper’s Editorial Board declares “The country needs more Liz Cheneys.”

“If the cost of standing up for the Constitution is losing the House seat,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) recently told the New York Times, “then that’s a price I’m willing to pay.” On Tuesday, her state’s voters came to collect.

Ms. Cheney’s defeat in Wyoming’s GOP congressional primary was predictable — and yet no less dispiriting. Polls had her trailing the eventual victor, Harriet Hageman, by a substantial margin. But no numerical analysis was necessary to see how far out of step Ms. Cheney had become with a Republican Party over which former president Donald Trump still holds so much power, even after his role in one of the nation’s darkest days: Jan. 6, 2021.

Where many Republicans (including her opponent) say the 2020 presidential election was rigged, Ms. Cheney refuses to participate in election denialism. Where nearly all of her House colleagues refused to join Democrats in their efforts to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, Ms. Cheney has played a central role on the select committee seeking to hold to account those responsible. Her participation lent bipartisan legitimacy to the undertaking; her knowledge of her own party’s politics proved invaluable to understanding how that day’s horrible events came about.

And now, while candidates willing to spread the “big lie” are winning GOP primary races across the country, such as gubernatorial candidates Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Kari Lake in Arizona, Ms. Cheney has lost.

This outcome says as much about the GOP as it does about Ms. Cheney’s mettle. She did not lose because she surrendered her status as a card-carrying conservative. She’s an antiabortion foreign policy hawk with a career score of 74 percent from Heritage Action, a conservative advocacy group, and a 79 percent score this session. She voted with Mr. Trump 93 percent of the time during his tenure. She lost because she refused to bow to Mr. Trump — or, at least, to remain silent about his campaign to undermine U.S. democracy, as do many Republicans who understand that Mr. Trump is a grave threat. The difference between her and the House Republican leadership from which she was ousted is that she recognizes that ideology and party loyalty should not matter when facing a fundamental threat to democracy.

Now, as politicians seed doubt in the outcome of votes before they even happen and spew reckless rhetoric that endangers elected officials and everyday government employees, the nation needs a broad coalition united in defense of bedrock values such as free-and-fair elections and the peaceful transition of power. The country needs, regardless of their positions on tax hikes or deregulation or free trade, more Liz Cheneys in government. Now, it will have one less.

Fewer. But, yes.

Contributing columnist Gary Abernathy urges “Liz Cheney and other jilted lovers need to move on from the GOP.”

Liz Cheney’s spectacular rejection by voters in Tuesday’s Wyoming Republican House primary was predictable, not just because of her vote to impeach Donald Trump or her decision to join forces with Democrats on the Jan. 6 select committee, but also because she closed her campaign by calling her party ”very sick.” Wyoming Republicans, feeling fine, decided to change doctors.

[…]

Cheney will assuredly wear her defeat as a badge of honor, a testament to putting country first in ways that lesser Wyoming Republicans did not have the character to emulate. It’s a popular narrative trotted out about Cheney, her Jan. 6 committee colleague Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and any other Republican willing to chastise not just Trump but their party in general.

The jilted lovers of the GOP operate under the delusion that Republicans have just temporarily lost their way, and, once they realize their folly, will find their way home. But while the GOP fell hard for Trump in 2016, its lukewarm response to John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 demonstrated that when it came to traditional suitors, the bloom was already off the rose.

Today’s GOP has no interest in being rescued by the very people it ditched. Ronald Reagan remains the most revered modern president for many longtime Republicans, but this is no longer his party, any more than it was still the party of Dwight D. Eisenhower when Reagan ascended. Only 20 years had elapsed from Ike leaving the White House to the Gipper entering it; nearly three decades passed from Reagan’s exit to Trump’s arrival. Things change — just ask a John F. Kennedy Democrat.

Instead of constantly reproaching Republicans for their choices, everyone should stipulate the following: The Republican Party has some lingering conservative leanings, but it is now the populist, Make America Great Again party of its modern leader, Donald Trump. Even if someone else is its standard-bearer in 2024 — which would be a wise move, considering Trump’s self-inflicted wounds after his election defeat — the GOP will not revert to the party of the past. Establishment Republicans who care to remain even modestly influential can pick up an oar and help row. Or, they can jump ship. Lectures and recriminations are futile.

I think that’s all correct. Parties indeed change and this isn’t even the party of George W. Bush, much less Reagan. But Abernathy doesn’t really explain what he thinks Cheney should actually do once they abandon the GOP. Start another party? Become Democrats and try to steer that party in a more centrist direction?

Democrats will not like this:

Our national acrimony could be lessened by declaring a halt to portraying the GOP as a terrorist- or conspiracy-based organization represented by the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers or other such groups. Millions of rank-and-file Republicans having no connection to fringe militias with exaggerated influence roll their eyes at the insults hurled their way. But the relentless hostility directed toward them across media platforms, and year after year of investigatory agencies targeting Trump, serve only to keep them defiantly in the former president’s corner. The more you call millions of hard-working, patriotic Americans racists, cultists or terrorists, the more you push them away — and then complain that they’re not listening.

Regardless of what they tell pollsters, whom they often regard as an extension of the mainstream media, most Republicans likely know the 2020 election wasn’t fraudulent, although they might harbor suspicions about voting revisions enacted late in election season, with the pandemic used as justification. They may even agree that Trump is many of the unsavory things that his critics claim — but feel confident that still makes him as fit to be president as any other politician they know.

That might appear shocking to anyone embracing the spin that, by comparison, the Democratic Party distinctively stands for truth, justice and the American Way. The truth is that whatever Democrats are saying or doing about Trump and his party, most of them — especially those in leadership — do so less because they are offended or alarmed than because they think it’s the strategy that will maintain or expand their power. If you think otherwise, your innocence is enviable.

At first blush, this is High Broderism in its extreme and rather silly. While I have no doubt that the Democratic leadership is cynical as hell, they’re not openly undermining our democracy, fomenting conspiracy theories, and encouraging the use of violence to settle political disputes.

Still, fundamentally, I agree that, in a system of binary choices, it’s counterproductive to condemn the whole lot of Republican voters as deplorables. To the extent they even vote, most of the right-wing extremist elements seem to have gravitated to the GOP. But they’re a tiny element of the whole.

The country might heal more quickly if the left, the right and the media accepted the modern Republican Party for what it is, and if the GOP’s old flames would stop so pitiably pining away. For those former lovers who can’t agree to be friends, the best way to move on is to meet someone else. Maybe they could be introduced to someone in the new Forward party. They seem nice.

Even setting aside the massive cultural and institutional obstacles to creating a viable third party in our system, the fact of the matter is that Forward isn’t really even a party at all.

Congressional bureau chief Paul Kane sees something bigger: “Liz Cheney went against the ‘clear’ path. Now she leads an anti-Trump movement.”

All the Wyoming Republican had to do was keep quiet, like almost all her male GOP colleagues had decided to do.

“I could easily have done the same again, the path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election,” Cheney told a crowd of about 100 supporters gathered in a valley inside the Teton mountain range. “It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic.

“That was a path I could not and would not take.”

[…]

Cheney used her defiant concession speech Tuesday night, after losing badly in the GOP primary to Trump’s handpicked candidate, to promise a sustained campaign against the ex-president and his allies. She surrendered her rising-star status in Congress in a sacrificial manner toward a higher calling to take on the most powerful figure in her increasingly conspiratorial political party.

As she has done from her perch on the committee investigating the Trump-inspired 2021 attack on the Capitol, Cheney laid out the terms of how she will judge the success of her effort.

“We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face and about what is required to defeat it. I have said since January 6, that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office. And I mean this,” she said, drawing cheers from a crowd that featured a few newfound admirers among local liberals but was largely made up of old-time hands from Wyoming Republican politics. Tucked off to the side of the crowd sat two of the most notable of the latter group: Cheney’s parents, former vice president Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, herself a former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the Reagan and Bush administrations.

It will be more difficult for the younger Cheney to garner the same level of attention next year, when she is out of office, after just six years and at the politically young age of 56. She won’t have the vice-chair perch she currently enjoys on the Jan. 6 committee, whose hearings have drawn tens of millions of viewers on national TV.

But she has gained a level of attention that now dwarfs almost every other member of Congress, commanding a platform that all but a handful of other Republicans in the Capitol have attempted.

And she has become a prolific fundraiser, where in the past she would raise the minimum necessary to win in this small-population state where only the GOP primary matters.

Many supporters want her to run for president in 2024, some a bit naive in thinking she would be a top-tier contender. Cheney did little to tamp that down in Tuesday night’s speech.

There’s a whole lot more to the piece but, frankly, she may be leading but she has no followers. Many of us admire her for her bold stand against Trump. But there’s not enough left of the old GOP to nominate her. And, while Democrats applaud her for her courage, she simply doesn’t fit under their tent ideologically. I don’t see any way that her political career isn’t over.

Nor do I even see what more she could do to ensure Trump isn’t the 2024 nominee. Anyone persuadable that he’s unfit has long since been persuaded. And those who haven’t sure as hell aren’t taking their cues from her.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2022, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. MWLib says:

    Maybe sometimes, some people do what their belief system tells them to do, even if it doesn’t “make sense” in the political system they are part of. Maybe Ms. Cheney doesn’t want to start a third party, or join the Democratic party, maybe she just wants to do what she sees as the right thing.
    And at least on this issue, I think she’s right about what the right thing is, even if it isn’t going to lead her to a future in the GQP/RW media empire.

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    Cheney could go the Statesman route, although that would be a long uphill climb. Honestly, her best hope for public office again is time. Unlikely as it seems now, in ten years most of the most ardent trumpers will be dead or senile. Running as an independent with powerful connections could actually be viable then. I don’t think the Republican Party apparatus will have been captured by a saner crew by that point, but I could be wrong. If so, she could be welcome back in there.

    As I often say, 70-80% of the electorate is a mushy middle. If whoever they see as their team leaders change direction, so will they, in their stumbling shambolic way. They will vaguely be aware that Cheney was tough and couldn’t be pushed around and that may be enough.

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  3. Scott says:

    I almost think we need to stop talking about the two parties and talk at a higher level of the historical and long term trends of American cultural history. Both parties have mutated over the life of their existence, merely keeping the names. It is clear that the Republican party has changed over time from Lincoln to Roosevelt to Eisenhower to Reagan to Trump. The Trump Republicans have far more in common with the George Wallace Democrats than Reagan era Republicans. The Democrats have also changed from agrarian Jefferson and Bryan to today’s urban party.

    Today’s right-left two variable party paradigms seem to be breaking down under the contradictions. Do we really think that traditional center-right Republicans can be accommodated under the Democratic Party umbrella? Do we really think the Democratic Party can stretch itself ideologically and culturally that wide? I don’t see it.

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  4. Jax says:

    Our local state senator won over the Trumpy candidate. Sigh of relief, there! And thank God, Schroeder lost as Superintendent of Public Instruction! He’s the jerk that was appointed when that other gal moved to Virginia, he’s been campaigning against Title IX funding and schools allowing children to choose their pronouns.

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  5. drj says:

    Our national acrimony could be lessened by declaring a halt to portraying the GOP as a terrorist- or conspiracy-based organization represented by the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers or other such groups.

    Yeah, let’s whitewash what is actually going on.

    Trump, the de facto leader of the GOP, is actively siccing his followers on individual judges, FBI agents, election workers, etc., etc.

    He tried to have an armed mob undo a democratic election.

    All based on transparent lies.

    But the relentless hostility directed toward them across media platforms, and year after year of investigatory agencies targeting Trump, serve only to keep them defiantly in the former president’s corner.

    Well, if it isn’t the consequences of their own actions. My, my.

    And, of course, this entire exercise in special pleading is based on very solid evidence (as well as unrivalled mind-reading skills):

    Regardless of what they tell pollsters, whom they often regard as an extension of the mainstream media, most Republicans likely know the 2020 election wasn’t fraudulent

    And this is how democracies end: too many people like Abernathy simply refusing to believe what is right in front of them.

    You can’t solve problems if you refuse to acknowledge reality.

    That doesn’t mean that relentlessly scolding the other guys is therefore the only way forward, but let’s not deny reality, please.

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  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    Still, fundamentally, I agree that, in a system of binary choices, it’s counterproductive to condemn the whole lot of Republican voters as deplorables.

    Compare to Dr. Joyner’s previous post about how Democrats are responsible for moderate Republicans losing primaries

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  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Times this AM has a long look at the R party in general, with Wyoming as its focus. One thing that it points out is that R voters are finally rebelling against the R elite establishment, fulfilling the hope of prog Dems that working class whites would finally reject their wealthy party structure. Unfortunately for Dems, white working class voters rejecting wealthy R elites won’t result in votes for Dems.

    Dems, especially, prog Dems promote the the fallacy that the party promotes the working class and while that is true rhetorically, there has been a distinct lack of substance. A second Times article this AM points out for all the success that Biden has had on infrastructure and the environment, he has been frustrated in getting legislation through that really benefits the middle and working classes, specifically student loan reform, child care support, parental leave and increased subsidies for families with young children. Yeah they did shovel money at the oldsters again, but even Bush/43 did that. But let’s count it as a victory for the middle class.

    Working class whites have gone all in on identity politics and cultural resentment, they are having success in electing non-traditional candidates to public office. Those candidates have no clue as to how to address the problems of their constituents, but by gosh, they will tackle CRT and the imaginary plague of trans kids.

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  8. Neil Hudelson says:

    The more you call millions of hard-working, patriotic Americans racists, cultists or terrorists, the more you push them away — and then complain that they’re not listening.

    Regardless of what they tell pollsters, whom they often regard as an extension of the mainstream media, most Republicans likely know the 2020 election wasn’t fraudulent, although they might harbor suspicions about voting revisions enacted late in election season, with the pandemic used as justification. They may even agree that Trump is many of the unsavory things that his critics claim — but feel confident that still makes him as fit to be president as any other politician they know.

    The author is saying:
    -Trump supporters may be telling pollsters they believe the election was stolen.
    -But they are likely just lying.
    -Except all the changes to voting laws during the pandemic were super suspicious so maybe they aren’t lying.
    -Democrats really need to be nicer to these people who are either lying or are crazy, but are justifiably crazy, because.

    That’s a hell of a position to take, Abernathy.

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  9. DK says:

    Still, fundamentally, I agree that, in a system of binary choices, it’s counterproductive to condemn the whole lot of Republican voters as deplorables.

    It’s not a system of binary choices, though. Not voting is an option. Voting for third parties is an option. Those who choose an affirmative vote to enable fascist attacks on democracy need to be held accountable for their choices. It is counterproductive to let them off the hook with, as Prof Joyner puts it, High Broderism.

    Trump’s GQP can’t be the Party of Personal Responsibility F*** Your Feelings Snowflake until time to take responsibility for their votes, then it’s my hurt feewings made me do it. These people look for every lame excuse in the book to blame unarmed black teens murdered by cops (“he used marijuana once!”) but God forbid we hold fully grown white adults responsible for their choices.

    Gays, people of color etc. have faced all sorts of vicious, vituperative attacks, up to and including violence; they still manage not to give a majority of their votes to fascists. So spare me the “I’m shredding the constitution because someone called me deplorable on Facebook” victim act.

    Don’t want to be called deplorable? There’s a fix. Stop supporting deplorable, pathological lying politicians who mock disabled reporters, suck up to Putin, praise tiki torch Nazis, cause mass death and record unemployment with COVID lies, tweet White Power videos, and incite terror attacks to destroy democracy with sore loser election lies.

    Blame-shifting excuses won’t play. There is no valid excuse. Good on Liz Cheney for saying so and for recognizing holding political office is not the important thing in life, not even close.

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  10. gVOR08 says:

    Gary Abernathy is, at best, LOW Broderism, a WAPO EEOC hire. They wanted someone as a voice of the Trumpers, and Abernathy was the best they could find.

    Our national acrimony could be lessened by declaring a halt to portraying the GOP as a terrorist- or conspiracy-based organization represented by the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers or other such groups.

    Who is doing this? A quote or cite of some high ranking Dem or media figure would strengthen his argument. The cammo boys figure prominently in reporting on 1/6 because they figured prominently in 1/6.

    Hillary Clinton observed that there are some deplorable people in the GOP party, which FOXGOP blew up into they’re all deplorables. Which she did not say. And Abernathy is doing the same thing. And to the extent they’re all being tarred with the same brush, that would be a lot harder if prominent GOPs disavowed the III% crowd. And boy howdy, hasn’t Hillary been proven right. Abernathy is really asking us to join him in pretending there’s no connection at all.

    10
  11. gVOR08 says:

    I happened to catch a video clip of Hageman a couple days ago. (Whoa, spell check tried to turn Hageman into Haberman. Dum dum dum dum. The universe is trying to tell me something.) Horse faced middle aged woman with horn rimmed glasses and an irritating sing-song voice. She struck me as a ringer for some movie or TV character, but I couldn’t place it. Finally hit me last night. Tommy Lee Jones is showing Will Smith around MIB headquarters and the big screen is displaying various aliens on Earth. Hageman is Will Smith’s teacher he always thought was from Venus or something.

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    Look, this is not your father’s National Socialist Worker’s Party and you just have to get used to it. We’ve dropped the socialist thing and the worker’s thing, and now we are a personality cult devoted to Der Führer. So slip on your swastika armband and learn the salute and move on. The rally is in Nuremberg on Tuesday.

    And as for you liberals, try being nicer to Nazis, I mean, it’s not like they all really believe Jews should be exterminated, that’s just something they tell pollsters.

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  13. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    It strikes me as a pretty serious blow to the Conservative movement when a staunch Conservative is drummed out of the party simply for not lying.
    The woman voted with the former guy 93% of the time…yet she refused to suck up to him and lie about his election loss. Hardly the litmus test of a serious organization.

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  14. wr says:

    “Our national acrimony could be lessened by declaring a halt to portraying the GOP as a terrorist- or conspiracy-based organization represented by the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers or other such groups. Millions of rank-and-file Republicans having no connection to fringe militias with exaggerated influence roll their eyes at the insults hurled their way.

    And by the same token, millions of rank-and-file German citizens had no connection to death camps, the Gestapo, or the SS, but that doesn’t excuse them from supporting and following the Nazi party.

    If your party is a fascist party and you choose to stay with them, it doesn’t really matter to me how many times you insist you’re not a fascist.

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  15. wr says:

    @drj: “Well, if it isn’t the consequences of their own actions. My, my.”

    Well, sure. But the height of unfairness is to make a Trumpie accept the consequences of their own actions.

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  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    “No matter what they say to pollsters…” So, I’m supposed to think it’s fine that you lie to pollsters and everyone else?

    They guy inspired an insurrection with the express purpose of overturning an election, and you still think he’s fit for office?

    Yeah, like @drj, I don’t think constant scolding is all that great, but you had an easy route out of this mess – just not voting for him. So, no, I’m not letting rank-and-file R voters off the hook completely. I know several that aren’t crazies, and I haven’t talked to them in a while. I can avoid the topic, but I can’t really let go of what they allowed to happen.

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  17. James Joyner says:

    @MWLib: Sure. I’m sure she has ambitions but I do think she’s being a patriot here. I’m just pushing back against the notion that Cheney has some great future in politics or significant ability to influence the GOP electorate.

    @drj: I don’t think he’s arguing for whitewashing what Trump and his enablers in the party leadership are doing. He’s just saying that pretending that the great mass of their voters are Proud Boys and the like is both untrue and counterproductive.

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t see the comparison, in that they’re directly opposite things. In that case, actual Democratic leaders were actively campaigning for the less moderate candidate. In this case, we’re blaming the great masses for the actions of the leadership.

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  18. JKB says:

    the Democratic leadership is cynical as hell, they’re not openly undermining our democracy, fomenting conspiracy theories, and encouraging the use of violence to settle political disputes.

    That’s hilarious. Democratic party leaders openly sought to coerce electors in 2016 to change their votes.

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign was directly involved in hiring a foreign spy to develop the Russian dossier and used their connections to feed it into the the FBI. Democratic party leaders pushed and claimed “evidence’ of the now debunked Russia Collusion Hoax. Joe Biden directly promoted the Charlottesville Hoax and the Bleach hoax.

    Kamala Harris took direct action to create bail funds for individuals involved in violence for political purposes who were burning cities, directly attacking local and federal law enforcement with premeditated actions to cause injury.
    Chuck Schumer stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and threatened justices in a manner a reasonable person would see as a call for violence against them.

    Are these individuals not leaders of the Democratic party?

    1
  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    While I have no doubt that the Democratic leadership is cynical as hell, they’re not openly undermining our democracy, fomenting conspiracy theories, and encouraging the use of violence to settle political disputes.

    And this didn’t start with FG, or have we already forgotten El Rushbo and also various allusions to “2nd Amendment solutions” to the nation’s problems (with the Democrat Party)?

    3
  20. Kylopod says:

    One problem I have with the whole insurgent vs. elites narrative is that it understates how much of what Republican voters believe at any moment is still being driven by the elites. Republican voters aren’t rejecting the party establishment, they’re following it, because Trumpism is the establishment by now. That’s especially obvious because Wyoming isn’t an ancestral Dem state like WV; it’s been pretty overwhelmingly Republican for a long time, and the Cheney family’s history in the state is evidence of that. I imagine that if you interviewed the average Republican voter there in 2005, they’d be telling you how great the War on Terror is and how the WMDs have been secretly moved to Syria. To them, there was no big leap from Bushism/Cheneyism to Trumpism. It’s all whatever was being promoted by Fox at any given time. In positioning herself against Trump, Liz wasn’t speaking for a dying GOP establishment, she was isolating herself from what the GOP establishment has become.

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  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “…most Republicans likely know the 2020 election wasn’t fraudulent , although they might harbor suspicions about voting revisions enacted late in election season, with the pandemic used as justification and don’t care about the consequences of using the lie to advance their agenda/political fortunes.”

    Fixed that for him.

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  22. DK says:

    @JKB:

    Democratic party leaders pushed and claimed “evidence’ of the now debunked Russia Collusion Hoax. Joe Biden directly promoted the Charlottesville Hoax and the Bleach hoax.

    Treason Trump colluded with Putin in 2016: he publicly called for Russia to steal emails, his crime family meet with Russian spies in Trump Tower to exchange election meddling for ending sanctions, and both Steve Bannon and Trump’s Russian asset campaign manager Paul Manafort — who once helped Putin rig elections in Ukraine — gave stolen data to the Kremlin to help Putin coordinate his propaganda war. Something Manafort now openly admits.

    Trump was later impeached for using military aid for attempted blackmail of Ukraine’s leader, demanding Zelensky help him rig the 2020 election and undermining the security of the US and its allies on Putin’s behalf.

    All before he was impeached again for inciting a MAGATerror attack on the US Capitol based on sore loser election lies, attempting to assassinate politicians and destroy US democracy with calls for violence from his same Proud Boys, Boogaloo Boys, Oath Keeper, and Patriot Prayer thugs who had been caught starting fires, killing cops, and inciting riots alongside fringe left anarchists in the summer of 2020. He then praised Putin’s invasion of Kyiv, and has spent the last week trying to get FBI agents murdered by his cult after he stole, mishandled, and possibly destroyed government property, including classified and top secret information.

    Trump also praised those who marched alongside tiki torch Nazis in defense of monuments to pro-slavery Confederate traitors as “very fine people,” which they are not.

    And Dementia Donald — who also mocked a disabled reporter, tweeted a White Power video on 28 June 2020, wrote love letters to communist North Korea and saluted its commie generals, and caused mass death and economic pain with COVID lies and incompetence — also pondered that injecting disinfectant could cure COVID.

    Whereas Reagan won a majority of youth voters, a supermajority of youth voters now despise Republicans to the point Trump caused the White House, House, Senate, Arziona and Georgia to flip blue in only four years. The reason is because youth voters — along with people of color, and an increasing number of educated and suburban whites — are sick and tired of the nonstop lies of radical right extremist deplorables like you.

    Keep digging. Democrats thank you. #YouAreWhyTrumpLost

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  23. Scott says:

    @gVOR08:

    Horse faced middle aged woman with horn rimmed glasses and an irritating sing-song voice.

    I’m sorry but that is just a very Trumpian thing to write.

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  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: “… but are justifiably crazy, because.”

    WA! Just last night, I was streaming an episode of The Naked City* where two guys trying to both park in one space got into an altercation where altercationist one punched number two in the face and altercationist two responded by smashing number one’s head on the car’s roof half a dozen times. “It was self-defense; I was there, I saw it.”

    Things haven’t changed all that much, I guess. “It’s HIS FAULT! He made me SO ANGRY that I pushed him out of a window.”

    *The show that closed each week with “There are 8 million stories in the naked city…”

    1
  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: No, no. The camo boys are only outliers. Most of the people were only tourists caught up in a maelstrom outside of their control.

  26. DK says:

    @James Joyner:

    He’s just saying that pretending that the great mass of their voters are Proud Boys and the like is both untrue and counterproductive.

    His argument is a strawman argument. What people actually are saying is whether 90% or 10% of Republican voters are Proud Boys is moot: 100% of Republican voters are now complicit in promoting anti-American authoritarianism.

    This isn’t 2016 anymore. It’s 2022. If you’re still sitting at the table with Nazis post-Jan 6, 7+ years after Trump’s hatred, incompetence, and narcissism came down the escalator, you no longer deserve the benefit of decent people’s doubt.

    Moral clarity may be sanctimonious and old-fashioned, but oh well. Our republic is at stake, and this is no time to go wobbly.

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  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: And her Ballotopedia bio notes that she was employed by the campaign for Liz Cheney’s Senate run. From that standpoint, she may merely be the “next generation” of a political dynasty.

  28. john430 says:

    While I have no doubt that the Democratic leadership is cynical as hell, they’re not openly undermining our democracy, fomenting conspiracy theories, and encouraging the use of violence to settle political disputes.
    Joyner, if you believe that then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

  29. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:
    They are all leaders.
    However, none of what you typed actually happened. At least not the way you describe it.
    And you should really stop referring to the former guys collusion with Russia as a hoax. It just makes you look even dumber than the rest of your gibberish.
    Just last week Manafort admitted to passing internal campaign data to a Russian Intelligence asset.

    13
  30. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @john430:

    Joyner, if you believe that then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

    Dude – still trying to resell all those bridges you bought?

    21
  31. Scott F. says:

    Nor do I even see what more [Cheney] could do to ensure Trump isn’t the 2024 nominee. Anyone persuadable that he’s unfit has long since been persuaded. And those who haven’t sure as hell aren’t taking their cues from her.

    We’ve been told that there is a significant voter bloc of Republican voters (the inattentive shall we say) who have been persuaded that Trump is unfit to be the 2024 nominee while still holding the belief that the other tribe is evil and an unfit Trump is better than a fit Democrat of any name. Cheney’s Stop Trump project will hinge on her ability to influence that audience.

    We may hear more along the lines of when Cheney recently said she would “much rather serve with Mikie Sherrill and Chrissy Houlahan and Elissa Slotkin than Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, even though on substance certainly I have big disagreements with the Democratic women I just mentioned. But they love this country, they do their homework and they are people that are trying to do the right thing for the country.” If that is Cheney’s attack angle, then she can be a positive influence and she can justifiably claim to be putting country over party.

    But, if the former congresswoman backs DeSantis in the Republican primaries, then we’ll know that Cheney’s drivers are mostly Trump animus and her disdain for the damage TFG has done to her Grand Old Party. Country second as it were.

    6
  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Joyner:

    He’s just saying that pretending that the great mass of their voters are Proud Boys and the like is both untrue and counterproductive.

    I would say that being a Proud Boy* or just supporting a party, or organization, that openly supports and embraces the Proud Boys is simply a matter of degree.
    And while I understand the point Abernathy is trying to make, it is wrong.
    Only by making it abundantly clear what the GOP has become, and thus encouraging people to re-examine their choice to be a part of what it has become, will anything change.
    Abernathy wishes we would all just ignore the massive corruption and the authoritarianism and all the lies and all the hypocrisy and the hate and the anger and stop picking on him.
    Sorry – no.
    Democracy hangs in the balance and I don’t give a flying f’ about your feelings.

    *Proud Boy, here, is being used as a generic term for a whole bunch of toy-soldier militias.

    4
  33. wr says:

    @JKB: “Russia Collusion Hoax. Joe Biden directly promoted the Charlottesville Hoax and the Bleach hoax.”

    Interesting. So in your world, “hoax” is just another word for “fact.”

    11
  34. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Scott F.:

    But, if the former congresswoman backs DeSantis in the Republican primaries, then we’ll know that Cheney’s drivers are mostly Trump animus and her disdain for the damage TFG has done to her Grand Old Party. Country second as it were.

    Don’t forget Liz Cheney is the person who sold out their own sister to win a primary:

    Liz Cheney sells out gay sister for shot at U.S. Senate seat

    3
  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Manafort admits sharing Trump campaign information with the Russians.

    IOW, your ‘Russia hoax’ was and is absolutely true.

    Also:

    Having recovered from their initial shock over the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Florida estate, Russian experts and pundits started to dismiss it as much ado about nothing, albeit a convenient tale they could use to smear American democracy. Now they’re singing a different tune. In the most recent broadcast of the state TV show Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, host Vladimir Solovyov remarked, “I’m very worried for our agent Trump. They found everything at Mar-a-Lago, they got packages of documents. In all seriousness, they say he should be executed as a person that was ready to hand off nuclear secrets to Russia.”

    The Russians certainly think Trump is one of theirs.

    7
  36. Scott F. says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Well, we know now that selling out Mary didn’t end up serving Liz well in the long run. Stabbing your sister in the back was a high price to pay for merely 6 years in the House. Nevertheless, reconciliation for them is now a family matter alone.

    But as a political matter, I believe in the possibility of redemption. But as I note in my comment, it is still an open question whether Liz Cheney is on the path to redeeming herself or not. If she really is all about saving democracy from corrupted Republicanism, as she is presenting herself now in the J6 hearings and public speeches, then we can celebrate her redemption. If she is actually merely saving Republicans from Trumpism, then she’ll end as she has always been – a partisan politician.

    1
  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    Stuck in moderation for reasons that escape me.

  38. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    “He’s just saying that pretending that the great mass of their voters are Proud Boys and the like is both untrue and counterproductive.”

    Saying that the great mass of Democrats want to defund the police is equally untrue and counterproductive of attempts to reduce national acrimony. And yet one sees none of the Broder-ite columnists (high, low or anything in between) calling for an end to it, in spite of Republicans making that claim in every contest.

    Murc’s Law continues to be the lens that they view American politics.

    10
  39. charon says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I scrupulously avoid reading anything by Gary Abernathy, whom I regard as the platonic ideal of intellectual dishonesty, it appalls me to see him quoted as if he should be taken seriously.

    (Clever intellectual dishonesty, he is really great at seeming like someone to take seriously. In reality, just a hard right Republican troll).

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Not so, they live in a carefully curated information bubble where they are continually disinformed, they really do, most of them, think the election was stolen, that is not just something they say.

    ” … Our national acrimony could be lessened by declaring a halt to portraying the GOP as a terrorist- or conspiracy-based organization represented by the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers or other such groups. … ”

    As a practical matter, the votes against Cheney came from people who are pretty OK with such groups. Cheney’s votes came mostly from people who will vote for her opponent in the general election, they prefer any R to a D. So the party functions just the way it would if made up entirely of Proud Boys supporters.

    3
  40. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Typo in your first name in the email address. You have 11,144 approved comments with the correct spelling but, until now, none with the incorrect one and are thus a fresh newbie as far as the commenting system is concerned.

    5
  41. Kylopod says:

    @Scott F.:

    But as I note in my comment, it is still an open question whether Liz Cheney is on the path to redeeming herself or not.

    Serious Q: Has she publicly expressed any regret for anything she’s done in the past? Most of her rhetoric that I’ve heard seems more along the lines of “the party has gone off the deep end in the last year, and I’m too principled to go along with it.” In her concession speech last night, she actually compared herself to Abraham Lincoln. She’s still pretty full of herself, and I haven’t detected much in the way of self-reflection about her own role in the party that has now rejected her.

    2
  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott F.:

    We’ve been told that there is a significant voter bloc of Republican voters (the inattentive shall we say) who have been persuaded that Trump is unfit to be the 2024 nominee while still holding the belief that the other tribe is evil and an unfit Trump is better than a fit Democrat of any name. Cheney’s Stop Trump project will hinge on her ability to influence that audience.

    I question the likelihood that such a cohort, if it exists at all, is large enough to significantly affect her chances before even addressing the question of whether she is the person who can influence them to her cause. Comeback’s gonna be a beeyotch.

    1
  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @charon: Once again, I am reminded of how many in our commentariat are more generous of spirit than I am. I’m okay with this reminder though. It gives me something to reflect on in my moments of self-examination.

  44. Michael Cain says:

    The internet thinks her net worth is $15M, her husband’s $4M, and his annual income over $1M. She doesn’t have to rush into anything, and probably won’t. Given the husband’s law practice, I am curious if Liz will ever move back to Wyoming.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: That was my guess. If it wasn’t for autofill, I’d probably never be able to comment here except as a newbie. Even with autofill, I have 5 choices with various typos to choose from. 🙁

  46. Gustopher says:

    @wr:

    Interesting. So in your world, “hoax” is just another word for “fact.”

    Wingnuttese is a special variation of English where words have different meanings and whole paragraphs substitute for words, and certain words remove all meaning from large sections of verbiage on either side.

    It’s a series of rhythmic incantations. The literal meanings of words are mere intonations of effect, the brushwork of a linguistic painting of metaphors.

    It’s the ST:TNG episode “Darmok.” I always hated that episode.

    “Hoax” frequently suggests information that the speaker blinds oneself to as it doesn’t fit a story.

    And, of course, “Hunter Biden” is a reference to the story of the failsons of two leaders, and how one leader loves their failson despite all of his flaws, and the other leader’s failson resents the first because his father has never loved him despite his alleged successes. Use of the name “Hunter Biden” renders an indeterminate amount of text before and after to simply mean “I am weak and unloved and angry”

    4
  47. Michael Cain says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The piece of software I use to reformat most web pages fills in the name and email input boxes at OTB and a few other web sites for me. It also makes the comment box bigger so longer comments fit without scrolling.

    As to the primary purpose of the software, yeah, I’m arrogant enough to want the typography everywhere on the web to be close to what I think looks good.

  48. charon says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Views of reality vary, I was not trying to pick a fight.

  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:
    People who work with me professionally would be astonished that I have that few typos.

    2
  50. al Ameda says:

    @James Joyner:

    Still, fundamentally, I agree that, in a system of binary choices, it’s counterproductive to condemn the whole lot of Republican voters as deplorables. To the extent they even vote, most of the right-wing extremist elements seem to have gravitated to the GOP. But they’re a tiny element of the whole.

    I’m of the opinion that true ‘Deplorables’ are one-half of Republican voters. The question is, of all those identified or very much aligned with Election Deniers, (1) how many truly believe the election was stolen, or (2) how many don’t believe that it was stolen, however what they believe in is gaining political power at any cost, and if that’s what it takes.

    The current Republican Party is nihilistic, and wants to ‘burn it down,’ and does not care if they have to steal an election to obtain power. That can reasonably be construed as somewhat ‘deplorable.’

    4
  51. Gustopher says:

    @al Ameda: And then there are those who believe that the election was stolen decades ago when Democrats let all sorts of people into the country so they can take over with raw numbers and destroy “America (Fuck Yeah).”

    The Great Replacement theory is not spoken of nearly as often as it is implied. And it’s spoken of far more often than we would like.

    (I seriously think there is a good 30% of Americans who would honestly state that they think the Great Replacement theory is nonsense, but then respond to all of the light to medium versions of it…)

    ——
    When our forefathers brought over millions of slaves, they were really the ones who started the Great Replacement.

    3
  52. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: Remember John McCain yammering about ACORN in 2008? This stuff didn’t come out nowhere. They’ve been questioning the legitimacy of Democratic election victories through conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud for decades now. It just didn’t occupy center stage up to now. McCain was just pandering to the crazies, everyone knew his heart wasn’t in it, and he conceded gracefully on election night. And the crazies became more interested in birtherism than direct election denial. But the ingredients were all there.

    5
  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain: I roll the cursor into the first fill-in box and left click at which point a collection of choices appear. What you do sounds fun but probably requires more technology than exists in my entire universe, let alone the small part of the technology I understand and can use.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @charon: And you succeeded. The comment about being more generous of spirit was intended as a compliment, though I can understand why a person might think I was being snarky. I think of it as both, to be honest.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “When our forefathers brought over millions of slaves, they were really the ones who started the Great Replacement.”

    Ah, but for the founders, the start of the Great Replacement was pretty much an unintended consequence. Who among them would have imagined that a mere 4 score and seven years later, others were going to grand citizenship to mere chattel property? Certainly no one I’ve ever read about. The founders I’ve read about didn’t imagine a world in which I’d become a voting citizen let alone slaves.

  56. Gavin says:

    Liz Cheney looks like her dad. Sure, it’s juvenile, but it’s deserved – and it’s fun because it’s true.

    Liz Cheney also votes like her dad. She voted for Trump twice. She voted against voting rights every chance she had. She voted with Trump 93% of the time. And more such nonsense.. point being that she’s no iconoclast, she’s a knuckle-dragger who deserves praise for getting one position correct but nothing more.

    The only difference between Liz and the person who monkeystomped her in the primary was that other woman’s greater devotion to Trump. Yippee ki yay.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer person – and nobody will notice because the voting from the WY House seat won’t change one bit.

    2
  57. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner:

    Typo in your first name in the email address.

    Been there, done that.

  58. Scott F. says:

    @Kylopod:
    Serious A – why does it matter whether Cheney regrets her past actions or has self-reflected? I have no stake in Cheney’s redemption before God or in the eyes of historians. I only care if she’s committed to her Stop Trump project.

  59. Andy says:

    @James Joyner:

    @Michael Reynolds: Typo in your first name in the email address. You have 11,144 approved comments with the correct spelling but, until now, none with the incorrect one and are thus a fresh newbie as far as the commenting system is concerned.

    Wow, Michael:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-H1T7ny2Uw

    James, it would be interesting to post the comment counts for the old-timers here. I’m sure Michael is probably the champion. It could be complicated because I probably have used 2-3 different emails over the last 15+ years and I’m sure others have as well.

  60. Rick DeMent says:

    @JKB:
    Remember kids:

    The so-called Russian Hoax that the GOP loves to talk about led to 37 indictments and so many people being found guilty that the fines literally paid for the cost of the investigations.

    3