Source: Hot Air
This would be the ultimate “Dark Brandon” move, no?
If you want to truly own the cons, what better way than by handing federal law enforcement over to their least favorite conservative?
Biden’s not considering making Cheney AG, to be clear. (I think.) The idea came from author Peter Shinkle in a WSJ op-ed yesterday that was written either in jest or amidst some mental disturbance. Not only does Shinkle want Cheney as attorney general, it seems he wants Merrick Garland to be forced out somehow to make way for her.
The investigation into Trump is of special import for the Justice Department, no doubt. But the person who oversees the entire department — counterterrorism probes, garden-variety crimes, smoking out foreign spies, etc — should probably have sturdier qualifications than “really tough on Trump,” no?
The best part here is the idea that having Liz Cheney lead a prosecution that might end up with MAGA’s hero imprisoned would help heal the country.
Now that Rep. Liz Cheney has lost her primary to a Trumpist Republican in Wyoming, it’s time for President Biden to consider appointing her to his cabinet. Political tensions have risen to new levels since the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago. Bringing a Republican into the administration would cool partisan temperatures and unite the country in support of the rule of law…
If America must now enter the uncharted waters of prosecuting a former president, appointing a Republican as attorney general would provide the public with crucial assurance that the rule of law—not partisanship—is behind the charges. Under other circumstances, there would be no cause to replace Merrick Garland, who has a fine record of unbiased and measured enforcement of our laws. But these are not normal times…
Americans disaffected with the two major parties are seeking bold ideas to address the nation’s challenges. By appointing a Republican to his cabinet, Mr. Biden would show decisively that he isn’t mired in partisanship. Such a move would signal that he’s ready to reach across the aisle to protect the great American democratic experiment.
I find that downright poignant in its naivete about how partisanship works nowadays.
Let me gently remind you how Liz Cheney fared when YouGov asked voters recently what they think of her. One party split 59/18 on whether they view her favorably or unfavorably. The other split 18/61. With practically any other American politician, the positive split would be coming from her own party while the negative split came from the other. With Cheney, it’s the opposite — she’s at +41 among Democrats and -43 among Republicans.
Which is what you’d expect. In the Trump era, the idea of traditional Republican and Democratic parties no longer obtains. Rather, there’s a pro-Trump party and an anti-Trump party. Liz Cheney is a prominent member of the latter, as are most Democrats. That’s why they rate her so highly.
And that’s why Biden appointing her to his cabinet would do next to nothing to “cool partisan temperatures,” let alone “unite the country in support of the rule of law.” Just the opposite. If Biden wants the DOJ’s investigation to be seen as apolitical, he’s better off with a low-key liberal former judge like Garland in charge than he is with the most outspoken Trump critic in America. Cheney’s critiques of Trump aren’t fundamentally “political” but she is in fact a politician who’s distinguished herself through her antagonism to him. Making her the face of a supposedly impartial federal prosecution would make it seem less legitimate to MAGA fans, not more.
There’s not a conservative anywhere in America, in fact, who could take the AG job and bring about the sort of unity Shinkle’s fantasizing about. To make trouble for the cult leader is to forfeit your right to call yourself a Republican, especially among populists who already view establishment figures like Biden and Cheney as members of a de facto “uniparty” to which they don’t belong.
Besides, my guess is that Biden would rather not have the political headache of prosecuting Trump and is quietly hoping that Garland decides against it. If I’m right about that then Cheney wouldn’t be on his AG shortlist given that she’s prone to saying stuff like this:
Obviously, the Department of Justice has to make a decision about whether they’ve got the evidence. I think the fact that Judge Carter says it’s more likely than not that two crimes were committed is significant. I think we’ve certainly provided significant evidence in our hearings. But if the Justice Department has the evidence and they make a determination not to prosecute, then it is essentially a signal that you are excusing the behavior, that you’re accepting it, that you’re legalizing it.
And I think that changes America forever.
If a president can ignore the rulings of the courts and can try to overturn an election, and call local officials and pressure them to find votes, send an armed mob to the Capitol—if a president can do all those things and face no legal consequences for it, then it is difficult to say we’re a nation of laws, and that really no one is above the law.
She’d charge him. And, contra the wishful thinking about cooling passions and national unity, all hell would break loose.
Still, her confirmation hearing would be fun, no? I’m not completely sure she could get 51 votes. She’d get a handful from Republicans despite Trump threatening to spearhead a primary against anyone who votes yes. But she might lose a few too among progressives like Bernie, who’ll remember that Cheney has defended waterboarding in the past. Most Democrats have come to admire her for her relentless pursuit of Trump but the hard left will never betray its ideological commitments by supporting someone as right-wing as her for a job as big as AG. I think she’d squeak through to confirmation, as seeing her do battle during her hearing with the likes of Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley on the subject of January 6 would soften up some reluctant Dems. But it could be touch and go at first.