If Rep. Liz Cheney were trying to prove she’s the worst GOP politician in decades, what would she be doing differently?
The Wyoming congresswoman, who is about to get blown out in her primary by Harriet Hageman, locked arms with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the 2020 election to spearhead the January 6th committee. What has followed is an exercise in partisan insanity, with proclamations of a “seven-step plan” by Trump to overthrow the government being met with no evidence at all. All the while, Cheney continues to tease bombshells that are supposedly so important that she can wait to reveal them just prior to the mid-terms.
Despite her behavior, there have been some on the right, including those that aren’t necessarily anti-Trump, who have defended Cheney, suggesting that she’s simply operating on principle – even if they disagree with her. That excuse went out the window on Sunday after it was revealed by The New York Times that she also couldn’t support Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2024 if he were the GOP presidential nominee.
Obviously Liz Cheney would not support Donald Trump for president in 2024. Now she says she almost certainly would not support Ron DeSantis, either. From @jmartNYT: https://t.co/uuY5wCT9oG pic.twitter.com/Y6oRWoIFb4
— Byron York (@ByronYork) August 7, 2022
It’s almost as if Cheney isn’t principled at all but is instead just a disgruntled Democrat clout chasing to get a CNN gig. Who could have possibly predicted that? Really, if anyone still doubted how insincere and compromised the Wyoming representative is, this should quell those doubts. Cheney is a hack who knows she’s done as a politician and is currently looking to run a sure-to-fail grift of a presidential campaign in 2024. Alienating everyone to the right of Larry Hogan ensures she can keep those sweet Never Trump donor bucks flowing.
Her reasoning also doesn’t even make sense. Putting aside whether one likes or dislikes Trump, how has DeSantis “lined himself up almost entirely with Donald Trump?” The Florida governor almost never speaks of the former president, and if anything, DeSantis has paved his own path, from COVID-19 to cultural issues to fighting the bureaucracy in his state.
What this really comes down to is not that DeSantis is too close to Trump, but rather that DeSantis is incredibly effective, and there’s nothing an establishment shill like Cheney despises more than a Republican who gets things done. For her, if it’s not a foreign war, it’s not worth doing. Instead of ranting about “the war on terror,” DeSantis has focused on his state and has engaged in battles other Republicans, including Cheney, have been terrified to fight throughout their careers.
Then there’s the fact that DeSantis has been honest enough to call out the January 6th committee for being a partisan dumpster fire of over-promising and under-delivering, and we just can’t have that. For Cheney, January 6th is the litmus test. If a Republican isn’t completely obsessed with what happened that day, proclaiming it the most dangerous attack on “democracy” in American history, they aren’t worthy of her support. That really narrows the list down, as you’d imagine.
In short, this was never just about Trump for Cheney. Rather, it was about the sea-change in the GOP that kicked the neoconservative wing out of the sphere of influence, a process that began after Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012. Bush-ism died, and she’s never gotten over it. Fortunately, there will be no resurrection, and if DeSantis is the nominee in 2024, I’m going to guess he couldn’t care less whether Cheney supports him or not.