Column: Republican Liz Cheney as the Democrats’ Joan of Arc

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The national Democrats and their allies, including the biased cable TV pundits, are all lathered up, elevating the Republican establishment’s U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney as their new Joan of Arc.

The Wyoming Republican, who is unlikely to win reelection, wants to drive a stake into the heart of former President Donald Trump and perhaps the GOP as the midterm congressional elections near.

Republicans could retake the House, but a circular GOP firing squad helps Democrats. So, they’ll sharpen that stake for her. Wreaths of garlic too.

After she was bounced from her leadership role in the House Republican Conference for her criticisms of Trump — saying he has lied repeatedly that the 2020 election was stolen — she ran to NBC, not Republican-friendly territory.

“He’s unfit,” Cheney told Savannah Guthrie on the “Today” show. “He can never again be anywhere close to the Oval Office.”

Guthrie asked her if she’d run for president.

“I think that it is the most important issue we are facing right now as a country, and we’re facing a huge array of issues, so he must not ever again be anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney said.

Pressed again if that meant she’d run for president, Cheney said: “Whatever it takes.”

Of course.

Cheney is a smart operative. She grew up in the political game. She knows what she’s doing.

Much, but not all, of the pro-Cheney rhetoric and coverage has been hagiographic, which is understandable given the Democratic Party’s fear and hatred of Trump and the establishment’s loathing of his 74 million voters that they’ve been stoking for so long.

As they lamented Cheney’s fall, I could almost hear Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in the background. Or was it Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” which framed a stunningly effective animal cruelty video?


Columns are opinion content that reflect the views of the writers.


Emotion is everything in politics. Emotion is the goad by which people are herded and stampeded.

Sometimes people are stampeded into self-destructive action. The Cheneys understood this, as they and their boss, former President George W. Bush, shepherded America into a bloody, costly, needless war in Iraq on the fear of those weapons of mass destruction that never quite materialized as warned.

And Rep. Cheney, of the War Party, now gives refuge to other War Party Never-Trumpers and still wants to keep American troops in Afghanistan on a longer timetable. She fought Trump and Biden on the issue.

Now that she’s been bounced out of Republican congressional leadership for her criticism of Trump, she’s useful to the Democrats. And she’ll use them all for as long as she can.

It is an easy drama to cover, and it has gripped Washington journalists, Democrats, Republicans and political activists. It serves the smart analysts and the witless equally.

But they live in the media universe, dominated by loud, urgent voices and political obsessives and Twitter. Most Americans don’t live in that world, and many have turned off the media.

So are the American people all lathered up over who’s in charge of the House Republican Conference? I really don’t think so. Most people are worried about themselves, their families and kids, hoping politicians don’t make things worse.

They’re worried about gas shortages and pipelines prey to cyber hackers as President Joe Biden, inexorably morphing into our modern Jimmy Carter, tells them “don’t panic.”

Some might think the murderous attacks on Israel are more important, or the threatening and growing relationship between Iran, China and Russia now that Team Biden is in charge of U.S. foreign policy.

Most Americans think about other things — the price of chicken going up, the price of gas, the price of lumber skyrocketing, and whether throwing trillions more at an economy coming out of pandemic shutdowns will eat savings in a burst of inflation.

I could be wrong but I just don’t think Americans are as consumed with the Republican House Conference as many of us in journalism are.

“The general public is blissfully unaware of the fact that there is such a thing as the House Republican Conference, and could care less who heads it,” notes Aram Bakshian Jr. The former speechwriter for Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan was quoted in a smart piece in The National Interest which asked, “Does Liz Cheney Actually Want to be Purged by the GOP?”

“The future of the Republican Party doesn’t hinge on Donald Trump, one way or the other,” Bakshian said. “Slowly but surely, he is becoming a loud but shrinking figure in the rearview mirror of American politics.”

What many on the left never cared to understand about Trump is that he’s a symptom. Many of his voters adore him, but many do not. Yet they all loathe the Democratic left and that loathing seems to be growing by the day.

For now, what of Cheney?

“It’s like she’s trying to be an agitator,” a House Republican was quoted, anonymously, in Politico. “It’s like she’s trying to stoke the fire to precipitate her own downfall.”

She’s a martyr now, Joan of Arc, or St. Liz of the War Party.

This isn’t her downfall she’s contemplating. She’s making a move.

The Washington establishment, both of its Democratic and media wings, love establishment Republicans like Cheney when they’re useful.

And for now, she’s quite useful.

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