The evidence in this piece of how Democrats learned to love the Cheneys includes: a Charlie Sykes column, two pieces by Chris Cillizza, a background quote from a Republican Congressman, and a piece from the Financial Times.
A weak nonsense. https://t.co/BplB0MJkrb
– Tommy Vietor (@ TVietor08) May 6, 2021
One of the more fundamental requirements for publishing a thought piece about what this or that section of American society thinks about X is, in theory, to find at least one legitimate member of the group you speak of who can testify to have the opinion , You think they do. In practice, an occasional glance at the New York Times on a given day shows that this is purely optional. There are only two ways a political reporter can find out what American voters are thinking, and the first is to sit down in an all-white Midwestern diner late in the morning and interview, depending on which locals have enough time to spend their day picking the remains of two eggs and four cups of coffee to bleed. The second is just to give it wings because who will know?
It seems like the biggest reform we could make to modern journalism is to start a Rent-a-Liberal service so that top news organizations can get a liberal American to sound things out. Is Mitt Romney Any Good Now? Will you miss hamburgers when [scary non-Republican name] does it prohibit? For a small fee, we’ll have a Liberal American show up at your desk and you can just ask him right about that crap instead of relying on Chris Cillizza to sum up what a House Republican who does a Charlie Sykes column is cut out, currently thinking for liberals holds, or however this game works now.
Although I’m a little late for the party, I want to offer you some informed wisdom: Nobody likes Liz Cheney. From extensive personal research, I can say that Liz has never liked Cheney at any point in her political career. She only showed up one day, declared herself relevant, and made her way to the easiest-to-win slot she could find at the time. Her political ideology is to (1) support the evil deeds her powerful political father went through during his own career using dirty tricks and for-profit wars, and (2) believing that Liz Cheney is better than you and being part of it should be loaded with more things than you. None of this was subtle because members of the Cheney family would rather put live lizards under their eyelids than get on with something subtle.
Liz Cheney is a neocon. A neoconservative. This is their thing. The neoconservative vision for America is one of the benevolent empire in which we use our military to subdue any part of the world that dislikes us and create new customer states willing to use their resources at bargain prices and with a minimum to hand over to future excitement. Liz Cheney is part of a movement that had planned for decades how exactly this utopia could come about, only to see how those plans were smashed when the American neoconservatives actually tried, and in the bloody aftermath, Republicanism quickly continued, instead to support isolationists, white nationalist clown head fascism. Suddenly, Liz Cheney’s dream of running the entire Republican show was trampled on by a house caucus who had fallen in love with Child Sex Trafficking Guy, Molestation Enabler Guy, and every recent conspiracy.
First off, Liz Cheney has a more personal reason than most for wanting her party to give up her cultic devotion to a television reality star who makes fun of everything she’s built her life, and most importantly, not Liz Cheney is called. Of course there are also political calculations here. But:
The thing is that it is right to decipher propaganda-based fascism.
It’s not a liberal or a moderate thing. It is literally the only position available to anyone who still believes that the United States should be a democracy, that elections should still play a role, and that political leaders are not allowed to produce false propaganda in order to annul these elections.
No matter how Liz Cheney got there, or how much of it was based on personal vengeance, she got to a point of basic courage that no other powerful Republican could muster. House Republicans, Senate Republicans, House Republicans, the Republican National Committee: all of them have either explicitly endorsed false reports that explain the illegitimacy of an American election, or at best mumbled quietly about how we should all leave the ensuing uprising behind us and familiarize yourself with, for example, new restrictions on who should vote next time.
The number of supposedly “conservative” Republicans in positions of power willing to condemn the sabotage of the American elections in order to appease the ego of an incompetent megalomaniac Blowhard can be counted and can still be counted by those who did some pretty serious farm accidents were injured. That is precisely why we are in a crisis.
This is the nuance that seems incredibly mysterious to many political experts, which is extremely alarming but not terribly surprising. Whether or not someone supports Liz Cheney’s ideologies is not part of the debate here. Liz Cheney is a person of terrible and dangerous political ideas and shabby politics, and she is all around hideous. Liz Cheney also passed a test in which the rest of her party collapsed: she directly condemned Republican-sponsored propaganda without nonsense, falsely claiming that the result of the last election went wrong. A blanket rejection of a Republican-backed, Trump-influenced joke that led to a violent uprising and death is just steps away from where lawmakers preach these things.
If the most terrifying person you know doesn’t shoot their neighbor in the head during a lawn maintenance argument, it won’t make them a new national hero. It just means that they are a better person than those who fail to say the same thing. And we are now at the point where the party’s Liz Cheneys, the Republicans who were once closest to positions of power before disinformation and mad fascist bile became the only party left, are the most decent people in the party, simply because all of the remaining Republican leadership slipped into something much, much worse. She is one of the few Republican lawmakers who does not directly support a coup attempt.
If the Republican Party is to survive as anything but the mechanism for a new era of terrorism, insurgency, and fascist domination, other Republicans must do what Liz Cheney did. They are unlikely to do it, either through cowardice or because they would rather be foot soldiers for dismantling democracy than being ostracized for defending it. That doesn’t mean Liz Cheney is good now. Liz Cheney is a neoconservative, part of a republican movement that has itself armed disinformation to drive the public into a falsely presumed and murderous war. But every other Republican is something worse now.
There will be no monuments to Cheney when it’s all over. They and their sneering allies will be remembered as the Conservatives who incorporated many of the fascist techniques of the current movement into national offices. There is a direct line between the disinformation of the Iraq war and the electoral version in which the party’s leaders decided they would simply massage the evidence into a form that might be sufficient to achieve the desired outcome.
But when it comes down to it, Liz Cheney isn’t a fascist. Kevin McCarthy can’t say that. Liz Cheney is not a child sex trafficker. that doesn’t make her noble, it just doesn’t make her a seeping pustule of corrupt perversion. Liz Cheney never seems to have deliberately welcomed the disinformation from Russian intelligence to encourage fraud against her political enemies. Once again we find she walked through a bar that some of her top peers couldn’t reach.
It is entirely possible that terrible people do decent things often. In earlier ages it was generally taken for granted that they would at least try. In a time of crisis like this, when no damned member of your party can muster up an excruciatingly dangerous joke, it even counts as courage. We can all give credit for this. We should. That doesn’t mean that Liz Cheney, neo-conservative torture attorney, will be surrounded by new “liberal” fans. It just means that she has more integrity than her lying, propaganda, disinformation-spewing quisling counterparts.
Donald Trump is a traitor to his country. Those who help him encourage violence to soothe his scratchy ego have once again brought a party across the country. No one has ever liked Liz Cheney, but she answered the fascists’ question with the only possible answer. It turns out that the torture apologist and war promoter still loves her country more than she does.