It took a man like Trump to unite the progressive left and arch-conservative Liz Cheney and her family (probably the Bushes too). In a lesson, we would do well to remember that Cheney and Kinzinger (and Romney in other contexts) have shown that a politician can hold strong, even extreme, conservative beliefs and still stand by us when the country is in peril. Furthermore, while there are certainly times when conservative ideology plays into racist hands, fiscal conservatives (of the Cheney type) need not be an object of our disdain, but merely an opponent.
This is mentioned because if we are going to get the truth out of Republicans about their role, all of them, in the events following the November 2020 election, it will be because a member of one of the most powerful conservative families in the country (backed by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney) stood his ground and decided to work for Nancy Pelosi instead of against her when the issue was democracy itself. Country over party.
As the Select Committee gathers momentum and the bombs continue to fall, Cheney wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that reads almost like a warning, a promise, and an invitation to join the right side of history. The truth is about to come out.
Cheney begins by embarrassing the party with what everyone knows. From the WSJ:
“Republicans used to advocate fidelity to the rule of law and the plain text of the Constitution. In 2020, Trump convinced many to abandon those principles. He falsely claimed that the election was stolen due to widespread fraud. While some degree of fraud occurs in every election, there was no evidence of fraud on a scale that could have changed this one.”
He then explains that regardless of what they say in interviews, they know they are lying (with the possible exception of the Gohmertzes, Taylor-Greenes, Cawthorns, and others, who may be so stupid that do really believe what they say):
“Nearly every member of Congress knows this, though many lack the courage to say it out loud. Trump knew it, too, from his own campaign officials, from his own Justice Department appointees, and from the dozens of lawsuits he lost. However, Trump ignored the court rulings and launched a massive campaign to mislead the public.
And then the warning and the promise that, despite all the Trump bragging and Jordan’s pompous speech, they would not back down:
“Those who do not want the truth of January 6 to come out have, unsurprisingly, resorted to attacking the process, claiming it is tainted and political, our hearings will show this charge to be wrong. We focus on facts, not rhetoric, and we will present those facts without exaggeration, no matter what criticism we face.
Cheney (more than Kingzinger) brings invaluable credibility to the Select Committee. She represents Republican power unapologetically inherited from a time when Republican policies were intolerable, but a guy like McCain and Biden could take trips abroad as best friends or, heck, a guy like Lindsey Graham could do an ode to sixty seconds, full of tears. Joe Biden being “the best man you can find.”
We didn’t know it then, but it was a better political moment. We should not forget it in the future, in case the forces of good in the Committee win. With winners like Vice President Cheney and President Thompson, they likely will. The MAGA are already on notice.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, feature writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada, but grew up in the Pacific Northwest with dual Canadian-American citizenship, for which he feels more and more grateful every day. He now enjoys life as a single father, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast and getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic who can’t add up and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes to study cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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