Wednesday, August 17, 2022

One Cheer for Liz Cheney


Via NBC News.

Not quite, though. Before the 2020 election she voted against impeaching a criminal president, and afterwards she voted for it.

It occurred to me to wonder if that could be the characteristic Republican switch where they come to understand a more or less "liberal" concept when they become personally involved—"I'm against abortion" until somebody you're close to needs one. Like Mrs. Reagan turning in favor of stem cell research when her husband was dying of Alzheimer's disease.

The 2020 impeachment of Trump put the mobster president on trial for a crime against Ukrainians, shaking down President Zelenskyy in an offer-he-can't-refuse scheme in which he wouldn't deliver the congressionally-mandated Javelin missiles until Zelenskyy helped him make an anti-Biden ad. The 2021 impeachment was over a crime against congressmembers, when he unleashed his thug militia on the Capitol building in an effort to stop the joint session from taking a vote.

Did the penny suddenly drop for Cheney when the Trump mob started trashing her own personal workplace? That Trumpism is organized crime?

It did for a lot of them, of course, not least minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who was talking tough on January 7, not only in public but also among his colleagues, bragging to them about how he was going to get the president to resign, but quickly folded like the proverbial cheap suit he fundamentally is.

But Cheney couldn't get it out of her mind. So respect to her for having more balls than Kevin, as it were, but as ever when you're comparing anybody to the vast majority of Republicans, you're setting a pretty low bar.

I should add one other thing, because practically everybody is in love with this narrative of Cheney as being perfectly in lockstep with the ideological side of Trumpism, tax cuts and deregulation, votes with his wishes 93% of the time, etc., that it's not entirely true. She is not merely her father's daughter, she's his disciple, and even his co-author, in the 2016 Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America—an advocate, like so many NeverTrumpers from Kristol to Goldberg, of hard American power who still doesn't think the Iraq War was a mistake and who was enraged both with Trump and with Biden over the hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan a year ago this week. Like a lot of journalists, too, as I have sometimes noticed. I wonder if that's connected in any way to the current journalistic crushing on Liz Cheney, reminiscent of that on Captain John McCain back in the day.  

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