It wasn’t exactly a public hanging, but it might as well have been.
Seeing cable news coverage of the Wyoming GOP primary elections returns roll in late last night (EDT for me), it was almost as much fun as recalling election night 2016 and comparable to the euphoric feelings of 1994’s and 2010’s federal midterm votes. Okay, not really, but no doubt the stinging vanquishment of outspoken loudmouth Donald Trump hater Liz Cheney was another notch in the post of righteous revenge – and since Cheney is still in office for another few months, the sense of satisfaction will linger for a good long time.
As if anyone requires a reminder, Dick Cheney’s little girl was one of ten House Republicans who overdramatized the out-of-control demonstration on January 6, 2021, which motivated the group of reactionary cowards to join with every single Democrat in voting to impeach, for the second time, the outsider president who was hired by the American people to come in and clean house in Washington. Almost all (eight) of the turncoat ten have now “retired” or been defeated in their respective state primaries, the voters expressing their individual anger at the group of publicity seeking traitors and political prostitutes at the ballot box.
But there’s no doubt that nailing Liz Cheney’s prissy pelt to the wall was the biggest and most fragrant scalp of all, bar none. Cheney’s fellow January 6 Committee Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (of Illinois), decided against running for reelection in a newly redrawn district in the Land of Lincoln this year, thus saving him the disgrace of being kicked out by his own party voters like Madame Cheney was yesterday. But even if the crying fool Kinzinger had received his merited ouster, to conservatives, his defeat wouldn’t have been nearly as sweet as Cheney’s was.
One wonders whether Liz will now go full-Benedict Arnold and beg Nancy Pelosi for a backrow seat at Democrat caucus meetings for her remaining sunsets in the capitol building. She’ll certainly be receiving more than her share of dirty looks from Republicans from today onward (not that she wasn’t already getting them). If she had any dignity – which she doesn’t – Liz would simply tack a resignation letter to her office door and head out of town in the next few hours. But where would she go? Cheney’s lived in Virginia for decades… and we don’t want her here!
As has been widely speculated, the January 6 Committee’s ranking member (yeah, sure) will now pressure her fellow committee shills and corrupted losers to step up their work of telling only one side of the story about what happened two weeks before senile Joe Biden’s inauguration a year ago January. The huffing and puffing won’t amount to much, but Democrats still need a shiny object to draw attention away from the sorry state of the American economy and refocus eyeballs on something other than Merrick Garland’s and the FBI’s latest public relations disasters.
As I’ve written before, Liz Cheney’s most lasting accomplishment was one she never anticipated: reviving Donald Trump’s political career and drastically improving his chances of doing the unthinkable – being elected as the 47th president of the United States. If this -- or the elevation of a different but equally aggressive conservative MAGA Republican such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – comes to pass, Republicans will owe a big “Thank you!” to pouty and doughty Liz and her shrinking cohort of blind NeverTrump friends.
Their sniping and snark provided hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity to Trump, and their impending ouster has been celebrated by the tens of millions of Trump’s MAGA backers. Who said victory wasn’t sweet?
What’s next for Liz? Here’s thinking she’ll arrive for her day job in Congress when they meet next and act as though nothing’s different. She’ll likely blame her loss on Trump disinformation and an electorate that just doesn’t comprehend just how “dangerous” the man really is. She’ll say it’s a “sad day for democracy” or something like it. Boohoo!!
At any rate, if it wasn’t clear last week that Trump was back stronger than ever (after the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago), Liz’s demise adds another feather to his already full win-cap. Some suggest that the “intelligence community’s” overreach has re-established Trump as the clear leader of the GOP. Philip Klein wrote at National Review after the raid:
“The Biden Justice Department’s pursuit of Trump will continue to be the leading political news story, with the Republican electorate firmly on the side of Trump and rival campaigns likely to hold their fire.
“There is, of course, the possibility that the FBI found something seriously incriminating that implicates Trump in clearly criminal conduct. But even if the FBI unearthed something potentially damaging, opponents won’t want to seize on that information as you’d typically expect other campaigns to do, fearing that they’d be tagged as being in league with the witch-hunters.
“While it is best to await more information before speculating more on the details of any potential DOJ investigation into the former president, it is safe to say that the FBI action has reestablished Trump as the alpha dog among Republicans.”
Woof, woof! I think Klein is right, but I would argue that Trump’s summer-long success in Republican primaries, like the one yesterday that felled poor Liz in The Cowboy State, had already reestablished him as the “alpha dog.” I’ve spent a good amount of time and column space making the case that Gov. Ron DeSantis would be a worthy intra-party opponent for Trump – or even a successor – but the recent straw polls verifying Trump as the frontrunner have only been bolstered by state-by-state results.
The establishment media hooted and guffawed as Trump’s personal vendetta against Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in Georgia failed to dethrone the Peach State ruling class Republicans who wouldn’t budge despite a furious “get moving” campaign in the aftermath of the 2020 election. But looking practically everywhere else, any objective observer would need to admit that Trump has done very well, and in numerous contests, his endorsement made all the difference.
If the race in any particular locale was to be close, then Trump’s endorsement supplied the difference for the victor. Does this mean there was person-by-person exit polling data to back up this claim? No. But look at U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio or the crucial Arizona governor’s race (Kari Lake) and the conclusion is inescapable: Trump got his way.
Ditto for the recent Washington (state) 3rd district race where unapologetic conservative Joe Kent defeated Trump-impeachment voter Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a marginal RINO with no backbone for supporting traditional Republican causes. Or how about the Wisconsin governor’s contest where Businessman Tim Michels edged former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (the establishment candidate) with Trump’s nod as a foundation.
There are more examples, but largely gone are the gleeful establishment media reports of “another loss for Donald Trump”, supposedly signaling a “decline in stature” or “loss of command” over the Republican Party. Former Vice President Mike Pence made headlines by counter-endorsing in a number of these races – with Trump coming out ahead nearly every time, at least recently.
Needless to say, as I argued last week after it happened, the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid greatly enhanced Trump’s 2024 chances vis-à-vis both the GOP primary field and a potential general election matchup versus senile Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or some other stand-in Democrat (it really doesn’t matter which one, does it? How about Michelle Obama?).
One sensed that Trump’s potential 2024 bid was losing momentum earlier this summer. With the stupid January 6 Committee hearings featured in primetime TV and the nation’s attention focused more on high gas and food prices, there was less energy for folks to think about the next presidential election. Plus, Democrats appeared to be engaged in their own “dump Joe” deliberations, which didn’t shine a positive light on Trump’s similarly advanced age.
The stunning audacity of the FBI raid has removed many of the concerns regarding Trump’s vitality or desire to reenter the Washington swamp. A political candidate doesn’t need TV ads or mass rallies to attract attention when you’ve got video footage of armed federal law enforcement officers encircling a former president’s home.
Did they really look through the former first lady’s wardrobe and the family safe?
It’s never been clearer that real change in Washington cannot take place without someone with the gravitas and spine to take on the establishment and not blink. Democrats have the deep state and the federal bureaucracy on their side – and Republicans have Donald Trump and a promising bench of up and comers waiting behind him should the occasion arise sooner than they anticipated.
It’s highly doubtful that the feds have anything meaningful on Trump in terms of charging him with a crime, and Liz Cheney’s embarrassing defeat will only heighten the impression that Donald Trump has figured a way to survive – again. Democrats still haven’t discovered the bit of magic that will the mark the end of his political life.
Conservatives were heartened when Liz Cheney met with defeat, but we know the work of beating the Democrats and regaining control of Congress has really just begun. Some say that last week’s ballsy FBI raid of Donald Trump’s home should force him to enter the 2024 race even earlier than expected. For now, just enjoy the thought of Liz Cheney walking out the door.
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January 6 Committee
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2024 presidential election