Liz Cheney is an enigma.
For those who require a vocabulary refresher, the dictionary defines “enigma” as, “One that is puzzling, ambiguous, or inexplicable,” or, “A perplexing speech or text; a riddle,” or, “A dark saying or representation, in which some known thing is concealed under obscure words or forms; a question, saying, figure, or design containing a hidden meaning which is proposed for discovery; a riddle.”
Judging from the comments of friends and family members familiar with the many complex and contradictory sides of Liz Cheney’s political persona, there are other words that define the Wyoming representative as well, though they’re not suitable for publication -- or at least not in this forum. It’s hard to think of another politician, let alone an elected Republican, who garners such intense negative feelings as former vice president Dick Cheney’s little girl does.
By comparison, senator Mitt Romney is a swell guy and someone to add to your next dinner party invite list. At least Mitt can talk about how much gel he puts in his hair and/or whether the reports of his dog messing on top of the old family station wagon have any merit to them.
But not Liz; she’s persona non grata these days. Harken back to before the 2020 election when Cheney was merely a vociferous critic of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy. Nobody liked her then, either, but Cheney was tolerated to the point of maintaining a tenuous hold on the number three leadership slot in the House GOP. If anything, Cheney was thought of as a survivor, the most shining remaining embodiment of an old and aggressive Republican Party establishment that was slowly dwindling, drying up and blowing away.
Like water circling a partially clogged drain, Liz went to work ignoring the obvious whispers behind her back, pretending to be completely oblivious to the rumors of her certain demise. No one came right out and said it, but she was toast. Her neoconservative brand of Republican politics was on its way out if it hadn’t fully been eradicated and rendered useless and irrelevant by the America First vision of Trump’s. Then came the January 6 riot.
Afterwards, Cheney not only betrayed her House caucus and party leadership, she openly thumbed her nose at the entirety of the Republican grassroots and the conservative movement in general. Her enigmatic reasons for doing so remain “puzzling, ambiguous and inexplicable” as well as “perplexing; a riddle” and lastly, “concealed under obscure words or forms…” A relative of mine who lives in Wyoming recently attempted to further illustrate Liz. He said, “In Wyoming, there are three genders: male, female, and Liz Cheney”. Apparently, the woman is about as well regarded as a cow pie on a banquet room floor on the high plains. That’s okay… Cheney hardly ever goes back to her state anymore, so she’s safe among her fellow swamp creatures as long as her high heels stay in Washington.
But then again, when she hangs out with the wrong sort of people -- Democrats -- she tests positive for COVID.
Why anyone listens to Cheney is also a mystery since she’s long since been removed from her leadership position in the House GOP and her own state Republican Party disowned her last December. Legally speaking, she can’t be prevented from running for reelection, which she’s attempting to do in The Cowboy State this year. Only Wyoming voters can officially purge her before the next Congress, and they will vote on Liz’s future in mid-August at the state party primary.
Before then, Liz clearly intends to stay in the public spotlight. Paul Bedard reported at the Washington Examiner:
“Escalating her war of words with former President Donald Trump to DEFCON 1, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Sunday that his challenge to the 2020 election results poses the greatest threat to American democracy ever.
“The top Republican on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots said, ‘Only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. Today, that role is ours as we face a threat we have never faced before — a former president attempting to unravel our constitutional republic.’
“Cheney gave her biggest warning about Trump while accepting the 2022 Profile In Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In her address, she quoted former presidents from Kennedy to Ronald Reagan heralding the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power after elections. ‘This sacred obligation to defend the peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every American president except one,’ Cheney said.”
Well, it could be said only one president had a real good reason to oppose the transfer of power. Right, Liz?
At first glance I couldn’t believe any legitimate entity would present an award to Liz Cheney for anything, but to be offered and then to accept a “Profile in Courage Award” is really beyond the pale here, even for embattled Liz. Courage? Courage for what? If it means making a donkey of oneself in front of friends and colleagues while permanently tarnishing the family name in Republican politics, then that’s not what I’d label courage.
Based on enigmatic Liz Cheney’s example, to the Washington ruling class establishment, “courage” means saying something negative and derogatory about Donald Trump, plain and simple. Was Cheney up for a “courage” award when she established the anti-Obama neocon “Keep America Safe” think tank with Bill Kristol in 2009? Or was she merely viewed by the beautiful people as a Bush-era nutcase who helped get America entrenched in the Iraq War? Back then, the snobby elites likely placed her no higher in the righteous pecking order than Blackwater and Halliburton. But now, Cheney is deemed a hero just because she dived-in head first to help the Democrats impeach Trump -- again?
Who’s next for a “Courage” award? Adam Kinzinger? If sticking your opportunistic neck out to join the hysteria after a tragic event like the government-fostered January 6 riot makes you a hero, then the retiring Illinois congressman is right there with Cheney. No doubt both Kinzinger and Cheney’s busts will be placed adjacent to that of the Rosenbergs and Benedict Arnold’s and Jane Fonda’s in the traitor hall of fame. Visitors to the museum will be invited to jeer at the gathering of notorious turncoats and then told to toss some form of refuse at them until they’re covered with it.
On the Democrat side, former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has endured much enmity and scorn from liberals for her willingness to criticize the Biden administration’s foreign policy and advocacy for leaving United States troops vulnerable for no reason in Afghanistan. Will Gabbard be so honored as Liz Cheney was? Don’t hold your breath.
Liz Cheney will certainly attract consideration for more honorariums from leftist groups looking to score public relations points against Trump, but her close association (and friendship?) with Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi won’t revive her reputation. The #NeverTrump faction formed before Trump even secured the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, at first griping that the career real estate developer and reality TV celebrity was “un-presidential” and then bloviating that he didn’t possess the temperament to hold the office of the presidency.
By “temperament”, this disgruntled lot must have been referring to George W. Bush, a man so willing to absorb and ignore the insults and false barbs of his enemies that he’ll forever be regarded as a spineless political gimp who couldn’t stand up for himself. Trump was nothing like Bush and hence earned the eternal hatred from the loud but gentile DC War Party.
Some neoconservatives, such as Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, eventually came around to supporting Trump, though they still differed on foreign policy. Trump was up front about his contempt for and opposition to the Bush era interventionism and offensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump vowed to end both and was moderately successful in the endeavor.
These days, this is part of what motivates the human “enigma”, Liz Cheney. Liz finds herself more in agreement with the Democrats and establishment Republicans in connection to the War in Ukraine. Leaders of both parties had no trouble signing off on another $40 billion to be shipped overseas to “aid” the Ukrainians against the Russians. This group of hawks also favors aggressive action against Iran and other perceived bad actors.
The recent lessons concerning the limits of American military intervention in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan were lost on the Liz Cheneys of the world. They hate Trump because he unapologetically soiled the record of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, but also because, if the America First/MAGA crowd is in power… they won’t be. Trump was dead-set against getting the U.S. bogged down overseas and clashed with the warmongers in his own administration. Anyone recall what happened to John Bolton? One wonders why Trump ever hired him in the first place.
On Memorial Day weekend, patriotic Americans united in thoughts and remembrances of servicemen and women who gave our country the last full measure of devotion. We recalled those who were lost in the past year overseas and vowed, once again, not to commit our sons and daughters to military adventures with no definition of victory and therefore cannot be won.
If it were up to Liz Cheney, the “threat” that is Donald Trump’s version of foreign relations would perish from the earth. To her, common sense and restraint are more dangerous than all of the ill-advised missions her father and his boss sponsored during their eight years in power. Which vision is the real threat to America’s future? Hopefully, “enigma” Liz will be gone in a few months.
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