You know the establishment media must be getting bored with the status quo in Washington when they go out of their way to dredge up Liz Cheney’s name over and over again.
Of course, the embattled Wyoming Republican House member is popular -- among opportunistic “bipartisan” see-I-told-you-so Democrats and the remnants of the Trump-hating establishment #NeverTrump faction -- but other than those two small, ill-defined nebulous groups of political people, Cheney is like a pariah, an outcast, the proverbial “black sheep” of an otherwise unified herd of filthy but pale “normal” grass chewers and wool producers. Nevertheless, there apparently are those preparing themselves to publicly rally around former vice president Dick Cheney’s daughter’s reelection cause. Former President Donald Trump frequently uses the Cheneys as illustrations of the stuffy old Bush wing of the GOP, prompting Liz’s tiny coalition of backers to stand up and let themselves be counted. It shouldn’t take long to do so (count them, that is). Tal Axelrod reported earlier this week at The Hill:
“Former President George W. Bush will hold a fundraiser for [Liz] Cheney next month … handing her a boost with the traditional wing of the GOP. But backers say they expect more Republicans aligned with Cheney’s brand of conservatism to get off the bench to help her in a primary knife fight against attorney and erstwhile ally Harriet Hageman…
“The Dallas fundraiser Bush is hosting with GOP strategist Karl Rove next month is thus far the biggest show of support for Cheney from a slice of the party that’s been increasingly sidelined as former President Trump tightens his grip on the party. The Wyoming Republican has also gotten money and support from former Speakers Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and John Boehner (R-Ohio), as well as Country First, the outside group helmed by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), another vociferous Trump critic within the GOP.
“Allies say that help, and more, could be key to keeping her seat, both in raising the millions it will take to fend off Trump’s financial juggernaut and exciting her own voters.”
Aside from astonishment at seeing a bunch of RINOs assembling for Liz Cheney, I’m wondering what, exactly, is “Cheney’s brand of conservatism”? There’s only one “conservatism”, though some Republicans aren’t conservatives, and not all conservatives are Republicans. Cheney’s only “brand” is akin to Benedict Arnold’s, that of a once loyal team member who suddenly turned against her comrades and actively aided the enemy. How many Cheney Republicans are there? Can we have a list?
You almost have to chuckle at the establishment media’s continuing efforts to build Liz Cheney into a national political star and purported victim of mean, red MAGA-hat wearing yahoos who obsess over stuff like elections integrity and vote fraud along with more standard demands such as politicians keeping their promises on issues like border security and presenting a realistic explanation of where COVID came from (hint: the Wuhan lab, funded by Dr. Fauci!).
In the media’s view, “traditional” Republican conservatives flock to the Bush moniker like mind-numbed devotees to a cult leader. But it’s not true. They ignore or forget that the previous Republican president left office with national approval ratings in the high 20’s. And it wasn’t because conservatives had wholesale abandoned Bush in his final months, it was because the outgoing GOPer -- and his handlers -- had abandoned all pretenses of conservatism.
The good people haven’t forgotten about Bush’s transgressions against the cause of limited government. Many subsequently forgave George W. for his unwillingness to fight for himself or the ideas conservatives believe in, but only because Barack Obama proved to be so horrible as W’s replacement. Compared to Obama, Bush actually appeared to be tolerable.
But that’s not the case here. Donald Trump changed the Republican Party, installing a populist win-first orientation and a decided “us vs. the swamp” mentality. Trump didn’t just take on George W.’s little brother (Jeb!) and the family’s neoconservative legacy, he welcomed all comers from the GOP ruling class audience and left every one of them lying flat on their backs in the political canvas boxing ring.
Split-decision, technical knockout, knockout or injury suspension… whatever. The results are the same. Liz Cheney will be the next opponent to be leveled. She can’t jab with the orange-man puncher. Mark my words.
Cheney’s main problem is the voters can’t stand her. She isn’t well-liked. The who’s who of the Republican establishment might fall over themselves to organize fundraisers and personal appearances with Dick Cheney’s little girl, but the person entering the voting booth doesn’t give a lick about her money-raising prowess or high standing with the cocktail set. Mainstream conservatives want someone who will represent them, which does not include palling around with Nancy Pelosi and helping political enemies prosecute another witch hunt against a man who campaigned on a theme of “Make America Great Again”.
Trump stepped on enough establishment skulls along the way to make him a permanent exile. That’s what we’re seeing today. But the people in the hinterlands don’t mind if George W. Bush doesn’t like or respect the 45th president. What matters is the votes.
An illustration from the sports world might help put the “respect” thing in perspective. Last weekend featured the Ryder Cup matches, professional golf’s every-other-year (though this time it’d been three years since the previous matches due to the ongoing COVID-19 hysteria) match-play competition pitting 12 American players versus 12 from continental Europe and the British Isles. As every golf fan amply understands, the Americans have gotten the short end of the final score in recent times, frequently embarrassing themselves in the process.
The lead-up to this year’s matches included the usual, “America looks better on paper but the Europeans care more about winning, blah, blah, blah, so we’ll likely be talking about another ‘surprising’ European triumph on Monday.” Europe had recent history in its back pocket, leaving many an American highly ranked player (such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson) with egg all over his face from getting shellacked by some unknown schlep from the old country who plays on the European Tour and whose endorsement contract doesn’t register on the big boys’ radar screens.
The problem for Europe this time was… they didn’t have the points. Scoreboard, baby.
Half the American team was made up of rookies, and one of them pointed out the other day that perhaps the Yankee team would do better in 2021 because the newcomers didn’t carry with them all the emotional baggage from losing every time to the Europeans. As a result, the Americans not only won this year, they did so in record setting fashion. When the matches ended on Sunday afternoon, it was the Europeans (including a lot of hardened team veterans) who looked stunned and disheartened, having been pounded into dust by the talented but inexperienced American squad.
How does this relate to Liz Cheney? She can have the likes of George W. Bush and John Boehner and Adam Kinzinger and Karl Rove and Paul Ryan behind her, but if she doesn’t have the votes (like Ryder Cup points), she’s not going to look very good the day after the primary election. It doesn’t matter what was done in the past, today is a new reality.
The average conservative couldn’t care less that the Bushes and Roves are backing Cheney now. You might as well line-up the board of directors at a stuffy and ritzy country club and ask the grounds crew whether the sweater and slacks wearing elites should always be lecturing them on how to grow turf, trim bushes or maintain the tennis courts.
Besides, Cheney isn’t even personally appealing. For the race obsessed Democrats and their late-night TV talk show host pals, shouldn’t they be asking why Cheney, a privileged white woman from high country, is receiving so much sympathy from the elite class? Where are the standard “woke” queries, such as “If Liz Cheney were black or [fill in the blank with other oppressed minority group here], would greater American culture even pay attention to her?” It might be a valid question, after all, because former Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is most definitely not white, has been all but shunned by Democrats for speaking out against Joe Biden on controversial topics, and she’s practically ignored by reporters.
Liz Cheney is no one’s hero. This is all about trying to damage Donald Trump. It won’t work.
Dragging Liz Cheney out of hiding and propping her up by fresh waves of support from George W. Bush and Karl Rove isn’t going to matter to principled conservatives in Wyoming. Polls show they’re itching to send Liz into retirement next August in the GOP primary. Hopefully, the establishment media will find something else to talk about, and soon.
George W. Bush fundraiser
January 6 riot