How much do conservatives despise Liz Cheney?
Mercifully, we’ll discover just how much in one week’s time, as the Wyoming Republican primary is set for next Tuesday, August 16. I can scarcely think of another example of an end-of-summer primary in a state with only one representative that generated such enormous hubbub and consequence. A few years ago, who would’ve ever guessed that a relatively innocuous Republican blueblood like Liz Cheney could accomplish for her fellow party members what no one else ever could, namely to unite them over a single cause?
Unity sounds nice, but Republicans are far from united, however. The entire Cheney episode has exposed deep fissures within the party, divisions that will not simply vanish once the Cowboy State’s ballots are tallied next week. Even if Liz’s politically lifeless shell is deservedly cast on the heap of used-up and thoroughly discredited NeverTrumpers as anticipated (craved?), the passionate feelings will remain.
One side will lose, and it’s going to hurt for quite a while. If it’s Cheney, her loss could stand to increase her profile with Democrats and establishment media talkers because they’ll one, step up the urgency for completing the January 6 Committee’s witch hunt business and two, Liz’s pouty face will plaster the liberal cable news airwaves with sympathetic interviews, bitter crying sessions and, if it’s even possible, more hatred directed at the 45th president.
The emergence of Donald Trump as an electoral force rocked the GOP to its core seven years ago. For a collection of politicos conditioned to civilized internecine squabbles where hardly anyone ever raised their voice, the kerfuffle that Trump brought made a lot of highly situated people uncomfortable.
Trump changed the intensity because his voter coalition was somewhat apart from the typical Republican base consisting of business interests, country club grandees, deeply committed religious social conservatives, national security devotees (think peace through strength), no-compromise single issue folks (pro-lifers, lower taxes, Second Amendment true believers or small government libertarians), conservative minorities, etc.
There were also the so-called “Reagan Democrats”, usually described as non-college educated white working-class folks and union members (not the union leadership, mind you) who generally supported government programs that benefited them but didn’t take to the GOP’s free trade policies. These patriotic folks occasionally voted Republican when they viewed the Democrat candidate as being too extreme, but Trump made them a semi-permanent part of the Republican Party by overtly appealing to them.
Republican establishment snobs like National Review’s Kevin Williamson looked down on these people simply because they wouldn’t voluntarily better themselves by moving to greener economic pastures or retraining into new industries. These were the “forgotten” Americans that turned states like Ohio from slightly purple into pretty distinguishable red. Do you notice how no one counts Ohio or Iowa as a “swing state” any longer? Even Wisconsin is turning red.
Democrats and the Liz Cheney types helped drive this party transformation. Democrats called the new Republicans “deplorables” and “bitter clingers” (to guns and religion), preferring to insult these loyal Americans rather than trying to win or maintain their allegiance. How many times did we hear reports of lifelong Democrats voting Republican for the first time in 2016 and 2020? Or how someone who’d never before bothered to vote was motivated by Trump to participate?
These aren’t small considerations. Neither are, in some cases, endorsements. One prominent Hollywood actor chose to publicly back Liz last week, and some suggest it will cost him. Valerie Richardson reported at The Washington Times:
“Not everyone was wowed by Kevin Costner’s decision to endorse Rep. Liz Cheney in the Wyoming Republican primary. Mr. Costner, who plays a Montana rancher on Paramount’s hit streaming series ‘Yellowstone,’ created a political stir by posing for a photo wearing a white T-shirt with the message ‘I’m for Liz Cheney,’ a shot that went viral when the congresswoman posted it Monday on social media.
“’Real men put country over party,’ tweeted Ms. Cheney, who’s facing an uphill battle in the Aug. 16 GOP primary.
“The celebrity endorsement touched off a social-media kerfuffle over Mr. Costner’s political bona fides and whether the star’s support will help or hurt the embattled Republican. ‘Boy will this backfire,’ tweeted former Bush 43 White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. ‘Liz is already going to lose, but while many fans love Costner and enjoy Yellowstone, who in Wyoming thinks he’s one of them? He’s from CA and is a (great) Hollywood actor.’”
Well, at least we know Cheney has one vote next week. Oh, that’s right, Costner doesn’t have a house in Wyoming so he won’t be voting there! So perhaps Kevin is just “acting” like a Liz supporter!
Reading this story made me harken back to the 1996 election when Costner allegedly backed Bill Clinton’s reelection bid. I recall overhearing one of the higher-ups at the firm I was working for at the time mentioning, “Kevin Costner is a Republican but he likes Bill Clinton.” I recall thinking that no real Republican would like Bill Clinton at all, and this was before the whole Monica Lewinsky thing surfaced at The Drudge Report.
In all honesty, does anyone truly care what Kevin Costner thinks about next week’s Wyoming primary? I list a couple of his movies – specifically, “Tin Cup” and “Dances with Wolves” – as among my all-time favorites, but he’s not the type of charismatic cultural figure who compels me to delve into his personal views. By suggesting that he likes Liz Cheney, Costner must basically stand behind everything she represents.
So… Kevin Costner likes sending American troops to all corners of the globe to fight for “democracy” and other nebulous, feel-good causes? Do the parents of fighting men and women who were killed in the line of duty while waging these useless wars ordered by the likes of Liz Cheney and her dad feel the same way?
Or perhaps Costner just saves a special warm spot in his heart for outspoken jerks who hate Donald Trump. I don’t even know if Trump has worked with Costner – or knows him. The actor did endorse the still wet-behind-the-ears Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 Democrat primaries and subsequently switched his allegiance to senile Joe in the general election. He’s also on record calling Trump “criminal” for the dust-up over the United States Postal Service non-controversy about two years ago this time.
We might not care much about Kevin Costner, but he obviously sways with the popular crowd when it comes to stupid establishment media hype and paranoia. No wonder the “Field of Dreams” star likes Liz Cheney enough to go public on her – she’s providing lots of sensationalized sleaze through her position on the January 6 Committee for narrow minded morons like he and his Hollywood types to toss out on social media and use to look “woke” and “cool”.
If it were up to me, every single Hollywood celebrity would congregate together and endorse Liz, no doubt also writing checks to the woman to try and salvage what’s left of her time in Congress. Cheney is well funded, but this year in Wyoming proves that money don’t (always) buy you votes. The high plains state doesn’t have a huge city where Democrat machines can swoop in and harvest ballots by the thousands.
Wyoming is one of the only states in America with certain spots where there isn’t a single human within a ten square mile radius of where you’re standing (the central Nevada desert may be just as devoid of bipedal animals), and the antelope likely outnumber the land owners. It’s an eerie feeling to experience such silence, but the residents like it that way. The remoteness tends to discourage wealthy phonies like Kevin Costner – and Liz Cheney doesn’t spend much time out there, either.
Cheney may have Kevin Costner’s support but Liz’s opponent, Harriet Hageman, enjoys the backing of someone much more salient to the voting age citizens of Wyoming, that being Donald Trump. The former president put the electoral target on Cheney early on and it hasn’t moved one iota from its original location. Trump even held a rally in the state. In a locale with only three Electoral Votes and no mystery as to who’s going to win there every four years, Wyoming doesn’t usually get that kind of special attention.
It must be quite the helpless feeling for Democrats to realize that their chief Republican turncoat’s days are numbered, and so too is the January 6 Committee. Instead of beating a long dead horse, after real Republicans take control, the House will proceed to the work of investigating Democrats. Isn’t it about time we found out how Hunter Biden obtained all that loot? It will be fun to watch.
If/when Cheney is dispatched, Wyoming will likely return to its former status as a safe Republican state where the most important election in any two-year cycle is the Republican primary. The people there don’t go looking for controversy – in fact, they like it quiet and serene. Liz and her Republican establishment cohorts created the fury by thumbing their noses at the voters.
Hopefully, next Tuesday, she will pay the price. American politics is all about representing the people who elected you and there’s no room for the Liz Cheneys of the political universe to go around creating their personal fiefdoms to advance their own wishes. It’s ironic that a state like Wyoming had to provide such a basic lesson to the entire country, but it’s one that Republican leaders – and Kevin Costner – should take to heart.
How much do conservatives despise Liz Cheney? Here’s guessing quite a lot. Bye, bye, Liz.
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