To hear nearly all pundits tell it, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is taking a noble stand against her own party’s pro-Trump lies, and her party is going to destroy her for it in return. But while that sounds like a convenient narrative from a simplistic movie script, it does not at all line up with what’s actually happening in the real world.
Liz Cheney is (correctly) betting that Donald Trump will be so toxic by 2024 – criminally indicted, in prison, broke, senile, and seen as a weakling – that even the Republicans will be pretending he doesn’t exist. So she’s forcing them all to side with him and against her, so she can use it against them when she runs for President. None of this is complicated.
Liz Cheney is twenty times smarter than that brain dead nitwit Kevin McCarthy. Do you really think she’d lose to him like this unless it was on purpose? She’s smart enough to know Trump is 100% toast. But McCarthy, who has a political IQ near zero, is too dumb to plan more than one step ahead.
Cheney is the third highest ranking member of the House minority party. It’s barely even a real title. It’s like “Assistant to the Regional Manager” from The Office. She couldn’t care less about keeping that title. She’s forcing them to take it away from her, so she can use the whole thing against them later.
Even as Cheney sets herself up for 2024 in a way that the other republicans are too dumb to understand, she’s also baited many of you to go soft on her, even though she’s a corrupt far right extremist who’s every bit as pure evil as her father.
Trump will be pure kryptonite to the Republicans by 2024. One consistent thing about Republicans is that once their favorite strongman becomes damaged enough goods to be seen as weak, they move on to look for a new strongman. It’s how Nixon’s base in the 1970s shifted to Reagan in 1980.
Liz Cheney knows that the GOP leadership has to worry about losing in 2022 if they kick Trump too early. But she can kick Trump now, and then take credit in 2024 for having begun kicking him before the rest of her party inevitably started kicking him.
In some sense, Liz Cheney is now a bigger threat to America than Trump is. Because unlike him, she’ll still be standing by 2024. And she’s capable of just as much evil carnage as Trump was. She is her father, and we all remember how that played out.
Don’t naively fall for Liz Cheney when she’s merely taking a “stand” against a guy who’s toast anyway, and giving up a low level title she didn’t care about anyway. If she hurts the republicans in the short term, great. But this isn’t some noble effort. It’s just ambition.
If Liz Cheney does some damage to the Republican Party right now in a way that makes it harder for them in 2022, then fantastic. We’ll take all the help we can get. But by the time we get to 2024, we’re more likely to be facing an existential threat from her than from the ghost of Donald Trump. Unlike Trump, a one-trick pony who ran out of gas, Cheney is savvy enough to plot all of this three steps ahead and sneak up on us with a deranged agenda that rivals that of her father.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report