Major mainstream media outlets keep pushing the narrative that Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is making a “heroic sacrifice” by risking her House seat to help the January 6th Committee try to take down Donald Trump.
Cheney does deserve credit, in the sense that she’s doing the right thing when it comes to Trump and January 6th. In this era, it’s so rare for a Republican to do the right thing, we have to give credit for it – regardless of the reasons it’s being done.
At the same time, let’s be real here. Liz Cheney doesn’t give a crap about her House seat. Her goal is to flush Trump world out of the GOP, so she can try to become the Republican Party nominee for President in 2024 or 2028. And it’s fine that she’s only working with us now for her own purposes. But these media narratives about her “heroic sacrifice” are just silly, and do not all match the facts.
As a side note, this also applies to Adam Kinzinger, just with different parameters. He’s about to have his choice of a cushy job at a right wing think tank, or a conservative lobbying firm, or as the resident conservative on a mainstream political news network – and he can make millions from any of them. Kinzinger will be fine.
But back to Liz Cheney. The factual reality is that she’s a Republican politician who is strongly opposed to Trump-style fascism and has reasonable position on LGBT rights, but she also has unacceptably awful positions when it comes to social programs, tax fairness, health care reform, women’s basic rights, the environment, and on and on. To put it in context: while in the House, she voted with Trump nearly every time. She may not agree with his existence, but she agrees with nearly al of his positions.
But beyond supporting LGBT and opposing Trump-style fascism, she’s wrong – and often very wrong – on just about every other issue. That said, the Republican Party has been wrong about nearly every issue throughout our lifetimes.
So if Liz Cheney is able to wrest control of the Republican Party away from the Trump-fascism faction, we’d really just be talking about a reversion to Bush-era or Reagan-era Republicanism, which was awful. But at the same time, it would be a huge improvement over the Trump-fascist Republican Party we have now.
Liz Cheney can be trusted when it comes to taking down Donald Trump and his wing of the Republican Party. Whether or not you trust that she’s doing it for the right reasons, you can in fact trust her to do it, because it fits with her own interests. And for now you can choose to ignore that she’s wrong on just about every other issue that matters, because none of those issues play into her work on the January 6th Committee.
The Democratic Party is absolutely wise to work with Liz Cheney right now. Trump and his faction must be rooted out, and Cheney wants that as much as we do. You can all trust Cheney for now. You can praise her. You can root for her within the context of this committee. You may even someday root for her in a Republican presidential primary, as she faces off against far worse Republican candidates. Just keep in mind that if Cheney does end up becoming the Republican nominee for President, you’re going to end up emphatically voting against her in the general election, because she’s egregiously wrong on nearly everything you care about.
It’s never been a question of whether Liz Cheney is “good” or “bad.” All that matters is that right now she’s useful to our cause. Give it a couple years and she’ll be trying to destroy our cause. You can root for Cheney at present without falling in love with her. And not falling in love with her is the key to not feeling betrayed by her later. Take her for exactly what she is, nothing more, nothing less, and you’ll be fine.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report