But that was then and this is now. Today she deserves our applause for doing the right thing in calling out the Bigly Liar, Donald Trump, and his Big Lie about a stolen election; for being the lonely voice in the wilderness when almost all of her Republican colleagues are fearful, craven and spineless, terrified of arousing Trump’s anger and vengeance, and disdainful of democracy. Instead, they are perfectly willing to countenance his lies and overlook what he is—a corrupt, immoral incompetent whose ineptitude and general malice caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, an economic disaster of historic proportions, and four years of chaos and mismanagement that backslid America in countless ways.
Unlike her cowardly colleagues, Cheney should be commended for trying to eradicate the stench of Trumpism from our society and politics. She quite rightly says that we must never allow a creature like Trump to ever get close to power again, not if we want to preserve our fragile democracy and the rule of law. She is embarked on a battle to save her party, one that I think she will lose in the short term. Having now lost her House leadership position, she might also lose her congressional seat next year when Trump’s wrath zeroes in on her full-bore.
I suspect Cheney is betting on the long game, for the time when Trump’s loathsome presence flames out, engulfed in a flood of criminal prosecutions that either put him in prison or at least beyond repair. When that happens, and lickspittle wretches like Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Lindsey Graham, “Gym” Jordan and their gutless ilk have been consigned to their proper place in history’s dumpster, she will be in the enviable position of being able to revive both her political career and her party.
Meanwhile, we will have to endure the daily hysterics out of Mar-a-Lago, and detestable anti-democratic viruses like Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and their creepy colleagues as they spread their snake oil around. Instead of a brave Liz Cheney, we will have to suffer an Elise Stefanik, who jumped at the chance to sell her soul in return for power. Once she flip-flopped from her former questioning of Trump’s actions, we found out exactly what Stefanik is; after that, the only item in question was her price.
The dilemma decent Americans face in dealing with Republicans is the same that society confronts with suicide bombers: there is no defense against them. Suicide bombers want to die, thus they cannot be deterred from their murderous enterprise. Similarly, Republicans cannot be shamed into acting responsibly because they are shameless.
There is one thing the media can do, however. Every interview with a Republican should begin with the question: “Who is the legitimately elected President of the United States?” If they do not respond with “Joe Biden,” the interviewer needs to shut down the interview. Deceivers do not deserve airtime.
May 12, 2021