In Liz Cheney, Donald Trump has created the mother of all antagonists, and she won’t back down

No one can mistake Liz Cheney for a moderate Republican; it is red, and high GOP, to the bone.

Commended the U.S. Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade.

Voted with President Donald Trump 93% of the time.

But the congresswoman from Wyoming, whom Trump won by nearly 70% in the 2020 presidential election, his widest margin in the country, is proof that at least one Republican has an ounce of integrity.

It’s a moral triumph for Cheney, despite his landslide defeat in Tuesday’s House Republican primary to an unscrupulous opponent who previously supported Cheney, Trump criticized – she called him ‘racist and xenophobic’ — then went all Trump, when the former president’s lieutenants chose her to overthrow Cheney, the daughter of a Wyoming political dynasty, her father former Vice President Dick Cheney, monumentally hated by progressives.

Cheney has drawn Trump’s ire, and we all know how venomous Trump’s anger can be, voting for his impeachment, becoming Trump’s staunchest critic, relentlessly calling out his lies and playing a role of fame with the US House Select Committee investigating the Jan 6 attack, as its vice chairman.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Donald Trump’s fiercest Republican opponent in Congress, lost a GOP primary on Tuesday, falling to Harriet Hageman, a rival backed by the former president in a contest that has cemented her grip on the party base. (August 17 / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Trump brought all his toxic, debauching GOP powers to endorse Harriet Hageman, a politically insubstantial candidate, longtime lawyer best known for siding with ranchers, energy and mining interests in the least populated state. of America, an anti-ecologist, opposed to rules protecting land, water and endangered species.

Clinging to his grievance-soaked political godfather, Hageman proclaimed at his victory rally in Cheyenne, “We’ve had enough of the Jan. 6 commission. We’re sick of Liz Cheney.

Of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol riot, only two remain in the running as the midterm elections approach. Four have opted to retire, rather than face Trump-anointed challengers in the primary, and four have already been defeated in intraparty matchups with Trump-sanctioned acolytes.

Pleased with Cheney’s strike, Trump issued a statement, touting the « wonderful outcome for America », slamming his nemesis for his « wicked and judgmental words ».

Well, he would know it from mean and judgmental….

Let us add deceitful and criminal and pathological!

And Cheney still walks through the fire with his honor intact, even polished.

Make the three-time congressman (until January) the anti-Trump conscience of a party that has stained itself in the shameless servitude of a megalomaniacal moron, who continues to sneer at running again.

It’s this flirtation that has lawmakers in the grip of fear, though Trump can clearly wield a hammer from the sidelines, crushing dissent. Just as he is now running victory laps for wiping out Cheney.

A Trump spokesperson and adviser, Taylor Budowich, told the New York Times: “She may have fought for principles. But these are not the principles of the Republican Party.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Because the Republican Party, shaped by Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is unprincipled.

The party of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant has become a demented mutilation of its historical foundations.

It’s no coincidence that Cheney, once a rising star in the party until McCarthy stripped her of the No. 3 House leadership job, brought up Lincoln in his concession speech, twice referencing to civil war.

« Lincoln was beaten in the Senate and House elections before winning the most important election of all. »

Lincoln and Grant had « saved our Union, » said Cheney, who added, « We must not waste unnecessarily what so many have fought and died for. »

Earlier, she had described the Republican Party as “very sick” and likely requiring “several cycles” to move its essence, after despot Trump tried – he largely succeeded – to undermine fundamental American democracy by trying to steal an election, hook and loop.

What is astounding to the rest of the world is that Trump’s baseless fabrications continue to resonate within the party and among Republican voters who strongly support him in the polls.

It’s like they’ve all been drinking the Kool-Aid, even though they’re holding their noses doing it.

The morning after her lopsided loss, Cheney hinted in an interview on NBC’s « Today » show that she was considering a run for the White House. « It’s something I’m thinking about and will make a decision in the coming months. »

She would get eaten alive by the party conclave, of course, though she could choose to run as an independent.

Wouldn’t it be worth the price of admission, watching her in a debate with Trump?

An independent bet, however, would likely distance the Never-Trumpers from the Democrats as an alternative.

Cheney’s most significant impact would be to continue hammering Trump, and his choice, from the outside as a targeted force of resistance, just as she whittled him down to size at the Jan. 6 committee.

The wider electorate should be in his sights, their stubbornly closed eyes now open to Trump Baby’s manifest revulsion, even as more chickens come home to roost: the FBI raid on Mar -a-Lago; the seizure of classified documents that Trump had no right to remove from the Oval Office; and, on Thursday, the chief financial officer of his eponymous real estate company pleaded guilty to tax offenses, as part of a deal that would require him to testify about the company’s illicit business practices.

Trump can’t rip this ribbon deeply embedded in his creepy flesh.

Cheney has already filed a case with the Committee on Federal Elections to establish a leadership PAC under the name « The Great Task, » again, an echo of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The PAC is essentially an anti-Trump entity, signaling that it won’t go away. She also still has more than $7 million in her main fundraising vault to keep this ball rolling, her goal of educating Americans about the continuing threat to democracy and, according to a spokesperson, « to mobilize a unified effort to oppose any Donald Trump campaign ». for president. »

Trump has created an antagonistic monster, a woman who will not cower, who speaks truth to deviant power and pursues it to the gates of hell.

In many ways, Cheney is not a model of virtue, at least not on the Democratic side of the divide.

But Cheney’s dislike of Trump is genuine, lucid, and fair.

Just like the Tom Petty song that played when she left the dealership podium in Wyoming.

« Well, I won’t back down

« No, I won’t back down

« You could stand me at the gates of hell

« But I won’t back down. »

Rosie DiManno is a Toronto-based columnist who covers sports and current affairs for The Star. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno

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