Cheney Shames Colleagues Who Will Purge Her For Disloyalty To Trump

Cheney Shames Colleagues Who Will Purge Her For Disloyalty To Trump

- in Politics

(CNN) —  

Liz Cheney won’t move on and stop speaking about the threat to American democracy posed by Donald Trump for a simple reason: It hasn’t gone away.

In a short, powerful speech late Tuesday, the lawmaker from Wyoming shamed colleagues who will vote on Wednesday to strip her of her No. 3 House GOP leadership post, showing the guts to speak truth to the ex-President’s malevolent power that most Republicans lack.

History is likely to remember her remarks far longer than the tortured explanations of Republican power brokers – like Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California – as to why she must be purged after pointing out Trump’s lies and dangerous authoritarianism.

Cheney spoke in a mostly empty House of Representatives on Tuesday night, after many of her fellow Republicans had spent the day saying it was time to move on from Trump’s insurrection and trashing of America’s tradition of peaceful transfers of power.

But Cheney made a blunt case that the party and the country cannot forget – not least because the peril from the seditious ex-President is still growing.

“Today we face a threat America has never seen before. A former President who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol, in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him,” said Cheney, speaking slowly and in devastating clarity.

“He risks inciting further violence. Millions of Americans have been misled by the former President. They have heard only his words, not the truth.”

By getting her retaliation in first against her colleagues, Cheney showed that she – unlike all but a handful of other Washington Republicans – is willing to stand up to the ex-President’s bullying and debunk his delusional false reality.

She gave her speech at 8 p.m. ET, in time for prime-time news shows, but she was also speaking for posterity in spare but eloquent remarks that will embroider themselves in political lore, however Trump’s story eventually turns out.

Her willingness to take on Trump ensures Cheney is headed for a prolonged period in the political wilderness. As well as losing her leadership post, she is likely to face a primary challenge from a pro-Trump candidate if she runs for reelection. She will certainly be alienated from the bulk of Republican voters and media figures who remain in Trump’s thrall. She will have the company of a small group of GOPers who voted to impeach or convict Trump over the Capitol riot on January 6 and repudiated his attack on American democracy.

Cheney is being ousted despite the fact that she is one of the most conservative members of Congress and is far more authentic in that regard than Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who is her likely replacement. But Stefanik has the essential qualification in the party of Trump: complete loyalty to the former President and a willingness to amplify his lies about election fraud.

“I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law,” Cheney said. “The election is over. That is the rule of law. That is our constitutional process. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution.”

In the short term at least, Cheney’s action is unlikely to do anything to drive Trumpism from a party it has consumed. McCarthy has wholeheartedly anchored the GOP’s hopes of winning the House back in midterm elections next year in Trump’s continued appeal. Millions of Republican voters, helped by round-the-clock lies from conservative media, buy Trump’s false narrative that the election was stolen from him with massive electoral fraud. There is very little sign – apart from a few honorable exceptions like Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois – of any appetite in the party to change its delusional and anti-democratic course.

Cheney’s Republican colleagues say she must go because she won’t quit talking about the election. McCarthy said in a letter to members on Monday that it was time to stop “relitigating” 2020. Yet it is Trump, with his constant statements from his Mar-a-Lago resort, who will not put the election to rest.

A former President George W. Bush speechwriter, Mic

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