Liz Cheney is defiant after the Wyoming State Republican Party voted to censure her and called for her resignation from Congress for her vote to impeach Donald Trump.
“I’m not,” Cheney told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace in response to a question about her resignation.
“Look I think people all across Wyoming understand and recognize that our most important duty is to the Constitution. And as I’ve explained and will continue to explain to supporters all across the state, voters all across the state, the oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment, and it doesn’t bend to partisanship, it doesn’t bend to political pressure, it’s the most important oath that we take.”
Cheney easily survived a vote to strip her of her leadership position last week 145-61. But those 61 opponents could still make life miserable for her in the House. The old-fashioned tradition of “shunning” will be employed which means working with her colleagues may become very difficult.
“Well, I think you have to read the language of the censure,” Cheney said. “People in the party are mistaken, they believe that BLM and Antifa were behind what happened here at the Capitol. That’s just simply not the case, it’s not true. And we’re going to have a lot of work we have to do. People have been lied to. The extent to which the president, President Trump, for months leading up to Jan. 6 spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie. And people need to understand that.”
Cheney called on the GOP to be truthful about the election so that they can regain power in next year’s mid-term elections and the 2024 presidential race.
It all comes down to whether you believe Trump was sincere in his opposition or using the “stolen election” narrative as a means to start a violent revolution to keep him in power. Or perhaps, he used the “stolen election” theme as a fundraising gimmick.
But if Trump were sincere in his belief the election was stolen, he’s not “lying.” Cheney can say he was “incorrect” and she can say other Republicans who firmly believe that the election was stolen were wrong. But millions of Trump supporters aren’t “lying” about what they truly believe. That belief may be based on false or manufactured evidence, but that would make them guilty of stupidity and nothing more.
When asked if she would vote to convict Trump if she was in the Senate, Cheney said she would listen to the evidence and testimony. Still, she had strong words for Trump, accusing him of putting himself ahead of his country.
“The single greatest threat to our republic is a president who would put his own self-interest above the Constitution, above the national interest. And we’ve had a situation where President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen and the apparently set about to do everything he could to steal it himself.
She obviously wasn’t paying much attention when Barack Obama was president. In truth, all presidents rationalize many of their decisions as being what’s good for the country even though they personally benefit either politically or otherwise. Chief executives who don’t confuse personal interest with the national interest would be the exception to the rule.
Having said that, Cheney couldn’t stomach Trump’s refusal to bend to tradition and accept his defeat. But she had 4 years to see Trump rejecting every tradition, every norm of behavior and decorum. Her conscience may not have allowed her to give the former president a pass, but she could have mentioned the hyperpartisan nature of the impeachment, the demonization of her entire party for the actions of a few nitwits, and the crackdown on free speech and freedom of thought.
I guess her “conscience” wouldn’t allow that either.