Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Liz Cheney Somehow Manages to Spike the Football in Defeat


AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

It’s always a curious thing to see a politician act like he or she has won even in defeat. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is the latest example of this phenomenon. After her blistering primary loss to Harriet Hageman on Tuesday night, Cheney made a speech in which she compared herself to Abraham Lincoln.

“Abraham Lincoln was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all,” she declared. “Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our union, and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history.”

She also declared that “now the real work begins,” proving that, as Spencer Brown put it at Townhall, “apparently serving as the representative to Congress for all of Wyoming since 2017 wasn’t ‘real work’ to her.”

Once a principled conservative, Cheney has become a one-issue demagogue who has allowed a single-minded devotion to bringing down Donald Trump to consume her. And now she sees herself as some sort of savior for our republic.

Cheney is mulling a 2024 presidential run, bless her heart, buying into the speculation that she is the one who can defeat Trump if he runs again. At the same time, the mainstream media is doing its best to make Cheney 2024 a thing. It doesn’t take a political science degree or a crystal ball to posit that a Cheney presidential run won’t get much traction beyond the Cheney family.

The very idea of Liz Cheney parlaying such an astounding defeat into a platform for higher office is an egregious example of spiking the football after a loss. (I’m sure we’ll see it again after Stacey Abrams loses her bid for the governorship in Georgia.)

“In a saner time, Liz Cheney would be ostracized by both parties for this kind of lunacy,” Stephen Kruiser eloquently put it in today’s Morning Briefing. “Instead, we’ve got people from every big mainstream news outlet in America saying that Cheney’s almost 40-point defeat means that she should run for president in 2024.”

But the embattled lame-duck congresswoman clearly envisions some sort of future beyond Congress. She filed paperwork on Wednesday to turn her campaign apparatus into a PAC that she intends to call The Great Task. With millions already on hand, she has a formidable start.

“In coming weeks, Liz will be launching an organization to educate the American people about the ongoing threat to our Republic, and to mobilize a unified effort to oppose any Donald Trump campaign for president,” Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler said in a statement.

In her appearance on the Today show on Wednesday morning, Cheney proved that she hasn’t done much self-reflection over her loss. Host Savannah Guthrie asked Cheney if she had considered whether she lost because of her dogged focus on Trump and Jan. 6, 2021, rather than on serving the needs of her Wyoming constituents. Cheney replied that “as a nation, you don’t get the opportunity to debate and discuss any other issue” when coming up against “a fundamental threat on our republic.”

Indeed, Cheney remains singularly focused on one issue.

“I will do whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office,” she told Guthrie.

Fox News reports that Cheney has pledged her post-congressional career to urging the GOP to “return to its core principles of small government, strong defense, low taxes, and family,” but as long as she remains so focused on attacking Donald Trump, she’s not going to get many people to listen to her. And that’s sad.

NOTE: Hageman Trounced Cheney by 37 points!