Opinion: Liz Cheney’s end game is to make Republican authoritarianism acceptable

Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been lauded by anti-Trump Democrats and Republicans for the stance she has taken against Trump’s “big lie” and for refusing to deny it, as so many Republicans do , that the January 6 assault on Capitol Hill was nothing less than a well-organized criminal and violent insurgency orchestrated by Trump himself with the help of his usual agents.

Without a doubt, by taking this position, she has won the disfavour of current Republicans in Congress who effectively marginalized her as a politician. persona non grata in the party.

And she played this martyr for all it’s worth, going out of her way to portray Trump as the criminal he is.

It helps to pause and think about what the end of Cheney’s martyrdom might be. We should hardly be prepared to view his “principled” stance as an act of political suicide.

She may well be making the political calculation that Trump’s Party will be short-lived and that his martyrdom could elevate it if and when this “mainstream” Republican Party experiences a resurrection.

Knowing about her father’s machinations, it may well be that she is considering running for president and is using this aggressive anti-Trump platform that she built to pose as the example of bipartisan politics through the alley and the defender of democracy.

After all, just watch her sitting on the platform with the Democrats, carrying out Commission Mission 1/6. Who could be less partisan? Who could be more concerned about the survival of American democracy?

The other day, in fact, Cheney released a powerful statement, “We can either be loyal to Donald Trump or be loyal to the Constitution, but we can’t be both. “

Of course, claiming to be faithful to the Constitution does not automatically make someone a supporter of democracy.

Indeed, Antonin Scalia, a former Supreme Court justice, clearly did not understand the Constitution as a document defending democratic rights, claiming that the Constitution did not grant women equal rights.

Supporting racist or sexist values ​​and declaring certain groups of people to be second-class citizens not entitled to the same rights and protections as others is prima facie undemocratic.

In Cheney’s case, beyond rejecting the “Big Lie”, she did little to distinguish herself from the inherent hostility of democracy, of equal rights, at work in both “l traditional ‘establishment’ and in contemporary Republican parties.

She supports the same minority rule that got her father elected with George W. Bush in 2000.

And while, on one side of her mouth, she denounces the crumbling of democracy in her attacks on Trump, she has on the other side of her mouth refused to denounce the multitude of voter suppression laws that are emerging. are making their way into state houses across the nation. And she refuses to support Democrats’ legislation to protect voting rights.

Neither did we hear her speak out against the gerrymandering that allowed Republicans to secure political majorities in federal and state governments while winning only a minority of votes.

Cheney does not oppose the authoritarianism and undemocratic impulses of the Republican Party.

Rather, it appears to be trying to save traditional Republican authoritarianism from its real grotesque that Trumpism has exposed.

The problem Cheney and other non-Trumpers have with Trump and the current Republican Party is that he has exposed the reality of the mainstream GOP, pulled back the curtain on dignified phrases and codes to reveal its anti-egalitarian character, racist and anti-democratic. .

Cheney’s editorial in The Washington Post last May made absolutely clear the illusory nature of the so-called differences.

It did not attack the policies, positions and even the cultural attitudes of the current GOP so much, but rather affirmed them. (And we have to remember that she voted with Trump almost 93% of the time.)

His “genuinely conservative tenets” included beliefs “in limited government” and “in the prosperity and opportunity brought about by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.”

Trump, of course, embodied the principles of very limited government and, of course, low taxes, giving over $ 1 trillion in tax cuts to the richest among us and lowering the tax rate. companies from 35 to 21%. All the while, poverty and homelessness were on the rise, and much of the touted job growth was in the realm of low-paid work.

The conservative principles advocated by Cheney are those that exacerbate economic inequalities and deprive the majority of Americans of resources, reducing their access to quality education, health care, clean water, clean air and a generally safe living environment for their families.

Celebrating these ideals is Cheney’s “principled” position.

And let’s not separate Cheney’s tenets from Trump’s racism, either. Just pay attention to Cheney’s call to respond to the Jan.6 assault on the nation’s Capitol:

We should appoint former public servants, members of the judiciary and other American figures who may be goal, just as we did after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The committee should focus on the attacks of January 6. The Black Lives Matter and Antifa violence last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it’s a different problem with a different solution.

She cannot resist that last sentence in which she asserts her conservative good faith in seeing the problem in our nation not as one of systemic racism but as one created by those who respond to decades, centuries, violence and violence. racist repression.

There is no real divide here in the GOP, and there is no conservative ideology that is not deeply rooted in an agenda of minority domination, economic inequality and injustice, and racism. .

And when it comes to the “Big Lie”, let us remember that little phrase that has caused enormous damage to our nation: “Weapons of mass destruction”. Dick Cheney, of course, helped deceive Americans with this huge lie.

Let’s not be fooled by Liz Cheney.

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