She was one of Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters. For the past year, she has been at the top of the president’s hate list.
When the mob stormed Congress on January 6 last year, Liz Cheney, 55, had reason to fear for her life. The mob came straight from the demonstration there Donald Trump said that the nation must get rid of “this world’s Liz Cheneyer”.
For Republican politicians, such a statement by Trump is something close to a career death sentence.
Ever since he lost the November 2020 election, Trump has told his supporters that the election has been stolen from them. That Joe Biden’s victory was the result of large-scale electoral fraud.
Congresswoman Cheney was one of the strongest Republican defenders of democracy and of the fact that the elected representatives should approve the election result. She made no secret of the fact that she thought the president was lying.
In the days following the storming of Congress, Cheney was not the only Republican to think so. Many of her party colleagues condemned the outgoing president for inciting violence.
The leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said there was no doubt that the president had the moral responsibility to incite the rebels.
The party’s leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said:
– The president is responsible for the mob’s attacks on Congress. He should have condemned the mob as soon as he saw what happened.
When the House decided that Trump should be put on trial, ten Republicans voted with the Democrats. Cheney was one of them.
But it did not take long before McCarthy and other Republicans went canoeing from Washington DC to Trump’s new home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. They followed opinion polls from their constituencies. It was easy to see that they would hardly be re-elected if they did not make peace with Trump.
Two lone breakers
When the House of Representatives set up a committee to investigate the events of January 6, only two Republicans lined up.
One was Cheney. She was joined by Adam Kinzinger from Illinois.
It was asking for trouble. For large parts of the party, it appears to be a betrayal. In both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Republicans opposed investigating Trump’s role in the riots.
The president raged against the “traitors”:
– Liz Cheney is a bitter, terrible person.
– She has no personality or any good sides that have to do with politics, or with our country.
– She is a warlord and her family pushed us into the idiotic and endless war in the Middle East.
This is just some of what Donald Trump said to Liz Cheney.
He also has called her in “psycho”.
The party followed up. McCarthy, who previously gave Trump the moral responsibility for the storm, helped push her out of all leadership positions.
Adam Kinzinger escaped more easily. He has already announced that he is withdrawing from politics. It sparked cheers from Trump’s camp.
Cheney, 55, is the only one from Wyoming in the House of Representatives. Her constituents are among the most conservative in the United States. They sent her to Washington DC to fight taxes and government intervention in people’s daily lives. She promised them to fight for the right to bear arms.
For four years, Cheney voted faithfully for Donald Trump’s policies. The few times she broke up with the president were in foreign policy.
She’s from one of Wyoming’s political dynasties. His father, Dick Cheney, sat in Congress for 10 years. He was Secretary of Defense for George HW Bush and Vice President for George W. Bush junior.
The daughter Liz followed the father. While he was Vice President, she was part of the political leadership of the State Department. After she was elected to Congress in 2016, Cheney made a lightning-fast career in the party. After two terms, she was the third highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.
During the memorial service in the Congress building on Thursday, only two high-profile Republicans were present. It was Liz and 80-year-old Dick Cheney. Kinzinger would have liked to have been there, but was at home with a woman giving birth.
«Autumn’s most important choice»
Back home in Wyoming, Cheney has received strong criticism. There have been large demonstrations against her.
In November last year, the state’s Republican leadership decided that they no longer count Cheney as a member of the party. Still, she does not give up. The members of the House of Representatives must be re-elected every two years, and Cheney will stand for re-election in November.
First, she has to go through a difficult nomination battle. She currently has four challengers. Harriet Hageman leads the polls. She’s Trump’s candidate. In December, 38 percent said they would vote for Hageman. Only 18 percent support Cheney.
In 2020, she received 69 percent of the vote.
It’s usually the case in Wyoming that the candidate who wins the Republican nomination can start packing what he or she needs in Washington DC.
This year it is not as certain. The website Real Clear Politics writes that Cheney can choose to run as an independent candidate. Then she must convince the state’s democratic voters that they should vote for her and not her own candidate. She is unlikely to run away from her conservative principles. But Democrats may, for once, experience the Republican candidate losing.
It is also worth noting that she lost to a narrow majority when the party’s central board decided not to count her as a member. Maybe she has more support than the demonstrations suggest.
Cheney himself says that the congressional election in Wyoming will be the most important of the year. Voters must decide whether to break with “Trump’s cult.”
CNN writes that she gathers support from “old-fashioned” Republicans, her father’s supporters and others who are concerned with low taxes and the fight against a powerful state. She also raises a lot of money for the election campaign. It is worth noting that Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have participated. Both are considered supporters of Trump.
If the party detaches itself from the former president’s grip and seeks to return to its old identity, Liz Cheney may be well positioned for larger tasks.