How To Read Liz Cheney's Op-Ed, For The Benefit Of Glenn Greenwald And Other Idiots
We haven't been updating you on the Liz Cheney/Kevin McCarthy thing every single day because we're not Politico Playbook (and thank God), but it looks like Rep. Elise Stefanik, a mega-idiot, is going to usurp Cheney's leadership title in the House Republican Caucus. Probably gonna happen next week.
Also, Cheney has written an op-ed that you should really read, because say what you will about Cheney and what she's done in the past — Charles Blow had a nice rundown in the New York Times yesterday — but she is standing up right now in a way that, in the context of the current GOP, is really important.
Before we look at the op-ed, though, Glenn Greenwald has a complaint.
Many liberals have no difficulty turning ***Liz Cheney*** into a hero and avatar of noble, principled leadership be… https://t.co/kMjEF1uZ2F— Glenn Greenwald (@Glenn Greenwald)1620133710.0
Oh dear, what must it be like to live inside that brain?
Are we turning Liz Cheney into a HERO? Have we forgotten everything else about who Liz Cheney is? Absolutely not. In the op-ed Cheney wrote, she says some complete idiot things that show you just how far into the land of batshit the GOP has gone that she's considered one of the only "sane" voices. In our previous coverage, we've said out loud that it makes us feel downright weird that we're saying anything nice about Cheney.
Of course, we would disagree with Glenn on the notion that which side you're on in the battle over whether it's OK to try to overturn American democracy and support a domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol in service of the previous president, an unhinged authoritarian, is a mere "trivial partisan concern." If that's "trivial" or "partisan," then hoo boy, we just don't know about this Brazilian blogger who beams into the Tucker Carlson White Power Hour for attention at least once a week.
This was literally this week.
So, Cheney's op-ed, let's take a look! Along the way we will helpfully note when she says a good thing and when she says a bad thing, because it's important for adults to be able to tell the difference when they do something as heady as reading the news.
Cheney begins by noting that Donald Trump, this very week, is doubling down on his fascist Big Lie fantasy about how he won an election he actually lost. She notes that he does this with full knowledge that in January, his fascist Big Lie incited a domestic terrorist attack.
Then she starts speaking directly to Republicans, and about Republicans. (In case you have no nose for news or ability to contextualize it, the Liz Cheney story is a story about what is happening with Republicans, therefore it must be viewed in that context of Republicans. It doesn't mean we are calling her a "hero," Glenn.)
Long block quote, just to give you an idea of what this here op-ed is like:
The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks. On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: "The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding." Now, McCarthy has changed his story.
I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative values is reverence for the rule of law. Each of us swears an oath before God to uphold our Constitution. The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president's arguments, and refused to overturn election results. That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud.
The question before us now is whether we will join Trump's crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan described this as our American "miracle."
While embracing or ignoring Trump's statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.
Cheney then lists a couple things she thinks Republicans must do. (Again, this is a story about Republicans. It is not a story about heroes and legends.) She says Republicans need to STFU and support the Justice Department's investigations into the terror attack of January 6. She says Republicans need to support a real bipartisan review into the causes of that terror attack, without trying to insert any bullshit about antifa or Black Lives Matter protests last summer. Of course, because she is a Republican, and not a hero or a legend, her framing of that second thing is total bullshit.
The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.
Fuck off, Liz Cheney.
Anyway, you were saying, Liz Cheney? (See, Glenn? Nuance!)
There is much at stake now, including the ridiculous wokeness of our political rivals, the irrational policies at the border and runaway spending that threatens a return to the catastrophic inflation of the 1970s. Reagan formed a broad coalition from across the political spectrum to return America to sanity ...
Blah blah blah blah blah "wokeness" blah blah blah blah. What a bad paragraph, Liz Cheney. This bad paragraph is very bad and should feel very bad about itself. You are apparently not the hero we never actually thought you were, Liz Cheney!
She ends with a good paragraph, though:
History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.
We guess that's the "trivial partisan concern" Glenn was talking about.
And that's it. It's a good op-ed, grading on the extremely steep curve of what constitutes a "good" op-ed from a Republican in the year 2021. But more to that point, it's a comment on where the GOP in the year 2021 really is, that there's only a handful of Republicans in Congress willing to pen something like it.
That is why it's important.
OK, we are done with Glenn Greenwald and Liz Cheney now, goodbye.
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