Liz Cheney and the GOP: History is in the Eye of the Beholder

The Flag Staff Contributor
Liz Cheney and the GOP: History is in the Eye of the Beholder
Read Time: approx. 4:17

Liz Cheney and the GOP: Tension continues to rise between Liz Cheney and the GOP. Here’s what both sides are saying about the issue. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Top Story: Liz Cheney

The Intrigue: On Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post published an opinion piece from Rep. Liz Cheney titled, “The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.” The article is behind a paywall, which is somewhat ironic since the Washington Post’s slogan is “Democracy Dies in the Darkness,” but that’s not the point. The point is that the Representative from Wyoming has become a lightning rod in the GOP for her opposition to former President Donald Trump. This is a big deal because she is the third-ranking House Republican. In January, she voted to impeach Trump and said, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” She then echoed these comments in her recent op-ed, arguing that “the Republican party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.” 

The Reaction: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was caught on a hot mic saying he’s “lost confidence” in Cheney, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she commends Cheney “for her courage, for her patriotism, and [wishes] her well,” and Trump thinks “she is looking for a way out of her Congressional race… in order to save face.” Here’s what commentators on the right and left think of the ideological battle for the soul of the GOP heading into the second half of the year.

On The Left

Democrats view Cheney as politically damaged. They don’t think she’s any match for Trump, whom they now believe firmly controls the Republican party. While most support Cheney in this political duel, some on the left won’t let that distract them from what they deem a sordid political history.

Trump is here to stay: Stephen Collinson writes in CNN that Cheney is close to losing her position “after a lonely defense of the truth that last year’s election was not stolen.” As she said, “We Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality.” However, he continues, Cheney is “defending a vision of the GOP that no longer exists,” as the party has been “superseded by a populist, autocratic, anti-free-trade, and deficit-oblivious vehicle for Trump’s personal gratification.” Collinson is resigned to the fact that “Trump’s hold on the GOP…is one of the most remarkable achievements in modern politics.” Simply put, Collinson writes that “Liz Cheney’s fall shows that Trump is here to stay.”

Wy-no-ming: Meanwhile, in POLITICO, Ally Mutnick highlights polling showing “a majority of Wyoming Republicans disapproving of Cheney and continuing strong support for Trump.” She quotes a likely Trump (or Trumpism) recruit for the 2022 primary race, attorney Darin Smith, who said, “I think anybody who’s a decent Republican is going to get behind whoever Donald Trump eventually endorses.” However, Cheney “still has formidable political advantages at home and will not be easy to beat.” Mutnick attributes that to a “massive network of donors and $1.4 million in the bank” as well as her father, “a former congressman and vice president, still popular in the state.” One wild card in the race, she says: Wyoming’s election law “allows voters to change their registration on the day of the primary.” Although the state is reliably red, “that rule would allow Democrats and independents to boost Cheney in her proxy fight with Trump, should they wish.”

Can’t Trust That: Finally, Charles M. Blow, writing in the New York Times, doesn’t let his desire to stick it to Trump sugarcoat what he believes is Cheney’s ugly past. He describes her as “a Joan of Arc in our collective battle against the Big Lie who is willing to let herself be burned at the political stake and to become a martyr for conviction and moral clarity.” To that end, Blow sees Liz Cheney and her father “positioning themselves as protectors of the old order, as paragons of truth, and as defenders of our American norms.” While that may be an enticing idea for some, Blow cites the Iraq War, torture programs, birtherism, and other reprehensible positions as reasons to keep holding the Cheney family in contempt. In his words, “the sword she’s falling on is one she has spent her political career brandishing.”

On The Right

Republicans are noticeably split on the issue. Moderate Republicans echo Cheney’s battle cry that the election was not stolen, but are split between ousting or supporting her. Meanwhile, the more populist wing of the party is out for blood.

Leadership Needs to Unite: Jon Gabriel criticizes Cheney in Ricochet, sarcastically stating, “If House leadership’s job is to divide its own party, Cheney would be a perfect fit.” Instead, “Republican Conference Chairs are supposed to unite the team and take the fight to Democrats.” A fight, he states, that is critical in a time when Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House, seeking to “[jam] through a radical progressive agenda.” While he agrees with Cheney on the election results and that Trump’s “incitement merited impeachment,” Gabriel says that is merely “history.” Ultimately, “Cheney was hired to represent the people of Wyoming and she refuses to do it,” and polling shows that “Wyoming Republican primary voters oppose her 29% to 65%.” As such, Gabriel believes the job should shift from Cheney “to a Republican who wants to achieve party goals in the current Congress and prepare to take the majority in 2022.”

Don’t Diminish the Party: The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, comes out in support of Cheney in an editorial. They state Republicans have a strong chance to regain the majority in 2022 “unless they devolve into internal brawling over the 2020 election.” Although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “I’ve had it with her,” he also acknowledges that “Ms. Cheney is right” that “the election wasn’t stolen.” The Journal editors accuse Trump of imposing a loyalty “litmus test for every Republican candidate” and state he is hurting the party by “spending his energy settling scores.” If the GOP purges Liz Cheney “for honesty,” they conclude, it would “diminish the party.”

Ziegler’s Zingers: Lastly, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, in a series of Tweets, says Cheney’s job is to raise money, stay on message, and not undermine the caucus, calling her a failure on all three counts. Hemingway says Cheney “seethes with hatred for Trump as much as she loves decades-long interventionist wars without exit strategies or metrics for success.” She also accuses Cheney of being a “prime pusher of the discredited, anonymously sourced Russian bounty story.” Hemingway doesn’t stop there, laying into the Washington Post who have “all-hands-on-deck helping out Liz Cheney because…they run Dem propaganda,” which “hurts the GOP.” She lands the final blow on so-called NeverTrump Republicans, “who led messaging of the right during [the] Bush-Cheney,” years, lambasting them for their “unquestioning support of wars [without] exit strategies, corporatism, [and] belief that truly fighting lefty media is gauche.”

Flag This: Liz Cheney and the GOP

Public Sentiment: On Wednesday, the Club for Growth, a conservative political action committee, released a poll showing more than half (52%) of likely Republican primary voters said they would vote against Cheney next year no matter the opponent. Just 14% said they would support her. More broadly, 65% of Wyoming GOP primary voters view Cheney in a “negative light,” while less than a fifth reported the same for former President Donald Trump.

Flashback: If Cheney’s “History is watching us” comment in her opinion piece sounds familiar, or rings a bell of sorts, that’s because she has an interesting past in regards to drawing a line in the sand and being on the “right” or “wrong” side of history. In 2013, Liz and her sister Mary Cheney had a public falling out during the former’s unsuccessful run for the Senate. Mary is gay, however, Liz said that she “believes in the traditional definition of marriage.” In a Facebook post, Mary wrote, “Liz—this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong—and on the wrong side of history.” Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. History, too, depends on the subjective vantage point through which it is viewed.

Flag Poll: Liz Cheney and the GOP

Should she stay or should she go? Is it time for Liz Cheney to ride off into the Wyoming sunset or do you think she should keep up the rough and rowdy fight in DC? Click here to share your thoughts.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
WY resident
1 month ago

I’m from Wyoming..Liz Cheney no longer represents the people she was put in office to serve. There is NO WAY she will win the next election. Adios Liz!

Reply to  WY resident
1 month ago

So exactly how did voting to impeach Trump for what she believed with inciting an insurrection, not representing the people from WY? If it was a Democrat who did the same thing, and she voted for impeachment, that would be representing WY?

1 month ago

I do not find this a particularly important issue for Republicans. Let the people of Wyoming decide her fate. I am still on the fence about what might or might not have happened during the election. I’m waiting for more facts. As for former president Trump my hope is he will get behind another candidate for president in 2024 and not run himself.

Susan R Swanson
1 month ago

I’m disappointed in Cheney as a Republican going against President Trump, and coupled with that her public disagreement with her sister speaks volumes. Together these two facts shows her true colors. Family (political and biological) stick together, plain and simple. Disagreements should be handled behind closed doors, not made public fodder. She is weakening the party (and her family) and should realize that people are paying attention to what candidates do and say. A great example of this is Harris running against Biden in the primaries. She dug into him on many levels (in her most obnoxious way), lost the primary, and then agreed to be his VP. She’s a snake in the grass, mark my words.
The Republican party can unite under President Trump (remember how many of us voted for him?) or tear the party apart internally.
The LGBT community is here to stay. I believe it’s possible to uphold standards without attacking people who disagree. Cheney’s sister has a right to feel and love whomever she chooses, laws are not going to change that, neither is attacking a sibling. In my opinion we are each responsible for our actions, and a far higher power than the government is the ultimate judge.
Cheney feels she has a birthright because her father served as VP. What about her sister’s birthright?
I stand with the Republican party though I don’t like a large percentage of them individually. We need to unite, not tear each other apart.
Note: I was a registered Democrat and voted for Obama twice. My generation moved for equality peacefully and, I believe, had found great success. Obama ushered in racism, imo we have devolved back into an extremely racist state. I experienced it firsthand being the only white tech in a medical facility that served the “underserved”. Between the pandemic and the racism I experienced daily I decided to retire to regain my sanity.
Let’s get back on track and unite for the sake of this grand country.

1 month ago

I do not find this a particularly important issue for Republicans. Let the people of Wyoming decide her fate. I am still on the fence about what might or might not have happened during the election. I’m waiting for more facts. As for former president Trump my hope is he will get behind another candidate for president in 2024 and not run himself.

Laura Elliott
1 month ago

She should step down , she is NOT aligned with the republican party she has her head stuck up her ass and most Republicans won’t vote for her go figure that

1 month ago

She needs to go. ASAP

1 month ago

She should go. She is a divisive character in the party in much the same way her father was/is.

1 month ago


1 month ago

Cheney in many ways encapsulates the Old Republican Party. You know, the one that looked very much the same as the Democratic party. She ran in Wyoming only because of her father’s name. She didn’t even live here and tried to establish residency by buying a fishing license. The fact that she was able to get on the ticket shows how much the backdoor good ole boy politics runs our lives. Did Wyoming elect her? Yes. Because she used the GOP money to buy herself into the ticket and voters grudgingly said well, between her and the Democrat I guess her, and punched the ticket. New laws passed this year should help along with voters getting a renewed confidence that their voices CAN make a difference. Cheney is out. She can accept gracefully which she’s already refused to do, or she can continue to be the poster girl on WHY voters have flocked to the America First candidates. We are sick of career politicians that care about their own wallet and their own power!

Timothy Stitzel
1 month ago

She should leave with all of her Democratic allies before they are carried out. Opinion only!

1 month ago

Thank you Coralie. You took the words right out of my mouth. Liz Cheney is Career Politician Scum. Greedy self righteous scum that has failed every Americans as a whole. I find it embarrassing to even debate her worthiness. Drain the swamp !

1 month ago

I do not elect my representatives to be a puppet of their party, or to be loyal to any one person. They are in D.C. to represent my district’s interests, to vote with the conscience, and to not allows vote along some national political party’s platform. I may not agree with Liz Cheney, but at least where this is concerned, she acted with integrity. I don’t believe in political party “loyalty tests” – I want my politicians to think for themselves (and I encourage more people to do the same, based on facts not some political “spin”).