On Tuesday, Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) – the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and the third-ranking Republican in House leadership – came under fire from conservatives in a closed-door meeting on the Hill. Criticism intensified when President Trump joined into the pile on, saying on Twitter:
The main stream media and NeverTrumpers have attempted to paint Ms. Cheney as the victim of a party purge – only being hounded by her critics because she is not sufficiently loyal to President Trump.
Let’s be completely clear. This isn’t about Liz Cheney’s loyalty to the President. It’s about Liz Cheney’s willingness to do anything to derail efforts to bring our brave men and women home from war zones like Afghanistan.
Establishment Republicans were quick to jump to Cheney’s defense. Rich Lowry, writing in Politico, said:
“Whatever you think of Cheney’s views on national security, she has a well-thought-out worldview that she defends resolutely and thoughtfully.”
That’s fine and dandy and Liz Cheney is certainly entitled to her opinion. And, the Republican Party tent is big enough to include those who support an America First foreign policy and the handful of neocons who still believe in endless wars.
Liz Cheney is not just another House member, however, she chose to run for leadership and currently serves as Conference Chair – the third-ranking Republican in House leadership. If she wants to serve in leadership, she has a responsibility to work on behalf of the majority of the Republican caucus.
That is a responsibility she has completed abdicated.
First, Cheney took the extraordinary step of supporting a challenger to a sitting member of Congress – despite the fact that this is an almost unheard of act by a member of leadership. Cheney donated money to a racist challenging Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY).
Not surprisingly, Massie is one of the most outspoken supporters of efforts to bring troops home. Cheney later asked that her donation be returned after coming under fire for supporting a white supremacist.
Additionally, Cheney has been willing to do whatever it takes to undermine the President’s America First foreign policy agenda. Indeed, Cheney, worked with Democrats in the House to limit President Trump’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Germany.
Not only did Cheney work to thwart the President’s America First foreign policy, she happily spread a now thoroughly debunked claim by the New York Times that the President had ignored intelligence regarding supposed Russian bounties being paid to the Taliban to kill American soldiers.
Some have rightfully pointed out that Cheney’s foreign policy looks and sounds an awful lot like the foreign policy of Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. Glenn Greenwald notes,
“Combined with the fact that Democrats are increasingly merging with and being led by the Bush-era neocons and other Bush/Cheney operatives in creating such jingoistic and militaristic messaging campaigns as the beloved-by-liberals Lincoln Project, and that Biden is clearly trying to run to Trump’s right on foreign policy with ads accusing him of being too soft on China and linking him to Castro and Chavez, the picture is clear. It should come as absolutely no surprise that House Democrats are finding common cause with Liz Cheney and other GOP warmongers to block any efforts to reduce even moderately the footprint of the U.S. military in the world or its decades-long posture of endless war.”
President Trump was elected in 2016 promising to end the reckless Bush/Obama foreign policy. It was a position supported by the vast majority of the Republican base. If Liz Cheney can not square her own foreign policy positions with those of the majority of the Republican caucus, the overwhelming majority of Republican voters, and the sitting Republican President then she should step down from Republican leadership.
Liz Cheney asked for the job of Conference Chair, no one forced her into the position. It is clear at this point that she is either unwilling or unable to do that job effectively. Liz Cheney should go.
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