Since Rep. Liz Cheney’s ouster from Republican leadership, her profile has dwindled. Sure, she’s still going on TV every chance she can to virtue signal about the evils of Donald Trump, but few are paying attention at this point. Cheney has been sidelined, and that’s good news for the GOP.
Despite that, I want to hit on something she said to Chris Wallace over the weekend because I think it reveals something bigger about where the Republican Party has been and where it’s going.
Here, watch this and see if you notice anything.
"We're the party of Lincoln, we're the party of Reagan, we have to take a hard look at who we are and what we stand for and what we believe in."
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) June 11, 2021
If I could describe what Cheney says in the above clip, it’d probably go something like: “She said everything while saying absolutely nothing.” She manages to invoke two of the most famous Republican presidents in history and still manages to make no real point at all.
What exactly does the “Party of Lincoln” and the “Party of Reagan” even mean? Those two eras are worlds apart. Lincoln quashed the First Amendment and took political prisoners. Is that what the GOP is today? And I don’t say that argue that Lincoln wasn’t just doing what had to be done in an extraordinary time, but the reality is the reality.
As to Reagan, he was a great president, but it’s not 1980 anymore. The issues that the country faces, especially culturally, might as well be from a different universe. Regardless, the party of Lincoln was not the party of Reagan, nor is the party of Reagan what the GOP is today. Accepting those realities means being able to articulate a modern, relevant vision for the future instead of constantly falling back on platitudes.
Besides, as I said, Cheney says stuff here but it manages to add up to absolutely nothing. Where’s the policy? Where’s the plan to unite the current coalition? No one cares about yet more appeals to nostalgia for dead presidents. They want to know what you are going to do about the problems they have today.
Love him, like him, or hate him, Trump managed to do that. He spoke directly to people about immigration, about the stagnating economy, and about our foreign policy failures and focused on what he was going to do about all those things. Parroting “Reagan” over and over is not a platform. It’s just laziness.
But we are talking about Liz Cheney here so none of this is surprising. I know it makes Chris Wallace feel all warm and fuzzy given he’s a Democrat, but actual Republicans want more than shallow words.