Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) appears to be living in fairytale land now that she managed to keep her committee assignments after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump. The lawmaker recently chimed in on the future of the Republican Party and its relationship with Trump.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” she spoke with host Chris Wallace about the identity of the Republican Party in a post-Trump era. She urged GOP voters and officials in the party not to “look past” Trump’s alleged incitement of violence at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. Her comments come just before the impeachment trial is scheduled to commence.
The embattled lawmaker claimed GOP voters had been “lied to” by Trump, who was supposedly trying to steal the 2020 presidential election. She predicted that the Republican Party would not regain power if it did not demonstrate that it could be trusted.
“The notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie, and people need to understand that,” Cheney said. “We need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth and that we are being honest about what really did happen in 2020 so we actually have a chance to win in 2022 and win the White House back in 2024.”
She then argued that President Trump “does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward.”
Cheney and other members of the GOP establishment have gone on the offensive against the former president and his supporters in an aggressive effort to drag the conservative movement back to its pre-Trump days. As I have pointed out repeatedly, the representative and her ilk wish to see a return to the days of Romney, Bush and pretending to care about the wishes of everyday conservative Americans while doing absolutely nothing for them.
At this point, the civil war between the establishment neocons and non-establishment “America First” crowd is in full swing. It is too early to tell which faction will emerge victorious, but it seems clear that the old guard is concerned about losing its position of power.
And they should be.
The establishment appears to be hoping that the populist element on the right would subside after the dust settles from the presidential election. Cheney and company seem to think that the wave that swept the right was only temporary, a flight of fancy based on Trump and Trump alone. But they are mistaken. Indeed, this movement was building even before Trump arrived on the scene.
In the aftermath of the 2020 race, conservative voters are enraged, frustrated, and ready to take action against an establishment that has taken advantage of them for far too long. These people’s anger only needs to be aimed in the right direction to threaten the lofty perches from which people like Cheney and the rest of the Republican aristocracy look down and lecture the rest of us.
As if this wasn’t enough to keep the Mitch McConnell types up at night, the former president is still in play. If Cheney truly believes Trump will not “be a leader” on the right any longer, she is more clueless than we thought. As much as she would probably hate to admit it, conservative voters are much more favorable toward Trump than they are towards the neocon establishment.
Indeed, one of the reasons they voted for him was because they were fed up with squishy Republicans who used empty promises and flowery speeches to win elections and then betrayed their constituents once they got to Washington. Moreover, it is important to note that Trump is ready for his next fight against members of the establishment who wish to erase his legacy.
As I wrote previously, Trump has amassed quite the war chest. Those close to him have indicated that he plans to use the $31 million he has raised to target establishment incumbents fighting the evolution of the conservative movement. (See: Donald Trump Is Poised to Strike Back Against Establishment Republicans)
For the first time in a decade, right-leaning Americans have a fighting chance to unseat members of the Republican Party who have not worked to advance conservative policies and ideals. In this moment, the movement might actually be extensive enough to take on party leaders who abdicated their duty to those they swore to represent.
The battle isn’t only being waged against members of Congress; it will likely spill over into the Republican National Committee itself. It is not too dramatic to suggest that over the next few years, these factions will be quite literally fighting for the soul of the conservative movement and will determine its direction for decades to come.