Rep. Liz Cheney was officially ousted from her Conference Chair role Wednesday after months of high drama among GOP House leaders that sometimes played out in public over whether she should remain in her leadership position considering her focus on relitigating Trump’s presidency and the Capitol riots took precedence over helping present a united front against the Pelosi/Biden agenda going into the 2022 midterms.
One of the many things that rankled conservatives about Cheney in recent weeks was her penchant for depending on liberal media outlets typically hostile to the GOP to help her get her “message” out. In addition to that were her epic lapses in judgment in relying on “bombshell” news reports from those same outlets about Trump that often turned out to be fake news.
When it was revealed that Cheney had sat down for an interview with NBC News Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie on the same day GOP members of the House cast their votes, few Republicans were surprised. But what might surprise some of her critics on the right was how she handled two very leading (and predictable) questions from Guthrie on if she felt that “sexism” played a role in what happened.
Here’s how that back and forth played out:
Guthrie: “You are a political leader in your own right. But it is interesting that here you are, the top female in leadership in the House. Do you see sexism in anything that has gone on here?”
Cheney: “I think that as women, all of us have an obligation to usually fight harder and work harder and be better, but I don’t think that anybody should ever play the victim. When I think about my own daughters, when I think about the example of my mother – you know, I was really blessed to grow up in a house where it just never occurred to us, my sister and me, that that you know our gender was any sort of an obstacle to anything.”
Guthrie: “So one woman against the Republican Party and Donald Trump, how does that strike you?”
Cheney: “Look, I’m doing what I think is necessary for the good of the country and the good of the party.”
Her twice rejecting Guthrie’s attempts to get her to play the “sexism/victim” card obviously disappointed the Today Show so much that they did not even bother to include her answer in their detailed write-up of the interview.
Watch the segment below:
— Kyle Drennen (@kjdrennen) May 13, 2021
For all of her faults, this was the right answer for Cheney to give for a couple of reasons. One, because it’s been widely reported that another woman (Rep. Elise Stefanik) is likely to take her place. But the other more important one is that there is no evidence whatsoever to support the claim that sexism motivated other GOP leaders to seek her ouster.
Though there were a few minor disagreements between Cheney and other House GOP leaders during Trump’s time in office, there was no talk of replacing her until after the Capitol riots, which she began to use as what looks to be a stepping stone for a possible 2024 presidential run.
For many women, it’s embarrassing to see other women – especially those in influential positions – routinely default to the sexism card when they feel they or another woman has been slighted. While sexism does still exist in America, it’s an inarguable point that not every criticism of a woman or a rejection of a woman boils down to sexism.
Sometimes in life – oftentimes, really – what those criticisms/alleged slights boil down to are differences in opinions, not sexism. In politics, men frequently get bounced from their leadership positions, too, and yet you never hear any of them claim it’s because they’re men.
If women in this country truly want to be seen as equals and able to run on the same playing field men do, they need to stop automatically assuming that when they don’t get that job they wanted or when they get criticized by a man that sexism must be at play. Again, that’s not to suggest that sexism doesn’t exist. I’m merely suggesting that women dig a little deeper when these things happen instead of just assuming the worst. What they find might surprise them.
It would have been really easy for Cheney to take Guthrie’s tactic and run with it considering everything that’s happened. But she didn’t, and for that, I feel the need as a conservative woman who has had it up to here with Democratic women bogusly playing the victim card to give credit where due.