I like Liz Cheney and respect that she followed her conscience by voting to impeach Donald Trump. There was a case for impeaching him, though not one that I found persuasive.
But there’s little to like in Cheney’s remarks to colleagues at last night’s closed-door GOP House conference meeting, as reported here. Cheney lectured the caucus, saying:
I have to tell you I am really, deeply, deeply concerned about where we are as a party. . . .
I’m also concerned we have to stand up. I owe you the truth, I owe my constituents the truth, you owe us the truth, we all owe each other that, and the truth is: We cannot become the party of QAnon, we cannot become the party of Holocaust denial, we cannot become the party of white supremacy.
We all watched in horror on what happened on January 6. We had a memorial service this morning for Officer Sicknick, one of the things that we saw on January 6 were members of the mob attempting to break into this building and breaking into this building wearing badges of Neo-Nazis, wearing the symbols of white supremacy—that can never be us.
If we ever want to win another election, if we ever want to get back to the point where we are fighting and battling and convincing people that they ought to support us, we have to do it on ideals. We are the party of Lincoln. We are the party of Reagan. We believe in honor and courage, limited government and low taxes. We believe in a stronger national defense and, mostly, we believe in fidelity to the Constitution of the United States.
The Republican Party is not the party of QAnon, Holocaust denial, or white supremacy. It is in no danger of becoming that party.
The claim that the GOP may be veering in that direction is a Democrat/mainstream media talking point. Cheney should not be espousing it.
Nor should Cheney suggest, if that’s what she was doing, that voting to impeach Trump was justified as necessary to prevent the GOP from becoming the party of QAnon, Holocaust denial, or white supremacy. This is another Democrat/mainstream media talking point with no basis in reality.
It’s also an insult to the nearly 200 Republican House members who voted against impeachment. One of those members, just one, has spoken favorably about QAnon conspiracy theories. But during her campaign, that member, Marjorie Taylor Greene, apparently disavowed such views. To my knowledge, she does not deny the Holocaust. Nor, to my knowledge, is she a white supremacist, whatever that term might be intended to mean these days.
In any case, no other GOP member appears even to have flirted with QAnon, anti-Semitism, or white supremacy. Clearly, there was no need to lecture House members about the need to steer clear of these noxious things.
As I said, it’s commendable that Cheney voted her conscience on impeachment. But she should not now throw her party under the bus in defense of that vote or for any other reason.