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Liz Cheney is Not the Hero Democrats Thinks She Is

Liz Cheney on Fox News Sunday. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Liz Cheney on Fox News Sunday.

Liz Cheney may well run for president; this should horrify liberals who, instead, beam proudly at their adopted, conservative daughter.

Cheney is about to lose her seat in the House. Polls indicate that Cheney is lagging severely in Wyoming’s GOP primary. Yet Cheney remains in an advantageous position, in which a loss is not necessarily a loss. In losing, Cheney will become a bona fide martyr. She’ll be framed as the rare GOP politician who had the courage to risk everything and to stand up to Trump – losing her occupation in the process. Left wingers and moderates, still so fixated on Trump that they consider any defiance of Trump sufficient to absolve all sins, will rally further to Cheney’s cause despite her deeply conservative ideology. So, in dying on her own sword, Cheney may lose Wyoming’s most conservative constituents – and gain a broader national support group.

John Harris, a founding editor at POLITICO, believes Cheney may be able to pivot out from a congressional defeat, toward a presidential campaign. “A few days from now, [Cheney] will deliver the most consequential speech of her career to date,” Harris wrote. “Rhetorically, the assignment is clear: Accept defeat while sounding like a winner. More specifically, Cheney needs to signal that the loss of her Wyoming House seat in a GOP primary is in no way the end of her career, but the opening of a new phase in which she intends to be one of the most important people in American political life. She needs to invite the audience to imagine that they are not listening to a soon-to-be-former congresswoman but instead to a possible future president.”

Harris isn’t the only one proposing a Cheney presidential run. CNN’s go-to politics guy, Chris Cillizza asked last fall “Is Liz Cheney going to run for president?” Cillizza believed that Cheney was stoking speculation that she may run for president. “Cheney left the door wide open to a presidential bid in 2024. “I’m not ruling anything in or out – ever is a long time,” she told the New York Post.”

What’s so concerning about Harris and Cillizza’s assessments is that they are devoid of criticism. Quite the opposite. “Cheney has not backed down in the face of Trump’s bluster,” Cillizza wrote. “What Cheney may be betting on is that…she will emerge in GOP circles as the one who slayed the Trump dragon – walking and talking evidence that standing up to the former president doesn’t have to be a death knell for a Republican elected official.”

The left’s embrace of Liz Cheney is a direct result of fixating so squarely on Donald Trump. The left, for which politics begin and end with Trump, are all-in with Cheney simply on account of her having stood up to Trump. Cillizza, operating with CNN’s massive platform, is a good example. Mother Jones, one of the nation’s most reliably progressive publications, recently named Liz Cheney one of their heroes of 2021. The LA Times named Cheney one of their heroes of July 4th (alongside Cassidy Hutchinson). NPR and MSNBC happily and regularly amplify Cheney’s message.

The reasons behind the left’s embrace of Cheney are obvious; she validates what they’ve been saying for years, that Trump is democracy’s biggest threat – and she does so with the credibility of a hardcore conservative. The problem is that in embracing and promoting Cheney on account of her Never Trump stance, the left is elevating her general ideology – which is mostly repulsive.

Political scientist Lawrence R. Jacobs once said “Cheney is an arch-conservative. She’s a hard-edged, small government, lower taxes figure and a leading voice on national defense.” Journalist Jake Bernstein agreed, stating that “Liz Cheney is a true conservative in every sense of the word and she’s only moderate in relation to the radicalism that has seized the Republican party.”

Undoubtedly, Cheney is a neoconservative hawk. She was opposed to Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which of course was a twenty-year war that her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, had helped launch; she has even continued to promote the idea that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq – the falsified pretext upon which Dick Cheney constructed the Iraq invasion; she voted against repealing the 2002 Authorization of Military Force – another unfortunate vestige of the Bush-Cheney years; she has supported the use of torture; she opposes the no-first-use nuclear policy; she opposed the JCPOA. Liz Cheney is her father’s daughter.

Cheney’s problematic record extends beyond foreign policy. During Cheney’s 2013 Senate campaign, she opposed same-sex marriage, becoming estranged from her lesbian sister Mary in the process (Liz later recanted). Cheney also refused to denounce the “birther” conspiracy that claimed Barack Obama was not born in America (and which marked Donald Trump’s entrance in the political arena).

The left would do well to appreciate that Cheney’s defiance of Trump won’t be relevant once she’s in the Oval. Although, as president, Cheney would dictate US foreign policy – a horrifying premise.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.



  1. H.R. Holm

    August 12, 2022 at 11:34 pm

    Liz Cheny has completely blown apart her so-called ‘conservative credentials’ by so unabashedly turning on Donald Trump and seeking his total political destruction. It does not matter what her ‘conservative principles’ supposedly may be, she can lose them just like MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough did, once he pivoted from Congress to the media. She will more likely follow in his footsteps, together perhaps with her colleague-at-heart Cryin’ Adam Kinzinger, another RHINO, albeit one who ran almost solely on his inflated reservist military service. And now that her dad ‘Flameout Dick’ is doing campaign commercials for her for the sole purpose of “never letting Donald Trump near the oval office again”, well, we should remind ourselves: Mr. Cheney, *you* should never have been let near the oval office to begin with, even as only the proverbial heartbeat away, given the disasterous wars you and Mr. Bush initiated U.S. involvement in.

  2. 403Forbidden

    August 13, 2022 at 12:07 am

    Cheney is the a-dime-a-dozen opportunist that runs with the hare AND hunts with the hounds.

    She is cast from the same mold as biden and other likeminded people such as jimmy carter, rosalyn carter and john wayne gacy.

  3. 402Forbidden

    August 13, 2022 at 3:34 am

    Dick Cheney was the guy who made possible the most sickening situation of 21st century exceptionalism and a gross disservice to humanity – the scandalous abu ghraib ‘trocities.

    Her daughter, Liz Cheney is right off a chip of the old block.Thus she’s today or current time single dish serving of sickening ghraib-‘trocity exceptionalism neoconservative libdem nonsense.Ta-Da.

  4. GhostTomahawk

    August 13, 2022 at 6:13 am

    Just another in a long line of early political flame outs

  5. Adam

    August 13, 2022 at 8:24 am

    Liz Cheney is stood up against Trump’s nonviolent coup attempt. She does deserve to get support not a shackle on her road

  6. Rich

    August 13, 2022 at 9:53 am

    The left so hates Trump that they’re willing to support one of the most conservative lawmakers that has served in the last few decades. Cheney has voted for every conservative bill and opposed every liberal proposal during her tenure in Congress yet she is now the darling of the left since she opposes Trump. If Trump were to disappear tomorrow you would see how fast the left would turn on Cheney. She’s not interested in “saving democracy” but hates Trump ever since he rightfully bashed the Bush/Cheney administration. The Trump bogeyman has consumed the left for the past 6 years and actually kept him relevant; so much so that right now he is likely to be the next president.

  7. Scottfs

    August 13, 2022 at 10:03 am

    LOL. Our resident Democrat thinks Lizzie will run for the presidency? Other than Daddy and George Weasel Bush, who’s going to vote for her?

    Answer: No one.

    Lizzie’s next gig? The View.

  8. CRS, DrPH

    August 13, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    In the not-so-distant past, Presidents used to offer members of the opposing parties cabinet positions in order to show bipartisan spirit. Dem Norm Mineta was Sec. Transportation under both Clinton and GWBush, GOP Sen. Bill Cohen was Sec Defense under Bill Clinton etc. I could see Liz being offered a cabinet position if she is bounced out of Congress, or possibly an ambassadorship.

  9. CBX1979

    August 13, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Harrison, your wisdom is missing. Adam, Have another thought.

  10. Ezra Teter

    August 13, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    One of Trump’s few saving graces is that he destroyed the Bush Dynasty and will hopefully destroy the Cheney Dynasty, too. Good Riddance!!!

  11. Jack

    August 14, 2022 at 8:14 am

    Liz has been useful to the Democrats but know this for sure….. they Hate her guts.. remember her father is Dick Cheney and Democrats equate Dick with Satan

  12. Jason Powe

    August 14, 2022 at 11:03 am

    As a Democrat, I can assure you that no one on my team would entertain voting for Cheney in a presidential election, at least not solely on the basis that she is capable of saying publicly what every rational person should consider obvious; that Donald Trump is a criminal and uniquely disqualified from ever holding office and never should have been held office in the first place.
    In other words, it’s one thing to congratulate a person who tells the truth, like the little girl in the fairy tale who pointed out the emperor has no clothes. It’s another thing entirely to elect that little girl queen to replace the naked emperor. To the extent that Cheney becomes more prominent, so be it. The problem isn’t with her (or her other beliefs) it’s that so few other Republicans rose to the occasion to meet the minimum threshold that she has.

  13. Eric-ji

    August 14, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Swamp creature.

  14. John

    August 14, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    Kass doesn’t know the difference between a conservative and a neo-con, and he is senior editor? No wonder there is so much idiocy on this site.

  15. Mary

    August 17, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    Liz Cheney loses by 40 points in her home state and now she is inspired to be president LOL LOL LOL LOL. Narcissist are tone deaf. She thinks if she repeats,the lie enough we will eventually believe her. NOT! These elites. They never really listen to real people.

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