Can Liz Cheney really escape the shadow of her father?
Wyoming congresswoman Elizabeth Cheney has become the darling of Democrats and their anti-Trump media allies. The Economist portrays her as the Gary Cooper character in the film High Noon, as if she were a lone, principled marshal battling the evil Frank Miller (substitute Donald Trump) and his evil associates.
In May of this year, Cheney was given a John F. Kennedy "Profile in Courage" award and praised by CNN's Chris Cillizza.
Liberal, pro-Democrat media outlets like The Guardian, NPR, Politico, Axios, Mediaite, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, the New York Times, and many others portray Cheney as an American hero attempting to save the republic from the evil designs of Trump and his supporters.
Cheney has won the praise of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Jamie Raskin, Bennie Thompson, Steny Hoyer, and Jim McGovern, along with other Democrats. She basks in the praise of those who once demonized her father as the evil architect of George W. Bush's wars.
Some liberals aren't buying it, however. The New Republic doesn't trust Dick Cheney or his daughter. Dick Cheney, Jacob Silverman wrote last year, is a "war criminal who helped make torture, black sites, and other illegal acts a routine part of American foreign policy." As for Liz Cheney, her interests may align with Democrats for now, he wrote, but the Cheney family, Liz included, has "done tremendous damage to human rights." Meanwhile, over at The Intercept, Ryan Grim called Liz a "leading booster of her father's war" who "has shown no remorse or reflection over the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan."
Liz Cheney must have a short memory or a forgiving heart, for she glows in the praise of the same Democrat-media establishment that condemned her father, Dick Cheney, as a warmonger (Rolling Stone), "a self-aggrandizing criminal" and defender of torture (The Atlantic), "dangerous" (The Guardian), "secretive, merciless, Machiavellian" (Vanity Fair), an "enemy of democracy and a war criminal" (Jacobin), "authoritarian" (Roll Call), a vice-president who ran amok curbing civil liberties, condoning torture (The Economist), "Darth Vader" (the Guardian), and the man who helped deceive us into a war (New York Times).
As The Federalist points out, Liz Cheney now courts "the same voters who once dragged a statue of her father through the streets of Jackson[, Wyoming.]" The Washington Times writes that Liz Cheney has betrayed Wyoming.
But perhaps there is something more going on here. Donald Trump, you may recall, was a fierce critic of the "endless wars" of the Bush-Cheney administration — wars that Liz Cheney supported and after reflection still supports. As Grim speculated in the Intercept piece, "Liz Cheney's affection for U.S. interventionism may mark the origin of her hostility to the Trump wing of the [Republican] party." Grim believes that her stand against Trump is about power, not principle. Newsweek reports that Liz Cheney is not ruling out a 2024 presidential run.
Apparently, the lure of power is enough to make Liz Cheney side with the persecutors of her father. Politics, it is said, makes strange bedfellows.
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