Donald Trump has been called many things, but original thinker is not one of them. That’s why you’ll hear him repeat endlessly the same phrases, often appropriated from others, like “fake news,” “stone cold loser,” “believe me,” “bigly,” “enemy of the people” and “hoax.” (Many feel these were actually self-descriptive.) He even stole his own motto, America First, from 1940s isolationists and Nazi sympathizers. Now he wants to call the truth about his election defeat the “Big Lie,” a term already locked on to his false claims of fraud.
Trump has failed to produce a shred of credible evidence to support his claims, nor have his pillow guy, his crack lawyers like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, Fox News or the Proud Boys. His claims have been rejected by every court all the way to the top, most notably by judges he personally picked.
Trump steadfastly continues to solidify his well-documented reputation as a serial liar. He considers dissent and criticism, especially when truthful, to be high crimes and misdemeanors to be punished harshly.
That is why his loyal lemmings of the House Republican Conference today burned the heretic Liz Cheney at the stake for committing the mortal sin of telling the naked emperor that he lost the 2020 election.
Her response and Trump’s clearly demonstrate the unbridgeable gap between the two, and their two wings of the party, as she spoke of truth and principles and he responded with his usual grace and dignity.
Cheney: “We must speak the truth. Our election was not stolen. And America has not failed. Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former President’s crusade to undermine our democracy. We cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president.”
Trump: “Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being. I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party. She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country. She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the never-ending Middle East Disaster, draining our wealth and depleting our Great Military, the worst decision in our Country’s history.”
Cheney may have lost her title in the House Republican Conference, but she emerged as the face and voice of the anti-Trump wing of the GOP as she warned against the “dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality” and pledged “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
I find very little I can agree on with Cheney, who is about as far right as they come, but I admire the integrity she has shown here, as should all who put country over party.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) suffers from no such scruples. He made a 180 degree turn on the January 6 insurrection, starting by criticizing Trump and suggesting Congressional censure but now absolving the disgraced former president of any responsibility for the deadly attack on the Capitol. It was on that day that McCarthy, as a leader of the Sedition Caucus, voted twice against certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
McCarthy wants to become speaker of the House in the worst way, and that is how he is going about it. He willingly sacrificed his integrity and self-respect to please Trump because he feels he craves the former president’s blessing. He rightly fears the notoriously unreliable and never-loyal Trump might try to anoint one of his favorite acolytes instead.
Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) called the defeated former president’s talk of fraud and a stolen election “Trump’s Big Lie.” Tragically, Trump is neither smart nor caring enough to comprehend the damage he is doing to American democracy. And apparently neither are the House Republicans.