Liz Cheney is ready to blow herself up. You can lose your seat, but not your principles. It’s a matter of honor. The congresswoman has become the fiercest opponent of former President Donald Trump in the ranks of the Republicans. The United States Congress commission investigating the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, of which she is vice president, has improved its numbers. She is the conservative most admired by Democrats and most hated by Republicans.
The eldest of the two daughters of Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s powerful vice president, left a few sentences for history on the commission. “To my fellow Republicans who defend the untenable, the day will come when Donald Trump will be gone, but your shame will remain,” he snapped at his party’s congressmen first meeting of the committee.
Liz Cheney, 55, has politics in her blood. He campaigned for the first time at age 12 accompanying his father, who was elected to the House of Representatives from Wyoming in 1978. He has held various positions at the State Department while his father was vice president, ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2013, and has been a congressman for Wyoming, like his father, since 2017.
She’s used to being contradictory. After graduating from an institute in a wealthy Virginia suburb on the outskirts of Washington, where she was a cheerleading captain, she attended Colorado College, a progressive university where she vehemently defended her beliefs.
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A conservative through and through, Cheney is anti-abortion, pro-guns, pro-fossil fuel, tax cuts, military spending and tough foreign policy. Her opposition to same-sex marriage brought her into public conflict with her lesbian sister, Mary. He stands to the right of his father, who was not a moderate.
Despite everything, she has become an outlaw in her party. His confrontation with the former president will most likely cost him his seat in Wyoming, the country’s most sparsely populated and Trumpist state. He can’t even give campaign rallies for the August primary for fear of incidents. She is 30 points short of Harriet Hageman, Trump’s pick to unseat her.
Cheney is aware of this, but she is willing to fight to the end to clarify what happened on January 6, 2021. That day, she received a call from her father warning her that Donald Trump had called to “get rid of the weak congresswoman,” the “Liz Cheney of the world,” in the address he gave to the masses before the attack on the United States Capitol held.
Although she had voted in line with Trump’s postulates more than 90% of the time, there had already been some friction in foreign policy and the handling of the pandemic. Since her father was vulnerable, she strongly encouraged wearing a mask. But what drove Trump crazy was that Cheney recognized Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and tried to convince his fellow party members to respect the result.
He wanted to defend his position in the January 6 session. Around the same time she was speaking with her father, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin received a text message with a photo of some of the insurgents who had entered the building waving a Confederate flag. The first person he showed it to was Cheney, he says your book Unthinkable (Unthinkable): “Look, Liz, it looks like we have new people in charge,” he told her. Shortly thereafter, Cheney heard a crowd banging on the front doors and a gunshot. He sought refuge.
Raskin has publicly called Cheney a patriot and has criticized her for being “slandered and chastised” by her party for defending the constitution and impeaching Trump. “It’s not that Liz Cheney is making life difficult for her party, it’s her party making life impossible for her,” he tells EL PAÍS.
Cheney was one of 10 Republican congressmen who voted to impeach or politically censor Trump. Her party stripped her of the post of Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives. She received threats and was harassed on social media. Others who initially raised their voices against Trump have retracted their words.
The congresswoman defends what happened on Jan. 6 was a “mortal threat” and what Republicans are now witnessing is a “moral test.” His co-religionists, he says, are failing the test. Some Republicans disparagingly refer to the commission on the attack on the Capitol as Liz Cheney’s reality show.
Heroine, patriot, traitor or infidel, depending on who you ask, Cheney leaves no one indifferent. His presidential aspirations have been speculated, but in the current Republican Party his room for maneuver is slim given the influence Trump still wields.
You may have another chance in the future. If not, his service to democracy will be remembered for his sentences in the January 6 commission: “We must remember what is at stake. Brave men and women have fought and died for our nation. We must honor them by upholding the sanctity of the peaceful transfer of power and ensuring that what happened on January 6th is not repeated.”
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