When it comes to Wyoming Republicans, Rep. Liz Cheney has been missing in action.
Now in her third term, Cheney hasn’t been to a state party function in two years, The New York Times reported Tuesday; she hasn’t been to a chapter-level event since 2020.
And now, she told the Times on Saturday, she’s got no time for the “crazies” in the party who sent her to Washington. Does anyone like her odds in the August GOP primary?
The Times article was the kind of sop the Gray Lady only gives to Republicans who’ve turned their backs on their own constituents to advance the newspaper’s progressive political agenda.
The same outlet that spent eight years reviling her father as vice president during the George W. Bush administration now takes such a sympathetic view of the daughter that its headline was almost biblical, evoking an image of Cheney as a solitary figure, alone in the cause of righteousness:
“Where’s Liz Cheney? The Wyoming Republican’s Exile From Wyoming Republicans.”
Clearly, she’s a liberal darling now, the one who alienated her own party as a vocal opponent of former President Donald Trump. Cheney was one of the handful of House Republicans who voted in favor of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s second attempt to impeach him, and she has accepted a turncoat seat on Pelosi’s sham committee to “investigate” the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
Oh dear: Liz Cheney Snubs Voters To Mingle With Reporters Instead, Calling Constituents ‘Crazies’ https://t.co/yARMdb019B
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 10, 2022
The peg of the Times’ story was a Saturday night gathering in Rock Springs, Wyoming, where a black-tie-and-gown crowd gathered for a GOP fundraiser, but Cheney was nowhere to be found. Instead, she was schmoozing with her state’s media more than 200 miles away at the Wyoming Press Association’s annual convention in Casper.
Granted, the Wyoming Press Association isn’t exactly the White House Correspondents Association, but is there a worse way for a Republican to behave than to skip a party event to rub elbows with the media? Is there a better way to show just how out of touch Cheney is?
Her party, of course, already got that message. On Friday, the Republican National Committee formally censured Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, RINO-Illinois, who joined Cheney on Pelosi’s panel. (Kinzinger, unlike Cheney, has the good sense not to be running for re-election this year.)
Less than a month ago, Cheney’s own party made its primary preferences clear with a straw poll vote at the Republican State Central Committee that saw Cheney whipped by her main challenger in the Aug. 16 primary, the Trump-endorsed attorney Harriet Hageman, in a stunning vote of 59-6.
And back in November, the Wyoming Republican Party’s Central Committee voted to no longer recognize Cheney as a member of the party.
The Times, being the Times, tried to pass off Cheney’s well-earned status of party pariah as a kind of noble martyrdom:
Do you think Liz Cheney’s political career is going to be over in August?
“Her vote to impeach Mr. Trump last January and her decision to take part in the House investigation of the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 have forced her into a kind of exile from Wyoming’s Republican Party apparatus, in a state where Mr. Trump won 70 percent of the vote in 2020, the highest percentage in the country,” the article said.
And then it gave Cheney the floor:
“I reject the notion that somehow we don’t have to abide by the rule of law. And the people right now who are in the leadership of our state party, I’m not trying to get their support because they’ve abandoned the Constitution.”
So, she’s not interested in trying to get the support of the party’s leadership. She’s not working the party’s ranks. According to the Times, Cheney has had literally one in-person event with her supposed constituents in Wyoming between Veterans Day and Saturday.
Sure, she’s big news with the media crowd and Capitol Hill, but when it comes to her constituents, she’s essentially AWOL.
What exactly is she up to?
Social media users had some guesses. As always, there were far too many trained-seal trolls chiming in from the left, but many, many Cheney critics were on hand.
Just practicing for her future job as a CNN contribute.
— Tom Searl (@SearlTom) February 10, 2022
Voters? Liz has voters?
Being a political pundit appears to be in her future.
— CJagielski (@c_jagielski) February 10, 2022
This is Lizzie’s “deplorables” moment.
— FemaleGender&SexAssignedAtBirthByGod, DGFY (@LuckyL8e) February 10, 2022
That last one should hit a nerve.
Not only does it call to mind Hillary Clinton’s evident contempt for American conservatives, but it’s also a foretaste of what Cheney’s fate is going to be if Wyoming’s Republicans remember this come August.
It’s a good bet they will. And it’s a good bet that when they do, those 69.9 percent of Wyoming voters who supported Trump in 2020 are going to know quite well who they’ll want representing their interests in Washington, D.C.
There’s rarely a good side to predicting the future in politics, but if Cheney gets beaten among GOP voters in the August primary like she got beat among party activists in January, it’s going to hold a lesson for Republicans everywhere:
It doesn’t matter how smart you think you are. It doesn’t matter how much you crave good press or who your father is. Don’t turn your back on our own voters.
Or they’ll turn their backs on you.