Cheney to Trump Loyalists: To Embrace A Personality Cult Is Contrary To Everything Conservatives Believe
[guest post by Dana]
The January 6 Committee will be holding its first of many committee hearings this Thursday night. Broadcast networks will be pre-empting regularly scheduled shows to carry it live. Except for Fox News. It will stick with its regular rotation of Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity, and instead will carry the hearings on Fox Business Network.
Fox's top news anchors will be moved over to the Fox Business Network, and they will cover the hearing there. At 8pm ET on an ordinary night, Fox News has more than 3 million viewers, while Fox Business has under 100,000. That pretty much says it all about Fox's priorities.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 6, 2022
Here is an excerpt of an interview with Rep. Liz Cheney on what to expect at the hearings, as well as her thoughts on the Republican Party at large:
CBS News’ Robert Costa asked the committee’s vice chair, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, “Are you confident that what you have found as a committee will somehow grab the American people by the lapels and say, ‘Wake up: You have to pay attention’?”
“I am,” she replied, calling the insurrection “an ongoing threat.”
“You know, we are not in a situation where former President Trump has expressed any sense of remorse about what happened,” Cheney said. “We are in fact in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that caused the attack. And so, people must pay attention. People must watch, and they must understand how easily our democratic system can unravel if we don’t defend it.”
“We have too many people now in the Republican Party who are not taking their responsibilities seriously, and who have pledged their allegiance and loyalty to Donald Trump,” Cheney said. “I mean, it is fundamentally antithetical, it is contrary to everything conservatives believe, to embrace a personality cult. And yet, that is what so many in my party are doing today.”
Costa asked, “Is the Republican Party a personality cult?”
“I think that large segments of it have certainly become that.”
“Yeah. I mean, I think there is absolutely a cult of personality around Donald Trump. And I think that, you know, the majority of Republicans across the country don’t want to see our system unravel. They understand how important it is to protect and defend the Constitution.”
Cheney said, “Let me say it this way: I have not learned anything that has made me less concerned.”
“Well, what’s made you more concerned?” asked Costa.
“Well, I think the extent, the expanse, how broad this multi-pronged effort was.”
“Was it a conspiracy?”
“I think certainly — I mean, look, if you look at the court filings …”
“But do you believe it was a conspiracy?”
“I do,” she replied. “It is extremely broad. It’s extremely well-organized. It’s really chilling.”
“Is this moment a moral test for the Republican Party?” asked Costa.
“Absolutely. No question,” she said. “And right now, we’re failing. You know, in my state, the state party chairman is a member of the Oath Keepers. He was here on January 6. He was here with a walkie-talkie in his hand on January 6. That is a mortal threat. And it is a moral test. We can’t fail that moral test. But there are too many right now in my party who are failing it.”
More at the link.
Clearly, Cheney is moving full-steam ahead in an effort to hold accountable any and all who are responsible for the insurrection of Jan. 6. And clearly, too, she is unwilling to abandon her integrity to bolster her chances to win the Wyoming primary. According to The Club for Growth, which is supporting Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, May 26 polling (done before Cheney officially entered the race) shows her lagging by 30 points. While some Republican members of Congress who made a stand against Trump retired rather than taking a beating at the polls, Cheney is in it until the end. Possibly an opening for a win could happen as a result of Republicans voting for her (but not saying it publicly for fear of criticism), along with Democrats who admire her courage and will register as Republicans to vote for her, and the real possibility that Republicans won’t collectively coalesce around one of her challengers. All together, that might open the door wide enough for a win.
It’s funny that a number of Wyoming Republicans who are voting for Hageman, are doing so because they accuse Cheney of being a “traitor”. A “traitor” to the Party is one thing, but a “traitor” to Donald Trump only confirms that there is and remains a sick cult of personality around the former president. On that, Cheney is absolutely right.