Rachel Maddow is one of MSNBC’s highly respected commentators known for her insightful questions, detailed analysis, and overall professionalism, and she displayed this when she interviewed Liz Cheney, co-chair of the January 6th committee.
Her interview with Cheney was professional and insightful, and even though Madow and Cheney are opposites in their political views and thinking, Rachel’s interview with Cheney was informative. It provided insight to Cheney, which I believe many overlook. I know I have.
I believe I can best explain what I’m referring to with this clip from the movie The Hunt For Red October: https://youtu.be/BGnZognK3Oc.
Jeffery Pelt is a fictional character describing the reality of the world of politics with these five words: I keep my options open.
These five words are essential to understand as one navigates the fork-tongue utterances of politicians on both sides of the Congressional and Senate aisles in Washington, DC.
Please make no mistake about Cheney: she is a die-hard traditional Republican, unlike the mongrels in the House and Senate. She believes in the rule of law, the fundamental principles of the Constitution, the sovereignty of the United States, and the political understanding around keeping her options open.
She is a Federalist. She sided with her fellow Republicans who believed the John Lewis Civil Rights Advancement Act went contrary to their Federalist principles and would give more power to the government around federal elections, which angered Blacks.
The John Lewis Civil Rights Advancement Act passed in the House along party-line votes, 219 Democrats for and 212 Republicans against. Democrats saw this legislation as the means to ensure access to the ballot and hold accountable those who would stand in the way of Black’s ability to exercise their franchise. But Republicans felt this legislation wasn’t necessary and thought it gave undo power to the Federal government, taking away states’ rights to run their elections as they saw fit. While it passed in the House, it failed in the Senate.
News organization such as Fox, Newsmax, and OANN spieled their obligatory prases for its failure along with their not-so-subtle condemnation of Blacks. MSNBC and CNN came forth with the facts in a logical progression in hopes their audience would see the fallacy of the Republicans in voting against this legislation. The networks NBC, CBS, and ABC walked down the middle as they always do.
The right saw Liz Cheney as a heroine and the left as Lucifer’s bride. Cheney may be many things, but Lucifer’s bride, no, that honor goes to Marjorie Taylor Greene, who seems to have that spot locked. Since Lucifer has an insatiable appetite, he might ask Lauren Bobert to tag along and make it a ménage à trois.
Liz may be on the wrong side of Civil Rights, but on the correct side to ensure we maintain our democracy and not fall into an autocratic form of governance. The direction Trump is determined to take the country should he get reelected.
She voted in lockstep with her colleagues on the John Lewis Civil Rights Advancement Act. That was her being the politician she is. Liz agreeing to co-chair with her fellow democrat Bennie Thompson was her keeping her options open.
Nancy Pelosi knew what she was doing when she asked Cheney to be on the committee. Yes, Cheney is a die-hard conservative Republican. Pelosi understood that, along with understanding, Liz Cheney would uphold the rule of law, look at the facts as presented, and judge accordingly. She also knew Liz was keeping her options open in accepting this assignment. Being on this committee gave Liz insight into what Trump and his lackeys were planning. It disgusted her to see how far Trump’s Republican lackey’s willingness went to keep him in office, as she said to Jim Jordan, who feigned trying to help her out of the Well of the House as insurrectionists were pounding on the chamber doors of The House.
“Jim Jordan approached me. “We need to get the ladies off the aisle,” he said and raised his hand. “Let me help you.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Get the ladies off the aisle? Really?! He and his coconspirators in the White House and Congress had provoked this attack on the heart of American democracy, and now he thought I needed or wanted his help? I swatted his hand away. “Get away from me. You f — ing did this.” — Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning (p. 92) Little, Brown and Company.
Cheney understood being on the Jan 6th Committee would allow her to get the truth about this insurrection. Instead of ignoring it and pretending it didn’t happen, as many of her former colleagues are now doing.
Her acceptance of Pelosi’s invitation came with a high price for refusing to play fast and loose with the truth regarding January 6th. She lost her position as conference chair, a high-ranking and influential position within the Republican Congressional caucus, a position her father once held, from which she could do well politically.
None of that mattered to Liz. Preserving democracy does. Being in the Well of the House floor, hearing the incited mob attempting to break in and do them harm because a spoiled, rich, overgrown man-child didn’t get his Binky enraged her. Seeing and knowing some of her fellow Republicans conspired and supported this insurrection further infuriated her. Here is another comment from her book;
“I stood up and turned around to look at my colleagues sitting behind me. Many of them were there because they were supporting the objections. I was sad and angry at what was happening — at what they had caused. Did they realize what they had done?”
She voted in lockstep with these people against the John Lewis Civil Rights Advancement Act, claiming the act infringed on Federalist principles around elections. Now, she was amid many of these individuals supporting Trump’s attempt to nullify a duly held election he lost.
I have to wonder what was going through Liz’s mind, standing in the Well of the House, seeing and hearing rabid Trump supporters trying to break in and disrupt the proceedings, doing this on the orders of Trump because he told them to stop the steal. These were people she supported and voted in support of democratic principles. Now, she witnessed first-hand the danger, destruction, and delusion of Trump’s words of a stolen election.
With order restored, members returned to complete and certify the election of Joe Biden. But the pungent stench of Trump’s attempt to pull off this coup d’état lingers. And Liz Cheney’s vote to block John Lewis Civil Rights Advancement Act is an invisible cloud that hovers over her as she makes the rounds of promoting her book.
Liz understood that by accepting the position to co-chair the January 6th commission, she would face a mountain of wrath, disapproval, and open hostility from her fellow Republicans. Once she accepted Pelosi’s offer to co-chair, Kevin McCarthy immediately removed her from all her positions in the Republican Conference.
Her fellow Republicans openly castigated her but privately praised her for doing what they were too afraid to do. Stand up to Trump.
Cheney knew that when she agreed to accept Pelosi’s offer to co-chair the committee, she would receive tremendous backlash from the Republican voters she represented in her home state. As expected, a Trump-backed challenger primaries her, and she lost. Liz lost not because she was a lousy candidate; she would not back his blatant attempt to usurp the Constitution and remain in power, a point she makes in her interview with Savannah Guthrie.
A good friend of mine often says, ‘The truth will set you free, but it will first kick your ass.’ Cheney is on record declaring reelecting again will be the end of democracy as we have known.
Cheney has told the unvarnished truth about Trump and, for doing that, got an ass-kicking in her primary election. But she may see justice done with Trump’s conviction for his attempt to overturn an election via insurrection.
There is no doubt where Liz Cheney stands in her view of Trump. She sees him as a clear and present danger to the United States and his delusions of power and desire to be the first dictator of this country.
But there are two questions I have for Liz Cheney. Given what happened on January 6th, the first, does she still believe the John Lewis Civil Rights Advancement Act infringes on Federalism? Since she is a politician and, as stated earlier, politicians keep their options open, is one of her options a future run for the Presidency?
So, what say you, is Liz Cheney a heroine or a villain?