On 5/6/2021, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders shook the world when his official Twitter account posted the following in response to Republican efforts to remove Liz Cheney from leadership:
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) will likely be voted off the House Republican Leadership. Her crime: acknowledging the reality that Trump lost the election. The Republican Party is no longer a “conservative” party. It is an anti-democratic cult pushing the Big Lie and conspiracy theories.
Many took this as a defense of Liz Cheney, and the replies to Sander’s tweet rightfully point out that Cheney is just as wrong as many of the Republicans on every political issue. While in Congress, Cheney voted with Donald Trump 93% of the time, only occasionally pausing to criticize him when he tried to end the many pointless military interventions the United States has found itself in and actually set up lasting peace. However, on every issue except foreign policy, Cheney and Trump could not have been in more agreement.
The reason Cheney is being targetted has nothing to do with her policy positions, almost all of them shared by the entire Republican Party. Nor does it even have anything to do with her previous disagreements with Donald Trump — hence why the choice to replace her, Elise Stefanik, voted with Trump roughly 15% less often than Liz Cheney did and why this is only a movement with the Republican Party now as oppose to when she was opposing Trump regarding every foreign policy decision he made. Stefanik was even the co-chair of the Tuesday Caucus for a couple of years, a caucus specifically made up of moderate Republicans from left-leaning states. On many issues, she’s much more liberal than Cheney (although that’s rather easy), saying that Republicans should soften their rhetoric on abortion, for example. She’s even voted against some rather big milestone of the Trump administration, such as Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, his mandatory tax cut legislation required by every Republican President.
However, Stefanik did one thing Cheney didn’t, Stefanik went along with Donald Trump’s accusations that the 2020 Election was stolen from him by Joe Biden and The Democrats. Stefanik even objected to the counting of the Electoral Votes from Pennsylvania, Cheney not only refused to do such a thing, but she also condemned Trump, arguing his rhetoric led to the storming of the capitol during the confirmation of the Electoral Votes on 1/6/2021. (Later, she became the highest-ranking Republican to support Trump’s Second Impeachment.)
Again, Stefanik’s bipartisanship and moderation replacing Cheney’s partisan neo-conservativism is not necessarily a bad thing — and I’d certainly rather have Stefanik in charge of the Republican Party than Cheney, but why the Republicans want to get rid of Cheney is the most important part of the equation. They want to get rid of Cheney because, for once, she stood up against Donald Trump and told the truth. No matter my thoughts on every single one of Liz Cheney’s other positions (and I hate basically all her political positions), I can not cheer on attempts to remove her from power based on her refusing to push an obvious lie.
This is not about Liz Cheney, this about punishing Republicans who speak the truth about the 2020 Election.