“Reprehensible”–Liz Cheney Calls Out GOP Colleagues In Aspen

Rep. Liz Cheney (R).

As the Aspen Times’ Rick Carroll reports, yesterday the Aspen Insitute hosted a conversation with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming about her role on the select committee investigating the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by dead-ender supporters of ex-President Donald Trump on January 6th in an attempt to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential elections. Cheney’s refusal to accede to the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen from Trump, and her unrelenting condemnation of the events of that day even as her Republican colleagues fell back in line behind Trump, have made Cheney a pariah within her own party.

But that won’t be the judgment of history:

“It was mob, and you’ve seen the video now, attempting to tear people limb from limb,” Cheney told interviewer Eric Schmidt, also former chairman and CEO of Google, inside the Greenwald Pavilion on the Aspen Meadows campus. “And so when I hear my colleagues say it was a group of tourists, when I hear them say this was nothing to be afraid of, when I hear Donald Trump say the crowd was full of love, I think it is reprehensible and indefensible, [Pols emphasis] and I think that all of us have a duty and a responsibility not to look away from the reality of that day and the reality of how we got to that day.”

Cheney voted with Donald Trump 92.6% of the time he was president and also voted to re-elect him in 2020. The daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney assumed office in January 2017 and has said she will seek re-election in the 2022 mid-terms.

Republicans removed her from her GOP leadership position after she impeached Trump over the insurrection, and Trump reportedly has been meeting with potential challengers to Cheney in next year’s primary. Cheney, however, said the insurrection probe is a search for the truth of what happened Jan. 6, also the byproduct of a fragmented America, part of which has drifted from the country’s democratic principles.

Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, January 6th 2021.

Rep. Cheney has no love for the left, and the feeling up until Donald Trump forced a different kind of moral alignment upon the country was certainly mutual. But we defy anyone on either side of the aisle to question Cheney’s insight regarding the events of January 6th:

“I look at this moment that we have arrived at and I think in many ways that we need to have a very serious, sustained national discussion about American history, about civics, about the Constitution and about the rule of law,” she said. “And when you look at what happened in the lead-up to Jan. 6, and look at what happened on Jan. 6, and when you look at the response of my party in the days and weeks and now months afterwards, it’s very clear that some people are willing to accept what I think was a line that can never be crossed, and I think as Americans, for us it’s a moment where we have to put politics aside and we have to say ‘this isn’t about a policy debate, this isn’t about where you are on taxes or on government regulation or on national security issues; this is about the fundamental underpinnings of our society.’” [Pols emphasis]

Never before and maybe never again, but what Liz Cheney said.

Aspen is a liberal enclave in the heart of freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert’s district. During Boebert’s run for office in 2020, Cheney hosted a fundraiser for Boebert, but now that Boebert calls Cheney “a cancer to our party and to our caucus” that’s obviously all in the past. Rep. Ken Buck stoutly defended Cheney when the House GOP conference voted to boot Cheney from leadership, but since then Buck has come back to the “Big Lie” in his own peculiar way and certainly has no appetite for an investigation into the events of January 6th. At no point has Buck attempted to reconcile his view of Cheney with Boebert’s, a massive contradiction that has simply festered while events have taken their course.

It’s not going to work forever. Liz Cheney came to Aspen to throw down in the backyard of one of her most acrimonious detractors. Boebert can’t respond to Cheney’s criticism of Trump and the enablers of January 6th with facts, only with scorn and cheap-shot aspersions. And anything that Ken Buck says at this point will only get him in more trouble with his own party one way or the other.

It’s a real pickle for every Republican except Liz Cheney, who has nothing left to lose.

As for this greater question “about the fundamental underpinnings of our society,” Cheney is on the side history will favor.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MattC says:

    " I think as Americans, for us it’s a moment where we have to put politics aside and we have to say ‘this isn’t about a policy debate, this isn’t about where you are on taxes or on government regulation or on national security issues; this is about the fundamental underpinnings of our society.’”

    Is she also talking about voting rights? immigration reform, including DREAM? Climate change?

    She and other republican 'leaders' brought this on with 50 years of cynical, win at all costs bs.  Sadly, plenty of Americans suffer because some get what they deserve.

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    "Is she also talking about voting rights? immigration reform, including DREAM? Climate change?"

    Perhaps but probably not from the perspective you or I might want to hear. But that is irrelevant. She is entitled to her opinion on policy issues. The point is that she at least fathoms what happened on 1/6 and is willing to discuss it on a factually-grounded basis. 

    I find this woman to be an excellent illustration of the fact that a human being is capable of doing some of the most depictable and cowardly things (i.e., when she threw her sister under the bus on same sex marriage for political expediency in her quest for a senate seat which she was never going to win) one day and then doing something completely principled and courageous (to the point of kissing off her future in politics and probably placing her own life in danger – remember the 1/6 chants for what they wanted to do to Mike Pence).

    I'm willing to recognize and applaud when someone does the right thing – even if I've disagreed with virtually everything else she has ever done or stood for.

    If I lived in Wyoming and was registered as Democrat there, I would have no problem voting for her in the GOP primary – which I believe is a fully open primary – if only to see her win the nomination and make Kevin McCarthy's life a living hell.

    • MattC says:

      uh. Well, I guess you are trying to chastise or even correct me. 

      But I think we have a different idea of how best to defend the Constitution and how to score political wins. 

      She deserves to lose. Her final move to stand up to Trump and his damage to the country and her party is great. But the damage is as much her fault as anyone who denied science on climate change, decided to invade Iraq instead of the country that aided 911, and did any of the hundreds of republican things that made our country less safe and worse. 

    • notaskinnycook says:

      The Cheneys are broken clocks. Liz got January 6th right but disapproves of Mary’s marriage. Their father parts company with Liz on marriage equality. A subject that has caused quite a rift in the family. I’m not proud. I’ll take it.

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