It took Donald Trump to make a Cheney, any Cheney, a “RINO”.
Liz Cheney is at least as conservative as her father, especially on household issues, and she’s much more conservative than Donald Trump. But because she failed to fall behind Trump, she was “censored” by the IDP and said she was no longer a Republican. At best she is a “RINO” in MAGA language.
But Wyoming is not a typical state. For one, it is the state with the least amount of people. It is not a bit to say that it is likely that Liz Cheney at least shook hands or spoke to / with one third of the citizens of the state. Second, states like Wyoming have long memories and know that its dependence on the mining industries (mainly coal) requires an experienced hand and not a Lauren Boebert clone. It is possible that they smell a rat being thrown at them in the name of Trump unity.
Or at least this is a theory according to Dr. Joe McGinley, a Casper doctor who was previously the chairman of his country’s IDP and a Republican State committee member. McGinley voted against a recent motion to kick Cheney out of the GOP as if something like this were possible.
CNN aired a particularly enlightening interview with McGinley, which said:
I was there at the meeting and I was just surprised that this topic came up again, ”he explained. “As you recall, the state’s central committee voted a few months ago to censor Cheney, they got it out of their system, shook their fists at Rep. Cheney. I thought it was a finished topic at that point. “However, the leadership of the state party is somewhat irrelevant at this stage and to my surprise felt the need to raise the issue again.”
Nothing threatens a political organization more, even a top committee, than to feel irrelevant. If Wyoming Republican leadership feels irrelevant, it may be because their latest cause, to let Cheney run away from the party, makes it so.
“It’s even crazy, I mean, you can ‘t tell anyone they’m not a Republican. If they register as a Republican and say they’re a Republican, then they’re a Republican.
One does not live in a state with more goats than people if they like to be told what to do, and McGinley was not done:
“The extremism we are currently witnessing in the WRP is the result of apathy. True Wyoming Republicans are currently sitting on the sidelines, too disgusting and ashamed to participate, ”
“You know, without using a phrase, there is a real silent majority here in Wyoming and they are true conservatives. They believe in ethics and morals, they believe in humility. ”
For anyone who grew up in the mountains, the following passage is especially true:
“They do not want to stand up and express their opinion to everyone, they go to the polls, that’s where they express their opinion.
They also do not want to be harassed. There is actually a lot of anger and and there are a lot of extremists – even within our own party – who, if you express an opinion that is different from theirs, they’re going to try to embarrass you. They are going to harass you on social media. You can even be selected by the state party for speaking out
The situation described is probably not limited to Wyoming. It is not difficult to imagine a country in which Republicans are on the sidelines everywhere, too disgusted and embarrassed to participate.
It could cut one of two ways for Democrats. We can call one the “McConnell way,” the other, the “Trump way.” As we approach 2022 – a year in which the MAGAs must take control of the House and Senate (and would, if the election were held today), the IDP must decide whether it wants to nominate the McConnell-type candidates, those who will not do not embarrass anyone at a dinner party. Or a Trump type, a candidate who would ruin dinner by bringing her AR-15.
Liz Cheney may be embarrassingly conservative, but one can enjoy dinner with her and not be shy.
Wyoming seems to be facing this existential crisis earlier than most because Liz Cheney pointed out her position earlier than most, the earliest of all. She finished the MAGA movement long before the afternoon of January 6th. Unlike her weak colleagues, Cheney liked her husband. She’s not the least bit “less conservative” than she was when she was nominated for the House, nor is she a “RINO.”
She does maintain complete independence from the MAGA movement. More often than not, Wyoming rewards independence, someone who does not need a crowd to do their job. We’ll see if the model holds up across the country. But Wyoming may be a small lab in Big Sky country for the rest of the Republican Party.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, with writer, writer and lawyer. He is originally from Canada, but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, for which he is becoming increasingly grateful every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the shores of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic who can not add and loves dogs more than most people. He also enjoys studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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