Capitol lynching of Liz Cheney and silence of Jewish orgs. - opinion

In Trumpworld, revenge is a dish served hot and with vengeance. He is obsessed with his grievances and desire for retribution.

US REP. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks during a news conference in Washington, DC, last year. (photo credit: ERIN SCOTT/REUTERS)
US REP. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks during a news conference in Washington, DC, last year.
(photo credit: ERIN SCOTT/REUTERS)
 As Republican leaders fall into line behind former president Donald Trump’s continuing effort to overturn last year’s election and disenfranchise minority voters, major Jewish organizations are continuing their irresponsible silence. That bodes ill for a community that – like the African-American and immigrant communities – has long depended on strong, vibrant democratic institutions for its security.
The latest chapter in this political horror story plays out this week as House Republicans plan to burn the heretic Rep. Liz Cheney at the stake for committing the mortal sin of telling the naked emperor that he lost the 2020 election.
Once again, Jewish organizations that speak eloquently about the virtues of democracy are mostly silent as one of the two major parties falls in lockstep behind the efforts to a defeated president to disassemble its very foundations.
The Republican Jewish Coalition, which has praised Chaney as a “stalwart friend” of Israel, refused to support her in this fight for her political survival, claiming it is an internal affair, the Jewish News Syndicate reported.
The leading candidate to replace her as chair of the House Republican Conference is New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who has demonstrated her willingness to pledge undying loyalty to Trump by abandoning previous criticisms, positions and votes to serve her master.
Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with such banalities as ideology or principles. It is about sanctifying the increasingly desperate effort to steal last year’s election.
Cheney’s conservative credentials are hereditary and impeccable. According to conservative columnist Marc Thiessen, the three-term congresswoman from Wyoming voted 93% of time for the Trump agenda compared to 78% for Stefanik, who willingly shed her reputation for moderation and bipartisanship to do the bidding of an authoritarian populist.
I find next to nothing I can agree on with Cheney, who is about as far Right as they come. Her positions on most domestic, social and many foreign policy topics are anathema to a big majority of the still-mostly progressive Jewish community. She has been on the opposite side on matters like the Affordable Care Act, LGBQT rights, guns, abortion, energy, the environment, the Iraq war, torture and the continuing Afghan military sinkhole.
Nonetheless, I admire Cheney’s courage in fighting attempts to purge her, as should all who put country over party. “Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,” she wrote in a Washington Post op ed. She warned against the “dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality.” She is paying a very high price, losing the number-three post in the House GOP and possibly ending her political career.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has no such problem or principles. He made a 180-degree turn on the January 6 insurrection, starting by criticizing Trump and suggesting congressional censure, but later absolving the disgraced former president of any responsibility for the deadly attack on the Capitol. It was on that infamous day that McCarthy, as a leader of the Sedition Caucus, voted twice against certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
MCCARTHY WANTS to become speaker of the House so badly that he is willing to sacrifice his integrity and self-respect to please Trump, whose blessing he feels he will need. The notoriously unreliable and never-loyal Trump, he fears, might try to anoint a more reliable acolyte instead. Maybe he’d prefer unwaveringly sycophantic attack dogs like Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) or Devin Nunes (R-California), to whom he privately awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
But first, Republicans will need to win back the House next year, which historically is a good time for the party out of power. However, the GOP internecine warfare and sacrifices to appease the baron of Mar-a-Lago, could make 2022 another good news year for the Democrats.
“Republicans lose elections when they count on Trump’s leadership,” Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), told HuffPost.
Cheney, the other nine House Republicans and two senators who voted for Trump’s second impeachment are pariahs in the eyes of Trumpenistas and face censure and primary opposition. Trump himself is already endorsing their challengers.
This week’s vote will be by secret ballot. Don’t be surprised if the names of Cheney’s supporters find their way to Mar-a-Lago, where word will go out that these traitors are in trouble.
The twice-impeached Trump has denounced Cheney as a “warmonger,” among other things and demanded she be dumped. His toady, Rep. Matt Gaetz, quickly went to Cheney’s district to denounce her. He hasn’t been back since word leaked that he is the target of a federal investigation into sexual misconduct, unlawful drug use and bribery. No formal charges have been filed.
In Trumpworld, revenge is a dish served hot and with vengeance. He is obsessed with his grievances and desire for retribution.
His false claims of election fraud have been branded the “Big Lie.” A resentful Trump, who has a well-documented reputation as a serial liar, is trying to steal that label and slap it on the truth. But it isn’t working because he and his supporters have failed to produce a shred of credible evidence to support his claims, which have been rejected by every court all the way to the top, most notably by judges he personally picked.
Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan called Cheney’s purge part of the “battle for the soul of the Republican Party.” The Wall Street Journal accused the GOP of “purging Liz for her honesty.”
Meghan McCain said the message from McCarthy was that women who won’t “bend the knee” to Trump have no place in the party. This is “asinine politics,” she added, “See where this lands us in midterms. I’m absolutely furious.”
Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) called the talk of fraud and a stolen election “Trump’s Big Lie.” Tragically, Trump is neither smart nor caring enough to comprehend the damage he is doing to American democracy. And apparently neither are most House Republicans.
The legacy Jewish groups insist their mission is to defend a still-vulnerable Jewish community, particularly at a time of rising antisemitism from the political fringes. So why are they mostly silent as the Republican Party – now as a matter of foundational belief, not just the demands of a vengeful, out-of-work president – works frantically to undermine the democratic principles that are critical to the security of the Jewish community and every other minority community?