Far-Left Nation to Democrats: ‘Vitriol-Spewing Extremist’ Liz Cheney ‘Not Your Friend’

Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) waits for US President Joe Biden to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 28, 2021. (Photo by JONATHAN ERNST / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN ERNST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
JONATHAN ERNST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

An essay published in the Nation on Thursday blasts liberals and Democrats for embracing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) for her clashes with fellow GOP members, claiming that she is no friend of Democrats and no less a “warmonger” or “vitriol-spewing extremist” as a result of any tensions between her and Republicans. 

The essay, penned by national affairs correspondent John Nichols and titled “Liz Cheney Is Not Your Friend,” begins by lashing out at those who have shown support to Cheney due to her criticisms of the GOP. 

“The most dangerous game in Washington is the one that starts with an assumption that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend,’” Nichols writes. “That’s the rationale a lot of otherwise reasonable people are employing as they discuss their newfound affection for Liz Cheney.”

But Nichols’ criticism of Cheney goes deeper.

“Cheney is no friend of Democrats, no friend of fairness and decency in American politics, and no friend of the truth,” he writes.

Making clear that any rows Cheney has with Republicans are irrelevant, Nichols laments that liberals think “rather too generously” of her.

“Just because she’s not getting along with Trump and Kevin McCarthy doesn’t make the current Cheney any less of a vitriol-spewing extremist,” he writes, adding that she is a “rigidly right-wing Republican who got on the wrong side of a power struggle with her fellow rigidly right-wing Republicans.” 

The explanation for Cheney’s “perilous circumstance” is quite simple, according to Nichols.

“What was once a party where the name ‘Cheney’ had a lot of sway is now a party where the only name that has any sway is ‘Trump,’” he writes.

Ired by recent headlines highlighting Democrats in support of Cheney, Nichols suggests that they pause and consider.

“House Democrats are choking out compliments for Cheney,” he writes. “Hold up, people!”

He continues by describing Cheney as both a warmonger and guilty of attacks on minorities.

“Liz Cheney is not some moderate maverick Republican who is breaking with her party on policy,” he writes. “She is a right-wing warmonger whose crude attacks on people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and progressives carry the same venom as those of the most extreme members of her caucus—and of the 45th president, whose election in 2016 and reelection in 2020 she enthusiastically supported.”

Nichols also writes that he gives Cheney little credit for voting to impeach Trump in January, for she merely sought “not to shame herself.” 

“Cheney’s January vote to impeach Trump was … widely seen as courageous in the context of the contemporary Republican Party,” he writes. “But if you pop your head up from the fever swamp that is today’s GOP, casting that vote shouldn’t have been a close call.”

“Good on her for that,” he adds. “But don’t think for a second that she’s standing above the political fray on the high ground of morality. She’s a hyper-partisan, hyper-ideological political strategist who is playing the long game.

Referring to the current Republican Party as “even more cultish” than it was decades ago, Nichols says “there’s still a Cheney positioned on the extreme right.” 

He then berates Cheney’s record on various issues.

“The notion that Liz Cheney is the voice of reason and responsibility is not supported by her record,” he writes. 

She’s a fierce militarist, busily proposing new sanctions on Iran, and condemning President Biden’s plans to end the forever war in Afghanistan as “reckless.” She’s sold out to the defense contractors; in March, she ripped House Democrats for making the “grave mistake” of proposing even modest cuts in the bloated Pentagon budget. 

And she’s every bit as prone to cast jaw-droppingly extreme votes as her colleagues: vigorously opposing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, attacking even the mildest responses to gun violence as “an assault…on the freedom of the people in Wyoming,” and dismissing the popular American Rescue Plan as a “dangerous” package of “far-left priorities” that “will allow taxpayer money to fund abortion” and “provide stimulus checks for illegal immigrants, criminals, and even terrorists.”

Nichols concludes by claiming that while Trump and Cheney may have their issues, they are quite similar.

“To be clear, Donald Trump is also shameful,” he writes. “But two wrongs don’t make a right.”

“They make a pair of right-wingers who aren’t getting along just now but who have, over many years of co-conspiracy, fouled our politics with the same brand of vitriol,” he concludes.

Cheney has continued to receive support from both Democrats and establishment Republicans following a Monday tweet in which she said, “The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”

On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) became one of the latest radical Democrats to come to Cheney’s defense, smearing the Republican Party as an “anti-democratic cult.”

“Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) will likely be voted off the House Republican Leadership,” the Democrat socialist tweeted.

“Her crime: acknowledging the reality that Trump lost the election. The Republican Party is no longer a ‘conservative’ party,” he assessed. “It is an anti-democratic cult pushing the Big Lie and conspiracy theories.”

Cheney is reportedly “checked out” and “already accepting her fate” ahead of her potential ousting as Republican Conference Chair.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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