History will remember Liz Cheney favorably, as a sort of Joan of Arc figure, one who liked big tax cuts, big business and a strong defense.
In truth, Cheney probably got under the skin of the House Republican leadership, just like Joan of Arc didn’t win any popularity contests with the English and Burgundians. Nevertheless, the Cheney vote should be viewed as a self-inflicted wound, not because New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who actually has a more moderate voting record, is some kind of Trump toady placed into the House GOP’s No. 3 leadership role.
It’s because Republicans managed to do what Facebook declined to do: Give a megaphone to Donald Trump and instigate a rehash of all things 2020. It was easy to overlook that this vote took place on a day when people on the East Coast were fighting over gasoline shortages, inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in 12 years — including 25% for energy prices — and a Senate committee began discussing an unpreceded federal takeover of elections in the U.S. On the stock market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points.
Are things better on the world stage? Violence is raging in Israel and the Gaza Strip. China released video footage of its marine units practicing amphibious landings.
But why talk about those things when there might be a sliver of bamboo on a ballot in Phoenix? You can’t expect the Biden Administration to devote much attention to uncomfortable topics. The president has a servile national press corps under his thumb. Politico reports that the White House insists that reporters submit their quotations to administration officials for approval prior to publication.
Here’s the punch line: Some reporters actually agree to do this.
There is a place for a responsible minority party that seeks to check the more ambitious and reckless tendencies of the party in charge, with an eye toward turning the tables in the next election. But that only happens by looking to the future, not the past.
The country needs this, and so does the world. Here’s another news item that was missed last week: Surveyors asked citizens in 53 nations which country was the biggest threat to democracy.
The United States came in first, ahead of China and Russia. The United States was once a beacon of freedom but is now viewed as dysfunctional, something both parties should take a hand in fixing.