Saturday, May 11, 2019


I'm not surprised to see a puff piece about Liz Cheney in The Washington Post -- as far as the mainstream media is concerned, she and her dad are Washington royalty, therefore it's perfectly appropriate to treat her inevitable ascent in D.C. as entirely non-controversial. (The story anticipates that she'll be a senator or the speaker of the House fairly soon.)

But I'm struck by how oblivious the story's author, Mike DeBonis, is to quotes from Cheney in his piece that contradict her admirers' assertions that she's a thoroughly delightful person.

De Bonis, for instance gives us this praise from a fellow Republican:
Cheney “represents what normal people think of as a statesman, voice and presence for the future of the party,” said Mary Matalin, the veteran GOP consultant and a family confidant.
Almost immediately afterward, he tells us:
She declined an interview request and brushed off questions about her future at a news conference this week.

Ruling nothing out, she instead pivoted immediately to the blunt, focused messaging that has won her fans across the Republican firmament.

“We really are at the opening phases of a huge ideological battle in this nation, and it’s one that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House have clearly come down on the side of socialism,” she said, adding: “I don’t have any announcements to make beyond that.”
Does that strike you as "statesman"-like? Do you think "normal people" associate the word "statesman" with that kind of trash talk?

Later in the piece, De Bonis quotes another attack by Cheney:
... most of her fire has been trained at Democrats — particularly freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose criticism of Israel has veered into offensive territory for many lawmakers.

On Friday, after [Representative Ilhan] Omar took a swipe at Cheney on Twitter, Cheney fired back by calling Omar “an anti-Semitic Socialist who slanders US troops and carries water for Hamas and Maduro,” a reference to the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. That hair-trigger has won her fans on her party’s right flank.
In De Bonis's very next paragraph, he quotes a Republican admirer:
“She doesn’t take any guff from anyone, and she does it in a smart, witty way that’s upbeat,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus.
Yes, calling someone “an anti-Semitic Socialist who slanders US troops and carries water for Hamas and Maduro” is so witty and upbeat! Oh, and statesmanlike, too!

It's clear why DeBonis is oblivious to the contradictions. In Washington and elsewhere in America, we're acclimated to the notion that bomb-throwing, take-no-prisoners Republicans are completely down-the-middle, mainstream politicians. When Democrats talk like this, they're angry, confrontational extremists -- ask Ilhan Omar.

Omar's fight with Cheney began when she responded to Cheney's preposterous effort to paint Democrats as tools of Russia:

But Cheney's the statesmanlike future speaker. Omar is the dangerous demagogue.

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