House Republican leadership removed Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership position, a position her indignant liberal defenders likely did not even know existed until days ago. Cheney became Republican roadkill when she not only voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump but also became a vocal critic of his alleged “big lie” about the 2020 election.
Cue the fake outrage by Democrats and the media.
A CNN headline read in part: “Ousted Cheney Warns Direction of the Party is ‘Dangerous.'” MSNBC wrote, “The GOP infighting reached a turning point after Republicans ousted Congresswoman Liz Cheney from her leadership position.”
PBS wrote, “In less than 20 minutes behind closed doors, House Republicans made their allegiance to former President Donald Trump clear by ousting … Cheney.”
The Washington Post said Cheney’s removal from leadership “offered the clearest sign yet of how far Republicans are willing to go to support or tolerate Trump’s lies about the election as well the degree to which many members are trying to rewrite the history of Jan. 6 to erase the former president’s culpability.” Never mind that for four years and counting, Hillary Clinton has referred to the 2016 election as “stolen” and then-President Trump as “illegitimate.” Two-thirds of Democrats believe that in 2016, the Russians changed vote tallies to defeat Clinton, despite the exhaustive Senate report that found zero evidence that the Russians succeeded in changing a single vote tally.
Bear in mind we were talking about Cheney, the daughter and ideological soul mate of the former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was labeled a “neocon” and loathed by the left. MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan praised Liz Cheney for “her stance against her own party,” but added: “But what about the argument that Liz Cheney herself isn’t a stranger to, quote/unquote, big lies? She backed the Iraq war. She denied Bush-era torture.” So, the left’s newfound love for Liz Cheney is, well, complicated. Note also that Cheney’s replacement has a more moderate voting record, a change that, in normal times, would please the average liberal.
This is about Trump. Ratings for cable news, particularly at CNN and MSNBC, declined dramatically after the Trump presidency. To reverse this downward trend, the media seeks whenever possible to keep Trump in the news. Thus, the Cheney “ouster” story checks a lot of boxes. But one of the boxes it checks is hypocrisy.
Where was this outrage over the “ouster” of Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., from the presidential campaigns in 2016 and in 2020?
NBC News, in a 2017 article headlined “Bernie Sanders Camp: The Fix Was in Against Us,” wrote: “The issue of whether the (Democratic) party was playing favorites in 2016 has been thrust to the fore this week after former DNC interim chair Donna Brazile released an excerpt of a forthcoming book that alleges the party, under her predecessor, essentially let itself be taken over by the Clinton campaign ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries.”
As to the 2020 election, Democrats panicked when Sanders won the Nevada caucuses, becoming the clear front-runner. Before the following South Carolina primary, Rep. James Clyburn, R-S.C., endorsed “moderate” Joe Biden. Right after that primary, rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed Biden, all because Democrats feared a political bloodbath were Sanders to become their nominee. Politico called the Democrats’ rapid coalescence behind Biden “an epic display of political strength and coordination.”
Sanders, like Cheney, found himself on the wrong side of a party determined to win. This happens. It’s called politics. But this, apparently, is the rule: It’s OK for Democrats to push Bernie Sanders aside — twice — in order to beat Donald Trump. But it’s not OK for Republicans to push Liz Cheney aside in order to beat Joe Biden.
Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.