On Cheney’s loss, NYT guest essay warns of new ‘cultish’ conservatism, ‘twilight’ of ‘old Republican elite’


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A guest essay from The New York Times on Tuesday’s Republican primary by Rep. Liz Cheneys, R-Wyo., claimed the loss was part of a shift toward a more “cultish” form of Republican politics.

Cheney’s loss to Harriet Hageman “sounds like a bad dream for Mrs. Cheney’s Democratic fans,” Stephanie Murawczyk and John A. Shields wrote in a guest essay, “Liz Cheney and the Twilight of the Old Republican Elite.”

“For a generation, progressives have envisioned a moment when the white working class would finally turn against the entrenched and privileged Republican establishment. That day has come. But it’s not what Democrats dreamed of,” the authors continued.

The article warned that Cheney’s defeat came because today’s Trump-age Republicans are “clearly uninterested in day-to-day governance,” and instead these “new insurgents who elected Ms. Hageman are consumed by demonstrating that they are authentically conservative Republicans.”

Lawmakers, pundits react to Liz Cheney’s loss in Wyoming: ‘Girl, bye’

FILE – In this July 27, 2021 file photo, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., hears the testimony of Officer Daniel Hodges of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department during a House Select Committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(Jim Bourg/Pool via AP, file)

The author suggests that Republicans are in some ways imitating their opponents on the left, “succumbing to the same impulses they associate with their liberal opponents: a sharp hostility to differing viewpoints, an obsession with virtue symbols, and a desire to purge their own ranks.”

The essay praised the Republican Old Guard of earlier eras, saying that “the old tradition of Republican politics is still alive, thought” and that “progressives who realize that this privileged Republican establishment is the linchpin of our democracy can begin to root for all time. A counterrevolution from above rather than a revolution from below.”

The piece noted, “Now its progressive rival, the Wyoming GOP, has an unapologetically conservative repeal culture” that “Ms. Cheney, of course, is the most prominent victim of that repeal culture: She’s been denounced twice by the party, and is now out of office.”

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., committee chairman Rep.  Benny Thompson, D-Miss., left, gave his opening remarks as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol had its first.  Thursday, June 9, 2022, a public hearing at the Capitol in Washington to reveal the findings of the year-long investigation.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., committee chairman Rep. Benny Thompson, D-Miss., left, gave his opening remarks as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol had its first. Thursday, June 9, 2022, a public hearing at the Capitol in Washington to reveal the findings of the year-long investigation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

After landslide primary defeat, Liz Cheney announces new anti-Trump group, says she’s ‘thinking’ about a bid

The author wrote glowingly of the old Wyoming GOP establishment, “Whatever its sins, it is public-spirited. It cares about the general welfare of the state and labors on its behalf, toiling for a pittance in the legislature to begin with. Its sessions in Wyoming’s punishing winters, the drive is treacherous.”

On the other hand, “the new identitarians infiltrating state legislatures seem less interested in finding solutions to real problems than in signaling their base.”

Trump framed Cheney’s ouster as a moral failure by Republicans, saying “Ms. Cheney’s downfall highlights the cultural nature of the right’s evolving identity politics.”

However, according to the author, all is not lost. “Sadly, the GOP establishment was not strong enough to save Mrs. Cheney. Happily, though, it’s not dead,” he said, pointing to establishment control of the state legislature and some counties, where similar struggles are underway. other states.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has praised his daughter and former President Donald Trump has been blasted by GOP Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming campaign ads.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has praised his daughter and former President Donald Trump has been blasted by GOP Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming campaign ads.
(Liz Cheney’s re-election campaign)

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The piece concluded, “While the outcome of the GOP’s civil war is impossible to determine, one thing is clear: Both sides view the conflict in existential terms.” It added, “Ms. Cheney fought valiantly for the party’s soul and was celebrated by traditional Republicans in Wyoming for doing so. She doesn’t believe her cause is lost — and neither should we.”



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