Liz Cheney Is Trying to Save the House She and Her Father Built and Other Observations on the 1/6 Hearing

On Thursday night, the Select Committee on the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol finally, after far too long, frankly, made its case to the American people and the world. The committee wasn't talking to you and me, we who are damned to spend far too much of our time elbow-deep in the clogged sinks of political shit. The committee wasn't talking to the scores of MAGA drones who are joyfully face-fucked by dildos of misinformation, disinformation, and lies and will never return to what we like to think of as "reality." They were clearly talking to other entities, including, as many have noted, Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose Justice Department is moving at a pace that might be best described as "nearly still" when it comes to charging top officials with crimes related to the attack. To my weary (and currently Covid-addled) mind, the hearings had another target: Americans who checked out after Donald Trump's second impeachment and haven't followed the evolving story. For them, much of what was said on Thursday was new, and let's just fucking hope that at least a few of them watched. 

As strong as committee chair Bennie Thompson's opening statement was, with its clear and almost immediate assertion that "Donald Trump lost the presidential election in 2020. The American people voted him out of office," as well as clearly placing Trump as the central figure in a conspiracy to overturn the election, it was Republican Rep. Liz Cheney who truly brought the wood chipper to shred the MAGA right and, most especially, Trump himself.

Cheney's purpose was also clear: to separate the good Republicans from the Trumpist Republicans, and to give those supposedly good ones a chance to come clean by warning them about what's coming. In essence, Cheney was trying to save the party that her father built, one that she worked on, too. The MAGA right has turned away from the beliefs and projects of Cheney and daddy Dick, the former Vice President, Secretary of Defense, and member of Congress. Among other things, that GOP was pro-business no matter what (none of this bullshit condemning a corporation for an internal policy) and pro-intelligence community. Cheney constructed a GOP that was for a strong interventionist military, especially with the goal of "spreading democracy" at the end of a gun, which was incredible for profits for companies aligned (mostly but not exclusively) with the GOP. Trump mocked that and turned the party more isolationist, and he attacked IC for its perceived disloyalty to him. You might not remember, but a decade ago, Liz Cheney and your new Twitter buddy William Kristol led an organization called "Keep America Safe," which was all about attacking Democrats for being soft on Muslims. They went after anyone who supported the "Ground Zero Mosque," and they attacked lawyers who defended detainees at the Guantanamo Naval Base, calling them the "Al Qaeda Seven," questioning their loyalty to the country. She's just the fucking worst

In her truly great presentation on the evidence against Trump and his despicable co-conspirators, like a compelling opening statement in a huge trial, one thread that ran under it was that you could be an honorable Republican or a dishonorable one, and she was pretty fuckin' clear about who she thought was on the side of honor. She showed a clip of Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr, who was also AG when Dick Cheney was George H. W. Bush's Secretary of Defense, declaring that the allegations of voter fraud were "nonsense" and "it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that, and it was doing a great grave disservice to the country," even backing up the opinion of Barr with video of Ivanka Trump saying, "I respect Attorney General Barr. So, I accepted what he was saying." Mike Pence is also praised by inference, playing a clip of him saying, "President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election," along with video of Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley saying that Pence was giving orders about securing the Capitol and not Trump. "Look at these loyal Republicans," Cheney was saying, "this is who this party is supposed to be."

It's worth noting that not a single clip of a Democrat reacting to the attack or condemning the attack was played. Just Republicans.

So let's be clear: Yes, obviously, her running at Donald Trump with a dagger to cut his throat and dance in the arterial spray is awesome. At this point, we'll take anyone who will actually help turn this ship around before it plunges off the edge of the world. I'm totally fucking here for Cheney burning down the house of Trump. But Cheney is doing it to preserve an already corrupt and harmful party. Jesus fuck, Trump wasn't president when Mitch McConnell blocked the consideration of Garland for the Supreme Court. Trump didn't force Cheney to vote against voting rights legislation. She has done exactly one thing to try to save the country before she goes back to destroying it under her terms.

It sucks, but we'll take it because while we may all be circumspect about what will come, what we know is that we were almost fucked in January 2021. One or two factors could have fucked it all, from Pence deciding to throw in with Trump to the violent shitbirds succeeding in murdering some legislators. We were so close to fucked that we need to ally with those who we would otherwise want to defeat. And we need to save ourselves from what is the inevitable next phase of this coup and from Donald fucking Trump, who comes across not as a buffoon in the evidence presented so far, but as an angry hippopotamus, ready to use his girth to wreck anything that pisses him off, not giving a shit what gets destroyed as long as he ends up getting his way at the end.

Liz Cheney may be a plague, but Trump is a poison. Stop the thing that acts faster before going after a cure for the other.

(Note: I couldn't work him into this piece, but, man, fuck Jared Kushner in every fucking hole he has in his soft, patrician body, and even in a few holes that aren't there. What a goddamn worm.)