By Rod Miller, columnist
As soon as I heard that Rep. Liz Cheney will vote to impeach Donald Trump, the opening lines of Thomas Paine’s “American Crisis ” came to mind:
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
The summer soldiers in the Wyoming Republican Party will, no doubt, come down on Liz like a sack of rattlesnakes for being among the first to break ranks with the GOP on impeachment. That she occupies such a lofty office in the House GOP hierarchy will make her own party’s criticism that much sharper.
But I want to be among the first to say how much I admire and respect her stance in this, the most important issue to come before her during her tenure in the House. Doing the right thing after an attempted coup will cost Liz dearly within her own party, some of whom support Trump inciting his minions to riot, but is a sublimely courageous act
Liz is showing us a bit about how old school she really is. This principled stand in support of “so celestial an article as freedom” is exactly what I would have expected if some of the grizzled old Republicans from Wyoming – the Al Simpsons, the Stan Hathaways and yes, the Dick Cheneys – had been in Liz’s current position.
I also fully expect Frank Eathorne and the radical right in the Wyoming GOP to spew their tired and acrid rhetoric her way, thumping their chests and squealing, “Commie, deep state, but the emails, MAGA, MAGA, MAGA”.
There are also probably some on the left who will criticize Liz for all the things she’s done to piss them off over the years, and won’t acknowledge her stand against Trump as anything other than posturing in order to advance in the Party. Those that can’t, with a true heart, applaud Cheney’s conscientious stand make of themselves sunshine patriots.
The republic is hungry for political courage these days. We wait, usually fecklessly, for our elected leaders to strengthen our public institutions and our democratic system, while everyone is trying to tear them down because some folks don’t get their way. When we need heroes and heroines, it seems like we only get snake oil selling charlatans with big mouths.
So, Liz…..good job, Cowgirl!
And if, down the line, Cheney’s courage results in advancement in the GOP, and a run for the White House in 2024, then so be it. Political courage should be rewarded, so that more folks in power will exhibit it.
But that’s all a ways off. Today, Representative Liz Cheney has put her shoulder to the wheel to make sure we get to that future with our country intact. She is helping us all emerge from this current American Crisis.