I’ve voted for a Cheney for one federal office or another eight times.
(That ought to chase off any Democrats still reading.)
On the wall next to my desk is a framed letter dated April 26, 1979, from Rep. Dick Cheney. He thanked me for interviewing him when I was editor of the Rawlins Daily Times, and for sending him photos I took of him outside the Times office. One photo was used in his newsletter.
I was impressed that a member of Congress didn’t have a photographer (or anyone else) with him when he visited. He was frugal.
He went on to bigger and better things, so I hung his letter on the wall. People who see it might be impressed that he called me “Dave,” and signed it “Dick.”
Every time Cheney came up for re-election, I voted for him. He seemed like a businesslike, no-nonsense Republican. If he disliked the media, he kept it to himself. Later, when Cheney ran for vice president, I voted for him again. Twice.
Then, when his daughter Liz ran for Congress in 2016, I voted for her. I agreed with her conservative stands. I voted for her in 2018 and again last year.
I have friends who consider her a carpetbagger. But she went to high school back east because her dad was in Congress. (Many of us tended to live where our fathers worked.)
I have Wyoming friends who were born in other states and moved to Wyoming, and friends who were born in Wyoming and now live in other states. All God’s children were born somewhere, and have a right to weigh in on politics.
It was apparent early on that Liz Cheney didn’t much like Donald Trump. The Cheneys are a buttoned-down, confident family of politicians, and Trump’s tendency to pop off, attack those who disagree, and occasionally be crude surely wasn’t the Cheney family cup of tea.
(Funny thing, though, is that before Trump, the last guy I recall who was hated so thoroughly by liberals and the media – some of whom now profess a touching, newfound love for Liz Cheney – was Dick Cheney.)
As a member of Congress, however, Liz Cheney voted in support of Trump initiatives 92 percent of the time. She didn’t embrace Trump’s style, but she mainly supported his policies, which went a long way to secure the border, cut taxes, spark signs of accord in the Mideast, make us energy independent, boost the economy and cut unemployment.
Then came January 6, and rioting inside the U.S. Capitol. Liz Cheney joined the rush to impeach Trump for allegedly encouraging the riot, and for disputing election results.
Like it or not, plenty of Americans are still scratching their heads over that last election, when many voting rules were changed due to the pandemic. But if anyone questions anything, they are dismissed as tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorists. Nuts.
I can’t remember a time when simple questions have brought such condemnation, and even banishment from public discourse, onto those who dare to doubt. But that’s where we are.
And my congressperson joins those who think that asking questions amounts to believing “the Big Lie” that the election was stolen.
Liz Cheney was removed from her leadership position last week, which seemed logical to me because she is at odds with a majority of Republicans in the House.
If you favor Ronald Reagan’s policy of “taking half a loaf,” you have to wonder why Cheney jumped so quickly to impeach the president she agreed with 92 percent of the time. She could have simply not joined the rush to judgment, which was quickly rejected in the Senate.
But, she joined.
Lately, she says she will do everything in her power to keep Donald Trump from becoming president again. She apparently wants to lead the snakes out of the Republican Party, a modern day St. Patrick.
Really? She abhors the guy she agreed with 92 percent of the time? The guy I agreed with about 92 percent of the time? The guy who seemed to be getting some good results?
That’s who my congressperson can’t abide?
For the first time in decades, next election I’ll probably be voting for someone not named Cheney.
Dave Simpson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org