By Harriet Hageman, guest columnist
When your family has been in Wyoming since before statehood, you learn the Code of the West. I learned on my family’s ranch that when you sign on to work for an outfit, when you take a job, you stay loyal to the people who hired you. You ride for the brand.
The idea of riding for the brand means something specific to Wyoming, especially when it comes to the 2022 race for the U.S. House of Representatives. Which candidate exemplifies that basic principle?
As a constitutional attorney, I have spent my career fighting for Wyoming, largely against the federal government’s relentless and unlawful overreach. Environmental extremists and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., who know nothing about Wyoming’s way of life, are always threatening the ability of people to make it the way my family did.
I have fought in court to protect Wyoming against intrusive regulations and to defend property rights. Once called one of the “fiercest and most effective” opponents of the Clinton administration, I ensured that we had continuing access to forest lands by challenging the Roadless Rule. I have battled with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. And every time I was in the arena, I was fighting to protect water rights, property rights, and constitutional rights for the people of Wyoming.
Most recently, I was co-counsel in a class action lawsuit filed against the Biden administration, challenging their unconstitutional vaccine mandate because it violates the right to bodily integrity and the right to decline medical treatment. The unlawful mandate also fails to take into account that people who have already contracted and recovered from COVID-19 have acquired natural immunity that may be greater than that provided by the vaccine.
That’s called riding for the brand.
My opponent in this race, Rep. Liz Cheney, has demonstrated that she has no comprehension of the Code of the West.
When we sent her to Congress, she took a job in which she was expected to represent our interests, to defend our values. To ride for the brand.
She has been a colossal disappointment.
Both she and President Donald Trump received about 70 percent of the vote in the 2020 election. We voted for both of them by such wide margins because they were supposed to be allies and defend our Wyoming values.
Cheney decided to go her own way, even before that 2020 election.
When the New York Times ran a sensational story in June 2020, backed only by anonymous sources, claiming that Russia was paying bounties to militants to attack American troops in Afghanistan. Cheney did not wait for the facts to come out. She pounced on the story and used it as a weapon against Trump.
We now know that the story of Russian bounties was baseless, but the episode is proof that Cheney’s hatred of Trump was beginning to emerge in the middle of last year.
Her animosity toward the 45th President burst out into the open when she voted with the Democrats to impeach him without having all of the facts.
As a constitutional attorney, I am appalled that Cheney would claim that she was “upholding the Constitution” with her impeachment vote, when those very proceedings denied the President of the United States the due process to which he was entitled.
But that wasn’t enough for Cheney – she had to go even further in her own personal war with Trump.
She joined forces with Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the political witch hunt euphemistically called the “January 6th Commission,” which exists only to further attack the former President and anyone who supports him.
Now that we in Wyoming are suffering the consequences and travesty that is the Biden administration, I’d wager that President Trump is even more popular in Wyoming than when he received 70 percent of the vote in the last election. But Liz Cheney has gone the other way.
Far from riding for the brand, Cheney has left the bunkhouse, run across the road, jumped into the gulch, and thrown her lot in with the rival outfit – you know the kind
Right now, the most important job Republicans have in Washington, D.C. is to stop Nancy Pelosi and the radical Democrats from destroying our country. I’m running for Congress from Wyoming, and I know what it means to ride for the brand.
Harriet Hageman is a Wyoming native, a constitutional attorney, a former Republican National Committeewoman from Wyoming, and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wyoming.