Dave Simpson: Do We Remember the Better Times?

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "I know Liz Cheney thinks Trump plotted an insurrection, but as coups go, what happened on January 6th was a slapdash, screwball, knuckle-headed, out-of-control embarrassment."

Dave Simpson

February 09, 20224 min read

Dave Simpson headshot
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

For a while there, it was like a dream come true.


The stock market crash that some of the economic eggheads predicted didn’t happen. In fact, the market took off, and it’s still way up there. (My theory: In the final analysis, the stock market cares a lot more about the stock market than it does about which party runs the government. They make sure they’ve got a leg in both canoes.)

The southern border was getting more secure by the day. Donald Trump was just as determined to build a wall as the Democrats were determined he wasn’t going to build a wall. (Here’s a thought: It only took 19 people to create the mayhem of September 11, 2001, and yet today we’re letting hundreds of thousands stream across our border with Mexico, then flying some of them in the dead of night to cities around our country. Think about that.)

There was a big tax cut, but the Democrats, as usual, say only guys like Bezos and Buffett got any of it. Horse feathers! The tax cut benefited taxpayers at all income levels. Republicans like me are always for leaving more money in folks’ paychecks.

I could fill up my Ford Ranger for $35. Today? Fifty. All in the name of climate change/Green New Deal virtue signaling.

The economy was growing. Unemployment was down, especially for minorities. Average wages were up.

We were, briefly, energy independent. (Remember back in the 1970s when we desperately wanted to free ourselves from the crazy oil-rich Mideast potentates?)

Crazy government regulations, like declaring a rancher’s creek and stock pond “navigable waters,” were for a time defanged. For a while there, multiple old regulations were deleted for every new regulation adopted.

There was even progress on peace in the Mideast.

Isn’t this the stuff we Republicans have wanted for decades? What’s not to love about those things? The only thing missing was doing something to curb our growing, massive, bipartisan national debt, and the fiscal nightmare awaiting our kids and grand kids. (Shame on us.)

But, all of the good things listed above were accomplished despite furious, relentless, dogged Trump hatred from Democrats, daily hysterical ridicule from the vast lefty news media, and some startling politically-tinged activity by the FBI. They were lining up to stab Trump in the back.

So why is the person who represents me in the House of Representatives – a Republican – so determined to make sure the guy in charge when all those good things happened “never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office?”

Why the jihad?

I know Liz Cheney thinks Trump plotted an insurrection, but as coups go, what happened on January 6th was a slapdash, screwball, knuckle-headed, out-of-control embarrassment. Are we to believe that the guy with the painted face, bare chest and bison horns was the brains of the mission? This was the motley crew sent to rob us of our democracy?

Journalist Matt Taibbi was right – it was more like a soccer riot than a coup.

There were many times when he was president that I wished Trump hadn’t said what he said. But the sorry state of affairs we see in our federal government today – an open border, feckless foreign policy, rampaging spending,  rampaging inflation, skyrocketing murder rates, open plundering of stores and train cars, expecting foreign countries to produce oil we choose not to produce ourselves, social media companies clamping down on freedom of speech – is the best argument for ignoring some mean tweets and boastful narcissism in return for real, tangible progress.

I always voted for Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney. I’ve got a letter from Dick Cheney from 1979 framed and hanging on my wall. But two things will keep me from ever voting for Liz Cheney again:

– The fact that she serves happily, enthusiastically, on a committee to which Nancy Pelosi outrageously  barred two other Republican nominees.

– The fact that Cheney vowed, repeatedly, to do everything she can to keep the guy who got some pretty good results – things guys like me have wanted for decades – from ever being president again.

Looks more like a vendetta with each passing day.

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.