By Leo Wolfson, Political Reporter
The frontrunners from last month’s Wyoming Republican primary made speeches Monday night, providing starkly different perspectives on what they claim as threats to the U.S. Constitution.
“The fact, the Constitution has been under serious assault from the left and from those who not only seek to rewrite history but are incapable of understanding why the United States is the greatest country in the history of the world,” Hageman said during a speech she made at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., during its Constitution Day event.
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative public policy think tank.
That same night, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney made a speech at the American Enterprise Institute’s annual Walter Berns Constitution Day expressing her belief that former President Donald Trump is the nation’s greatest threat to the Constitution.
Hageman, a Trump endorsee, beat Cheney by nearly 40 percentage points in the election.
Cheney is one of only two Republicans on the nine-member Jan. 6 Committee.
Hageman said the federal government sees human suffering as a virtue. She drew a contrast between the allegations of foreign colluding brought against President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and people facing charges because of their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack who have still not faced trial and remain in custody.
“And our political elite celebrate their suffering,” she said.
She also described the recent raid on Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago as a “partisan witch hunt,” the same phrase she used to describe the Jan. 6 Committee hearings, which she also has called a “kangaroo court.”
Hageman said if she had the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses during the Jan. 6 hearings, there would have been a different narrative in the public discourse about the event.
“They’re not interested in the truth, they’re interested in a narrative,” Hageman said. “They’re interested in presenting a certain side they believe in on Jan. 6.”
Hageman said the natural rights of freedom, liberty and individual autonomy were created by God, not the government.
“Why is that important? Because they were not granted by the government, the government can’t take them away,” Hageman said.
Hageman said Americans have been confronted with an “existential threat” since Biden was elected president in 2020.
“The Biden administration is a disaster the likes of which we haven’t seen before,” she said.
She said the administration makes no effort “to adhere to even the rudimentary rule of law,” mentioning the moratorium Biden put on federal oil and gas leases early on in his administration to address climate change.
Hageman also was outraged by the move Biden made in August to forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for all federal borrowers. She incorrectly stated this will cost the federal government about $1 trillion. The real actual is estimated at $366 billion.
She cited the government’s response to COVID-19 as an example of “tyrannical” overreach and a move toward Socialism. Hageman said vaccine mandates imposed on federal employees and contractors and health care workers is unconstitutional. Hageman’s law firm was one of the first in the United States to file a vaccine mandate lawsuit.
Many COVID-related restrictions began under and were ordered by Trump, she said.
Hageman said the 10th Amendment, reserving rights delegated in the Constitution to states, needs to be revitalized for better understanding. She said states need to regain their power vested in the Constitution, and if there is ever a close call of federal overreach brought up in the judicial branch, the courts should always err on the side of the states.
She mentioned Wyoming’s small population and the impact of local government on people’s lives.
“There are huge decisions being made right here in Washington, D.C., … that have huge impacts on the citizens of Wyoming, but we have no say in what those decisions are because of how they’re being carried out.”
Hageman also accused the Biden administration of working “tirelessly” to suppress freedom of speech and working with “Silicon Valley oligarchs” on this effort. Trump has been banned from Twitter since January 2021.
Trump founded Truth Social, a social media application intended to directly compete with Twitter, in late 2021.
Hageman told the audience that the nation needs to be taken back from these interests, a sentiment she has offered many times along the campaign trail, a theme also mentioned in her “Fed Up” speech.
“The Biden Administration knows if they can prevent us from communicating, they can prevent us from fighting back,” she said.
The only credit she gave to the Biden administration was for making people more aware of government overreach.
Hageman cast a wider net for what she believes led to the “demise of the Republic,” saying Congress has abdicated its normal responsibilities to unelected government workers and other interests. According to the Office of Personnel Management, the federal workforce is composed of an estimated 2.1 million civilian workers.
“At $32 trillion in debt, we’re running out of runway,” Hageman said.
She said people need to hold their Congress members more accountable for their votes.
“Congress is the branch that is responsible for legislating, and it must reclaim that responsibility,” Hageman said. “It must retake the reins of governing in this country.”
Hageman said government overreach in America stems from New Deal programs initiated in the 1930s to combat the Great Depression.
“It was contrary to the Constitution at that time and remains even more so today,” she said.
She said over the last 30 years, the administrative state has become more emboldened to act unilaterally. Hageman said this has resulted in an increase of forest fires throughout the West because of the U.S. Forest Service’s fire management practices.
She also complained how the Environmental Protection Agency labeled irrigation ditches as navigable waters, preventing farmers from maintaining their own infrastructure on their property.
Hageman also mentioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s alleged policy of using gender ideology to withhold lunch money and corporate environmental, social and governance scoring.
“An unelected bureaucrat in the USDA will never have to answer to you,” she said.
Hageman said Democrats want to rewrite history and what the founding fathers believed in. She said this should no longer be tolerated and accused Democrats of “despising” what America stands for, the Constitution and its history.
Those who have created works like the “1619 Project” have argued their goal is to present facts from a narrative less heard or known about, even if it means refuting popular icons of American pride.
Hageman apologized for taking a negative tone in her speech and stressed that she is an optimistic person because of what the Constitution promises – the concepts of freedom, liberty and individualism.
“It’s why I’ve done what I’ve done. It’s why I do what I do, it’s why I fight the battles I fight,” she said. “This country is worth fighting for because this country is worth protecting.”