In a particularly ridiculous entry in the always-irritating “the enemy of your enemy is therefore your best friend forever there you are in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G” genre, Jack Shafer has a column entitled “How Democrats Learned to Love the Cheneys”:
Like Republicans Mitt Romney and John Bolton before her, Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has discovered the secret of how to transition from being a whipping boy of the Washington press corps to its paragon of rectitude: Simply side with Democrats and against the Republican majority on some issue of substance.
This metamorphosis—lampooned as “strange new respect” by journalist Tom Bethell in 1992 as the liberal journalist’s instinct to overpraise any leftward gesture by a right-wing politician—can be accomplished any number of ways. In Romney’s case, he achieved his strange new respect in 2020, when he cast his ballot to impeach President Donald Trump. Bolton won his by publishing a show-and-tell about working for the Trump administration, 2020’s The Room Where It Happened. Almost overnight, Romney went from the slick-haired Bain Capital villain who delighted in dismantling viable American businesses at an enormous profit to him and shipping the jobs overseas to a principled gentleman—as far as most reporters were concerned. Bolton, cast as a warmonger by the liberal establishment’s in-flight magazine, the New Yorker, when he joined the Trump White House in 2018, got a makeover as a true son of liberty for ratting out Trump.
LOL at the idea that
Michael John Bolton [apologies for being slightly unfair to the Bolton with excellent hair — ed.] for became a “true son of liberty” in any liberal’s eyes for his widely-forgotten book. And Romney’s votes to convict were actually worthy of respect, and they don’t cancel out his many bad positions, and it’s not actually difficult to understand this unless you’re determined not to understand it because your job is passive-aggressively defending Donald Trump.
Anyway, who exactly are these “Democrats” and “liberal journalists” who now consider Liz Cheney their hero?
Just listen to the ridiculous lionizing. “Liz Cheney’s Profile in Courage” said the headline of an April 28 Charlie Sykes piece in the Bulwark. “She Kind of Reminds You of Margaret Thatcher,” one Republican member of Congress told POLITICO’s Alex Thompson late last year. “How Liz Cheney Became the Conscience of Republicans,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza wrote in mid-January. “Did Liz Cheney Risk Everything to Impeach Trump?” Cillizza asked later that month. “Liz Cheney Praised for Impeachment ‘Courage’ but Risks Pro-Trump Ire,” the Financial Times, late January. “Liz Cheney Speaks Out After Failed GOP Effort to Oust Her from Leadership for Impeachment Vote,” People, February. “Liz Cheney is a hero for standing up for the truth,” insisted Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), during impeachment proceedings. And so on.
So, to summarize:
- Conservative (albeit anti-Trump) columnist and talk show host Charlie Sykes
- A Republican member of Congress, who praised her by comparing her to noted liberal icon Margaret Thatcher
- Walking punchline and man who wrote several dozen stories about Hillary Clinton’s EMAILS! before the first Democratic primary debate in 2015 Chris Cillizza
- Trotskyist newsletter The Financial Times
- People magazine
- And…finally one actual Democratic congressman, praising her specific actions during an impeachment hearing.
This is truly pathetic stuff — transparently dumb guilt-by-association arguments that can only identify one actual example of even association. As for the Democrats and liberal journalists who now according to the headline love Dick Cheney, he cites zero examples of anybody saying anything positive about Dick Cheney. This is a master class in how to be a hack.