(TriceEdneyWire.com)—During Liz Cheney’s first two terms as the U.S. Representative from Wyoming, she was widely considered one of the nation’s most conservative politicians, voting with Donald Trump more than 92 percent of the time. As the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, she became an entrenched member of the GOP establishment. The Jan. 6 insurrection changed everything for her promising political career once she cast her first vote of impeachment for Trump while becoming the leading GOP critic of the former president. Due to her “disloyalty,” she was dismissed from her No. 3 leadership position in the House Republican Caucus and censured from the Wyoming Republican Party and the Republican National Committee. Ultimately, Cheney lost her reelection bid.
An ancient proverb occasionally used in politics says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” So, it was no surprise that Dr. Bernice King invited Cheney to speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church in commemoration of Martin Luther King. Cheney received a lengthy standing ovation as she talked about Dr. King’s legacy and the 2024 GOP primary. Her patriotic messages are consistently rejected by the MAGA crowd and the GOP establishment, but they are warmly received by those who work to continue Dr. King’s legacy. Cheney’s presence and speech at Dr. King’s church was a moment where patriotic unity overshadowed political ideology and division. There will always be political disagreements between conservatives and liberals, but one cannot be a true believer and supporter of Dr. King’s legacy while supporting the authoritarian movement associated with Donald Trump and his political base.
During her last term in office, Cheney drifted closer to the political center by issuing a vote in support of gun control legislation. This is another sign that the lawmaker was evolving into becoming more independent from the political party that proudly obstructs legislation on behalf of the NRA. One cannot be a true supporter of Dr. King’s legacy and support the methods used by “The Party of No.” Just as Democratic voters who grow frustrated year after year with the elected officials of their party cannot dismiss “The Party of No’s” tactics in which its main purpose is to stay in power by obstruction. Ask former president Barack Obama.
The Republican plot to obstruct former President Obama was well underway before he was even sworn into office. Secret meetings led by House GOP Whip Eric Cantor in December 2008 and by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in early January 2009 were held to lay out an all-out resistance strategy to the popular president-elect when the nation was experiencing a second Great Depression. “If he was for it,” former Republican Sen. George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” It was a conscious effort to politically weaken Obama and not work with the Democrats. Republican leaders did not want their fingerprints on the Obama agenda; as McConnell explained, if Americans thought Washington politicians were working together in bipartisanship, they would credit the president. If they believed Washington was a broken mess, as always, voters would blame the president, which they did.
Republican lawmakers recognized that with Obama’s promises about bipartisanship, they could easily break them by simply refusing to cooperate. The obstruction strategy worked with relentless attacks on Obama, resulting in his approval ratings sinking from the high 60s to the 40s, where they remained for most of his presidency. In his first two years in office, Obama and his Democratic majorities in Congress accomplished a lot. Despite the $800 billion Recovery Act (the emergency stimulus bill), Obamacare, sweeping Wall Street reforms, and bringing the troops home from Iraq, Obama was unable to convince the public to see through the obstructionism. The no-cooperation approach helped Republicans take back the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. It helped deliver a conservative majority on the Supreme Court when the Republicans refused to consider Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. The divided government killed Obama’s legislative priorities. Obama’s unfinished agenda included a jobs bill, gun control measures, and immigration reform. Now that Joe Biden is president, he faces the same no-cooperation approach.
The House just passed a bill to expand the child tax credit to assist parents earning $40,000 a year or less. In the 2022 General Social Survey, over two-thirds of people who fall into this category identified as Republicans or independents. Yet Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley exposed the plot to block a Democratic president at the detriment of his GOP constituents. Grassley said,” Passing a tax bill that makes the president look good—mailing out checks before the election means he could be reelected, and then we won’t extend the 2017 tax cuts.” Donald Trump is now pushing the GOP-controlled House to oppose any border deal so the issue and crisis can be used against President Biden. Since it is unlikely many of them will have the courage of Liz Cheney to stand up against the former president, will Democratic voters make House Republicans pay a price at the ballot for being obstructionists?
(David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization TRB: The Reconciled Body and author of the book “God Bless Our Divided America.”)