The pundits have been quick to mark Liz Cheney’s resounding primary defeat in Wyoming as the “end of an era” for the Republican Party, a “mass repudiation of the Bush-Cheney-McCain era”, as noted by one GOP stalwart, and soon to be “remade in Trump’s image”, according to another. Maybe so, but remember that Liz Cheney had a Congressional voting record in support of Donald Trump’s policies of 93% and that ideologically she fits the profile of traditional conservatism very well. What happened was January 6th, and I am not yet cynical enough not to believe that she genuinely feels that Donald Trump is a threat to the republic and that she joined a considerable number of Republicans who share that view and who can no longer abide Trump. No, what is beyond the Cheney/Trump issue and much deeper is that the Republican Party and the country at large are in the midst of a reassessment of who we are. In the case of the Republicans, it’s not about a Trump personality cult, although it sometimes seems that way thanks to the mainstream media; it is a genuine nationalist/populist movement with tendencies to protectionism and isolationism, some elements of which are healthy and some are to be avoided. And in the case of the Democratic/progressive left it is about whether or not the goofier elements of their “wokism” movement will bring the hard right to the streets in a civil war. And what The Wall Street Journal has described as our “Jacobin moment” cannot be stopped by an accord between the progressive left and the weak liberal establishment, which owns the place but is currently devoid of leadership.
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