Who is Liz Cheney?
So who is Liz Cheney and why is her vote to impeach such big news? Hard to know whose the top dog in the zoo, American politics is so messy!
-Liz Cheney who?
She’s an undisputed Big Deal in the Republican Party. She’s been a member of Congress as the representative from Wyoming since 2017 (she won election the same year Donald Trump won the White House). But as the daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, she’s been a powerbroker in the Republican party for a long time before that.
Right now she is also the House Republican Conference Chair. That’s the third-highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. So with the Cheney surname, and an official leadership position among House Republicans, what she says and does matters.
Cheney is also cut from what have become known as establishment Republicans (think Mitt Romney, the late John McCain, the Bush family). Basically, the party as it existed before Donald Trump completely took it over in 2016. In making this statement, she’s starting to drive a wedge between the Trump wing of the party and the establishment, presumably to take back control for the latter.
Also, when a senior Congressman or woman makes a very public move like this, it’s often a signal to rank-and-file members that they can do the same. So we should expect that there are other Republicans in Congress who support impeachment, but now feel they can publicly do so because the some of the House Republican leadership is on board. Kinda like when the popular kid came to school listening to a new band, then EVERYONE ELSE suddenly had to listen to that band. The hot new single these Republicans are trying to convince everyone else to listen to is “Impeachment Donald Trump”.
It’s likely a sign of what some Republican voters are saying too. Make no mistake, Cheney wouldn’t be making this move if she didn’t believe it’s what a large slice of her constituents wanted her to do. Members of Congress are answerable American voters after all.
Basically, this is Cheney sending out a signal to Republicans — Trump is toxic and we need to remove him from the party now.