Friedersdorf on Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney has announced that she’s going to mount a primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, a state she has never actually lived in for any significant period of time despite her family’s prominent history there. Conor Friedersdorf points out just how extreme she is:

It is fair to judge Liz Cheney based on the family brand? Personally, I try not to hold the illegal, immoral acts of a father against his son or daughter unless he or she implicates herself in the objectionable positions.

Liz Cheney hasn’t just embraced the objectionable actions and positions of neoconservative Republicans. She has also earned an independent reputation as someone who participates in weak, laughable, and even scurrilous attacks on ideological opponents that can only cast doubt on her judgment and moral character. The weak, laughable attacks are often aimed at Obama, of whom I am often critical. But even people who hold Obama in low esteem can’t help but feel embarrassed on behalf of commentators who discredit themselves by making absurd claims like, “He’s unwilling to go after the terrorists that are threatening the nation.” To deny Obama’s willingness to go after terrorists is to be deeply ignorant, ideologically blinkered, or a liar. None of those qualities is desirable in an aspiring U.S. senator.

On another occasion, Cheney said of Obama, “He’s working to preemptively disarm America while rogue states like North Korea and Iran build nuclear weapons capabilities and stockpiles.” Under Obama, the U.S. spends orders of magnitude more on defense than any other country; it maintains a nuclear stockpile large enough to obliterate whole continents if not the earth itself; and it has invested billions in a fleet of armed drones that increases our weapons capabilities. Obama’s policy is, in other words, keeping us armed to the teeth. I understand that convention holds that it’s unfair to begrudge pundits when they go on Fox News and utter inane talking points so far beyond exaggeration that they’re just lies, but this is especially inane.

But this has been the almost universal message of the partisan right. You hear these same claims repeated on Fox News, in the blogosphere and on right wing radio on a daily basis. She is the embodiment of the crazy right, with its moronic and dishonest exaggerations and lies. But I do not expect her to win against Enzi. I expect the fact that she is essentially a carpetbagger and that she really doesn’t have anything she can attack Enzi on will doom her campaign.

18 comments on this post.
  1. Moggie:

    Under Obama, the U.S. spends orders of magnitude more on defense than any other country

    Hey now, let’s not exaggerate. US military spending is obscene enough without making shit up. I believe the US outspends its nearest rival (China) by around four times: how is that “orders of magnitude”?

  2. Artor:

    With luck, she’ll poison the well, and the seat will go to a progressive instead. When Republicans sling shit at each other, everybody wins!

  3. raven:

    Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States. Richard Bruce “Dick” … You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term…

    When Bush cut taxes and increased spending, the federal deficits started up sharply. No surprise, supply side economics is a fairy tale.

    Cheney said deficits don’t matter. Then the economy collapsed into the Great Recession.

    Of course, the main policy these days of the Tea Party/GOP is that the deficits are too high and we have to cut the budget. But only the parts that actually impact poorer Americans. Food stamps, Medicaid, school lunches, and so on.

    Guy was and is a malevolent idiot.

  4. reverendrodney:

    My hope is that the loony ultra-right spends fortunes on her race, and loses.

  5. garnetstar:

    I just read that Enzi is totally slamming Cheny in the polls. Not that he’s so much better, but at least it doesn’t seem that she’ll get in.

  6. Trebuchet:

    Having a lot of family background in Wyoming, I just can’t see those folks taking real kindly to carpetbaggers. Teabaggers might be another story.

  7. Nemo:

    I just want Alan Simpson to be right about this.

  8. Nibi:

    Friedersdorf

    It is fair to judge Liz Cheney based on the family brand? Personally, I try not to hold the illegal, immoral acts of a father against his son or daughter unless he or she implicates herself in the objectionable positions.

    She implicates herself by founding, with Kristol et al., Keep America Safe.

    It was always my take that main purpose of KAS was to defend and whitewash Dick Cheney’s role in the Bush II torture regime – a preemptive bulwark against a perceived threat that the Obama administration might investigate and prosecute those involved. This being an imaginary threat, KAS no longer serves a purpose.

  9. Karen Locke:

    @Moggie (#1), if you think in base 2, that’s two orders of magnitude. (I haven’t done any computer engineering in a long time, but old habits are hard to break.) :)

  10. matty1:

    “He’s unwilling to go after the terrorists that are threatening the nation.”

    Is that true? I know lets ask Osama Bin Laden about Obama’s failure to go after terrorists.

  11. blf:

    the US outspends its nearest rival (China) by around four times

    According to The Pffft! of All Knowledge (2012 figures at “current” exchange rates):

    USAlienstan, 682.0Bn USD, 4.4% GDP, 39% of world’s total.
    Bigger China, 166.0Bn USD, 2.0% GDP, 9.5% of world’s total.

    So indeed c.x4 times in USD or of world’s total waste, or c.x2 as percentage of GDP.

  12. thebookofdave:

    We’re talking about Wyoming, where weak, laughable, and scurrilous attacks against Obama are viewed as community service. She might be hailed as a philantropist.

  13. laurentweppe:

    To deny Obama’s willingness to go after terrorists is to be deeply ignorant, ideologically blinkered, or a liar

    To deny Obama’s willingness to go after terrorists is to be an ideologically blinkered liar playacting the ignorant fool because people tend to be less hostile to village idiots compared to unapologetic, unrepenting bullies. Cheney Senior was never able to look harmless enough, so he had to hide behind Dubya. His daughter is proving to be a better actres.

  14. imback:

    @Karen (#9), indeed you could say 4x is 2 orders of magnitude in the binary world Liz Cheney inhabits.

  15. caseloweraz:

    Friedersdorf: I understand that convention holds that it’s unfair to begrudge pundits when they go on Fox News and utter inane talking points so far beyond exaggeration that they’re just lies…

    If that’s truly a convention, it deserves to be unconvened.

  16. Dale Douglas:

    @Moggie: I had an argument once with a marketing guy wherein he claimed that “order of magnitude” just meant lots, perhaps anywhere from 2x to 200x. I claimed it very exactly meant 10x, unless all parties agreed that they were using a base other than 10. The sad thing is that I couldn’t convince him of my point of view.

  17. d.c.wilson:

    deeply ignorant, ideologically blinkered, or a liar. None of those qualities is desirable in an aspiring U.S. senator.

    Based on the current crop, I’d say those are practically the minimum job requirements.

  18. Moggie:

    Dale Douglas:

    I had an argument once with a marketing guy

    I think I see your problem.

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