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Defending Democracy
Author: Raine    Date: 05/06/2021 12:59:50

There has been quite a bit of handwringing over the past few months from liberals about being forced to defend Representative Cheney (R-Wyoming) for her stance on refusing to fall in line with "The Big Lie". I'm not one of those handwringers. I am not defending her for her stance with the Republican party.

Liz Cheney is what she is. She's not a moderate member of that party. She voted for TFG 92.9% of the time. Her likely successor, Elise Stefanik, only voted at 77.7%. Her politics are the polar opposite of mine, she's hardcore GOP. Who she is and what she politically represents is not the issue at all. It's something much larger than that.

It's about the survival of democracy. What happened on January 6 was a shocking violent trauma that was put upon this nation. It was an act of domestic violence. We were beaten. Here we are exactly 4 months later and our abuser is using that attack to further abuse us-- mentally. ask anyone who has experienced and escaped such abuse from a partner or parent -- they will know what I am speaking of. I too am a survivor.

Yesterday, Cheney published an Op-Ed in the Washington Post.
In public statements again this week, former president Donald Trump has repeated his claims that the 2020 election was a fraud and was stolen. His message: I am still the rightful president, and President Biden is illegitimate. Trump repeats these words now with full knowledge that exactly this type of language provoked violence on Jan. 6. And, as the Justice Department and multiple federal judges have suggested, there is good reason to believe that Trump’s language can provoke violence again. Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this.

The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.


While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

For Republicans, the path forward is clear.
I tried to post the most bi-partisan parts of this column. We deeply part ways in the idea that the path is clear for Republicans. I agree it's clear but for a very different reason. This isn't about fundraising or even aligning with TFG. He could keel over and die tomorrow and they would still be pushing forward with this agenda. TFG was just the Pandora's box that was opened and they figured out how to do the evil right in plain sight.

Election's matter, we say. We turn out and we make a change. Elections no longer matter to that party. They are yelling it from the halls of DC and city councils all over the nation. This is the emotional trauma that domestic violence victims suffer after the first act of physical violence. Jonathan Chait (NY magazine) wrote of this with clarity.
Democracy is not an issue you can simply put aside, or even weigh alongside all the other issues. It’s a foundational issue — the one decision that has to be settled before any other political question can be considered.

The fate of American democracy is the biggest issue in American politics. The system survived Trump’s often-clumsy efforts to subvert it. But the threat is far from over. A majority of Republican voters believe Trump’s lie that the election was stolen, and this belief has been the most important driver of their post-election behavior. Republican-controlled states are implementing voting restrictions to placate this lie; Republican officials who refused to go along with Trump’s autogolpe are being removed from their positions.


What they want, in other words, is for Cheney to put aside her concern about the survival of democracy in America and instead focus on matters that unite the Republican party’s authoritarian and democratic wings. They’re demanding, in so many words, ideological collusion. She should cooperate with Trump for the benefit of their shared opposition to Biden’s agenda. Trump and his allies in the party and conservative media can continue propagating their big lie and organizing for the next assault on the system, and they can try to divert that energy to halt Biden’s plans to raise the capital gains tax, which after all, is the really important thing in their minds.

I will never defend Liz Cheney for her politics, but I will welcome her to the millions of Americans who are fighting for and trying to save our democracy. Without democracy, we will lose any defense we have -- and that includes political parties. As President Biden said yesterday, "We badly need a Republican Party. We need a two-party system. It's not healthy to have a one-party system."

There are more of us than them, never forget that.



7 comments (Latest Comment: 05/06/2021 17:31:59 by Raine)
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