Donald Trump sends an e mail saying the election was stolen, and Cheney — the No. 3 House Republican — tweets right back at him, minutes later, that “the 2020 presidential election was not stolen.”

House Republicans threaten to dethrone her from her management submit; the response is a digital shrug.

And when requested whether or not she has dominated out a presidential bid herself, the reply was no — as one would possibly anticipate from any politician.

So what is going on on with Cheney, the conservative Republican who voted with Trump greater than 90% of the time?

“Something broke with her on November 3 and January 6,” says one GOP strategist who is aware of her effectively and helps her. “She thinks it’s a big lie and she can’t live with it. It’s kind of astonishing.”

Astonishing, sure, particularly in this political local weather. But one factor is clear: Cheney has no comfy perch in a House GOP convention by which greater than half subscribe to the Big Lie that President Joe Biden was not duly elected. Win or lose, this is a fight Cheney is not shying away from. As she has made very clear, she sees the large lie as an existential menace to democracy.
Not too way back, Cheney turned down a gift-wrapped Senate seat in Wyoming after Sen. Mike Enzi introduced his retirement. At the time, some Republicans figured she was concerned with turning into the following House speaker. But that was method earlier than January 6, earlier than Trump’s second impeachment, earlier than she went out on a limb to problem the ex-President’s lies, taking up her personal convention. The speakership simply is not within the playing cards anymore.
What galls some Republicans is that she’s making life tough for House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who simply needs to maneuver on and get his flock on the identical anti-Biden web page. But for Cheney — who has been very crucial of Biden — the get together should first transfer past its fealty to Trump on all fronts.
But not solely is she on an island, she additionally appears to be digging a deeper moat round herself. Whatever the explanation, she’s clearly on a mission to lift the usual for conventional conservatism — no matter which will now be — inside the Republican Party. She’s even gone as far as to say she would not support Trump if he ran for president once more in 2024 — a daring assertion that even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would not make, though he had as soon as insisted that Trump had “provoked” the rebellion.
Political strategists being what they’re, there’s already some whispering about Cheney’s potential national future: Maybe, simply perhaps, if Trump decides not to run for president, she would possibly. Lots of Trumpists will present up — you already know who they’re — and she or he could be prepared to guide what’s left of the GOP, each within the primaries and a normal election.
Sure, that is a long-shot state of affairs, as a result of the get together base belongs to Trump. And Cheney is a really conventional, old-school conservative Republican, like her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney. Her marketing campaign would little doubt supply the proposition that the Trump period was a detour right into a cul-de-sac, and she or he may flip the get together round.

Cheney is aware of she’s by no means going to be a MAGA member or nominee, so she occupies one other lane — not the one with the by no means Trumpers, as a result of she has supported Trump’s insurance policies previously. She simply believes his election lies have change into a menace.

So positive, GOP leaders are offended that she has diverted the convention from a transparent anti-Biden message, and that is true — she has. But she’s now taking part in on a bigger tableau. And in the event that they’re aggravated internally, and publicly, so be it.

Sometimes, even in politics, what you imagine issues.


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