You can add Liz Cheney's name to the list of Republicans that aren't in any mood to help poor old Reince and the rest of them out with their latest farce of a "rebranding" effort. As Steve Benen noted, Cheney's op-ed in Rupert Murdoch's rag this week is laughably delusional. I'd qualify that by saying it would be were it not for the fact that this woman is actually taken seriously by so many: Cheney slips further down the rabbit hole:
The point of Liz Cheney's Wall Street Journal op-ed today is fairly predictable and not altogether uncommon among far-right activists -- she wants the Republican Party to resist the urge to become more mainstream, and instead "fight" harder against the GOP's real and imagined enemies. But in execution, Cheney's piece is a rather extraordinary work of delusion.
Jon Chait highlights some of the more glaring problems with the op-ed -- he uses it to argue, persuasively, that Cheney is "obviously stark raving mad" -- which reads like a bizarre rant from a partisan so filled with rage towards President Obama that reason was thrown out the window when the writer made a right-hand turn into Crazy Town. Cheney is certain, for reasons that remain mysterious, that Obama has "launched a war on Americans' Second Amendment rights," is deliberately sabotaging capitalism, and wants to destroy the nation's global standing on purpose.
It's a truly ridiculous tirade with all the sophistication and accuracy of a Breitbart comments section. But there's also an unintentionally amusing part -- Cheney's unhinged rant includes this Ronald Reagan quote from 1961:
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don't do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."
In this case, however, Cheney forgot to look up the context in which Reagan made these comments before relying on it. Indeed, note that at one point in the quote, Reagan said, "And if you and I don't do this," although in Cheney's piece, there's no frame of reference to tell the reader what "this" is.
And what was Reagan referring to at the time? I'm glad you asked. "This" was referring to preventing the creation of Medicare. [...]
And so, freedom-loving Americans had to stop Medicare or we "may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."
Yes, that evil Medicare that's going to enslave everyone, just like, as Steve also noted, Social Security, and now "Obamacare." Chait's column which Steve referenced is worth a full read as well which you can find here: Liz Cheney Is Even More Bonkers Than We Suspected.
Emily Arrowood and Simon Maloy also took the op-ed apart over at Media Matters: Liz Cheney: Get Over 2012 And Start Embracing Romneyism :
There's no shortage of enthusiasm among conservatives to move past the 2012 election and fix the manifold problems facing the conservative movement. However, this eagerness on the part of conservatives for a Republican resurgence isn't matched by a willingness to actually alter the self-destructive behaviors that have marginalized the right. Liz Cheney joined up with this "cry change but do nothing" crowd in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that counsels conservatives to move past 2012 and start fighting President Obama... with the exact same arguments and talking points used by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Put them side-by-side, and the daylight between Cheney's op-ed and the Romney-Ryan campaign just about disappears.
They've got the full list of quotes lined up side by side and went on to add this about the op-ed and the interview on Fox's Happening Now embedded above.
Cheney also wrote that Obama has "diminished American strength abroad," argued that the president "has turned his back on America's allies around the world," and offered the now almost rote broadside over the Benghazi attack -- all themes and arguments borrowed from Romney's 2012 campaign. On top of all that, Cheney kicked off her allegedly forward-looking column with a quote from... Ronald Reagan. And not just any quote: an excerpt from Reagan's anti-"socialized medicine" diatribe on behalf of the American Medical Association, recorded in 1961.
Cheney's recycling routine was so blatant that even Fox News called her out on it. "You specifically list off some of these criticisms of the administration as a way to further define what you think Republicans should stand for," Fox host Jenna Lee told Cheney on the March 29 edition of Happening Now. "But these complaints we've heard before over the years, and still the president was reelected. So why keep going back to them if they haven't been effective for the Republican party?" Cheney brushed off the question, answering that "certainly you can't say that our values are not effective" even if Republicans failed to communicate them during the election.
There's the Liz Cheney call to arms -- cry Reagan and let slip the dogs of Benghazi ACORN socialism.
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