By Christopher G. Adamo – Someone needs to explain to Liz Cheney that if she is running for the United States Senate in Wyoming, her opponent will be Mike Enzi, the current Republican Senator, and not Barack Obama. Since last week’s announcement of her intention to run, she has been all over the media, most recently in a rare interview by talk radio giant, Rush Limbaugh. During the interview, she eloquently enumerated all of the reasons why she would ostensibly be a good choice for the U.S. Senate. Ironically, her reasons could easily have been a personal endorsement for Enzi, with one major exception. Mike Enzi has a proven track record of standing firm on conservative principle.
Contrary to the manner in which she seeks to portray herself as a common citizen from the grassroots, Liz Cheney clearly intends to run her campaign from the top down, gaining national publicity, enjoying the momentum, and no doubt the financial support from big interests outside ofWyoming. Throughout all of her media encounters, she continues to portray the upcoming contest as that of someone from Main Street going up against big government, compromise, capitulation, and Washington “business as usual,” all of which sounds great, except that none of it is true.
For starters, Mike Enzi has never been a supporter of big government, and has one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate. This background hardly makes him guilty of an ongoing pattern of “compromise.” He has received the enthusiastic endorsement of such individuals as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a “Tea Party” favorite. It is altogether disingenuous to insinuate, however indirectly, that Enzi has been central to the problems plaguing Washington.
Cheney, on the other hand, holds much more of a pedigree from the GOP “Establishment,” as the daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney. And in keeping with the methodology of power politics inside Washington, she established a residence in Wyoming only a year ago, clearly as a precursor to immediately leaving the state the moment she gets the green light to return to Washington as Senator.
During her interview with Limbaugh, she mentioned Wyoming frequently, in a transparent effort to assure the people of this state that she really is one of us. Yet the facts present a far different picture, one of an ambitious politician who merely sees the Cowboy State as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. In this she bears a greater similarity to Hillary Clinton, who acquired a Westchester New York address and immediately afterwards claimed to have been a lifelong Jewish Yankees fan. Also during the interview, Cheney talked of the “Code of the West,” which has the same endearing effect on the locals as wearing rhinestone studded chaps and a wide-brimmed Stetson.
In this regard, even her choice of Jackson, Wyoming’s liberal Mecca, as the sight of her token homestead speaks volumes. So she purchased a high-priced piece of real estate in the state’s most manicured and posh locale, and then asserts this as a kindred bond with those acrossWyoming who have endured the elements and the isolation in order to make it their home. Such a ploy is tantamount to a politician who hopes to succeed in California by buying a condo in West Hollywood and then claiming to be a soul mate of struggling farmers in the San Joaquin valley.
Admittedly, Cheney sounds good when she warns of the “threats against the very principles on which the country was founded.” Who among the conservative base could argue with such a statement? But what is the reality behind it? Within the GOP hierarchy, and especially insideWashington, are many career politicians who have aided and abetted the onslaught against traditional America. And if she really has any intention of changing things, she could start by going up against their ranks. So why then would she seek to oust a reliably conservative stalwart like Mike Enzi?
During a townhall meeting in Wheatland Wyoming only a few months back, Enzi explicitly denounced the cronyism that has overtakenWashington. Referring to the infamous “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill for illegal aliens, he flatly admonished “It is time to stop the back room deal making” and to return to the manner in which the nation’s legislative bodies were originally intended to operate. Though not flamboyant, he is far more in league with such notable Senators as Ted Cruz (R.-TX) and Rand Paul (R.-KY) than with the cabal of RINOs which Cheney should be targeting.
Possessing the substantial political capital of high-level political connections, big money, and name recognition, Liz Cheney apparently needed an opponent who might possibly be vulnerable to such things. Consequently, Enzi’s actual track record as a Senator is of secondary importance. Rather than directly comparing his core principles, and the manner in which he has acted upon them, to the ideals she professes to uphold, it is easier to employ major public venues to essentially campaign against an imaginary foe who is far more reflective of Barack Obama, or perhaps the many RINOs whose seats she chose not to challenge.
Conspicuous by its total absence in her discussions of “the loss of freedom and values” and the threat this trend poses to “the very nature of the nation that we love so much,” is any mention of the current cultural meltdown being perpetrated by political activists of the homosexual lobby. She and her father have supported the notion of same-sex “marriage,” which, although it runs completely counter to the principles on which this nation was founded, nevertheless gained a stamp of “constitutionality” last month from the United States Supreme Court.
When this issue is entered into the equation, everything else suddenly starts to make sense. Special interests outside of Wyoming would certainly like to have another ally in the Senate, especially one that would supplant a vote that has been unshakably conservative and pro-family for nearly two decades. In a similar manner, those members of the Republican “Establishment” who have long wished to expunge moral issues from the party would clearly prefer a “fiscal conservative” such as Cheney who likewise eschews traditional morality, even if she does pay verbal homage to constitutional principles.
In his majority opinion in which the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last month, Justice Anthony Kennedy essentially declared those who recognize its time-honored definition (one man and one woman) as hateful bigots willing to selectively deny their fellow citizens equal standing. If Liz Cheney really embraces the conservatism she espouses, she would need to take a stand with those whom Kennedy excoriated. Claiming a circumstantial exception on so defining an issue is not the same as standing firmly on principle. In fact it is the epitome of how business is conducted back in Washington.