Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is expected to lose her primary election for Wyoming's lone seat in Congress once held by her father, but her career in politics is unlikely to end once Tuesday's votes are counted.
“Well, look, I think today, no matter what the outcome is, is certainly the beginning of a battle that is going to continue and is going to go on,” Cheney told CBS News reporter Robert Costa.
Cheney was standing next to her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, after voting at the Teton County Library in Jackson Hole.
“And as a country we are facing very challenging and difficult times," Cheney continued. "We are facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat, and those of us across the board — Republicans, Democrats, and independents who believe deeply in freedom and who care about the Constitution and the future of the country — I think have an obligation to put that above party.”
Historian James M. Banner, Jr. praised Cheney in The Bulwark for her bravery.
"Over the last year, one of the most extraordinary performances of civic grit in American history has played out before our eyes: Liz Cheney’s demonstration of principled constitutionalism," Banner wrote. "Even those of us who disagree with her policy views ought to acknowledge her bravery. Now, as the congresswoman faces a challenge in today’s Republican primary for Wyoming’s sole House seat—a challenge she is expected to lose—it is worth taking a moment to recognize what she has done."
Banner is the author of To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts, 1789-1815 (Knopf, 1969); with James M. McPherson et al., Blacks in America: Bibliographical Essays (Doubleday: 1971); with F. Sheldon Hackney and Barton J. Bernstein, Understanding the American Experience (2 vols; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973); with Harold C. Cannon, The Elements of Teaching and The Elements of Learning (Yale University Press, 1997 and 1999); ed. with John R. Gillis, Becoming Historians (University of Chicago Press, 2009); ed. A Century of American Historiography (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009); Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History (Cambridge University Press, 2012); and The Ever-Changing Past: Why All History Is Revisionist History (Yale University Press, 2021).
"She did not have to vote, with just nine other House Republicans, for President Donald Trump’s impeachment one week after January 6th. She did not have to break with her party in insisting that Trump, even out of office, be held accountable for his 2020 election falsehoods and for inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6th," Banner wrote. "She did not have to vote for the creation of an independent commission to look into the events of January 6th, one of just 35 House Republicans to do so. She did not have to accept Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s appointment to the House January 6th Committee, created after Senate Republicans killed the proposal for an independent commission. She did not have to accept the invitation to serve as the committee’s vice chair. Nor did she have to play such a prominent part in leading the committee’s inquiry into the events of January 6th."
Banner noted all the vitriol directed at Cheney as Trump's MAGA base relentlessly attacked her.
"Yet through it all, Cheney has stood rock solid. She has acted out of publicly and resolutely avowed conviction," Banner wrote. "Cheney’s determination to put her constitutional fortitude on display has not been common in the history of American politics. Few political figures have so openly taken the risk of betting their offices and careers against their party’s orthodoxy or bucking its leaders as she has done so publicly. Few have faced with greater equanimity the costs and dangers that have come their way."
Banner offered a bold suggestion for President Joe Biden.
"As difficult as it may be for Democrats, like me, who reject most of Cheney’s positions on specific issues to do, we owe her a salute for her elemental moral and civic clarity. By saluting her, we acknowledge her fortitude, her strength of character, and her application of sheer will in facing down those who sully the Constitution they are sworn to defend. President Biden should award her the Presidential Medal of Freedom," he wrote.
\u201cEXCLUSIVE: Moments after casting her vote in Jackson, Wyoming, Rep. Liz Cheney tells CBS News\u2019 @costareports that today is \u201cthe beginning of a battle."\n\n"We\u2019re facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat."\u201d— CBS News (@CBS News) 1660680249