Where the Real Fraud Grows

Liz Cheney: liable to get voted out today because she’s not crazy.

To go back to the subject of waiting, as if I were anywhere near done with the topic yesterday, one of the things I’m waiting on — futilely, I’m afraid — is for sanity to be restored among 30-ish percent of the American voting public. Or at least among the politicians these folks vote for.

Today in Wyoming is a primary that might as well be the general election in a state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1964, and the numbers aren’t looking good for Liz Cheney to hang onto her seat as the state’s lone representative.

Back a year ago January, when she found her red line in the sand with her party’s presidential candidate, pundits felt she would be Just Fine in Wyoming, where supposedly no one tells the residents what to do or think. Because she was a conservative who mirrored her constituents’ values, it was felt back then, it wouldn’t matter if she took issue with the members of her party who were trying to overthrow the United States of America.

Let us pause for a moment to discuss why a third or so of the country is in favor of this. It’s not ideology, and it’s not on account of any fraud, which when it did materialize in nominal form frequently did so at the hands of Republicans. These fraudsters often look like Tina Peters, who may still hold the title of county clerk for Mesa County (Grand Junction) but who is not allowed to oversee elections any longer because she stands credibly accused of forging identity papers and facilitating the release of confidential voting information on far-right websites.

For awhile she went on the lam with Mr. My Pillow, but she eventually came back to Colorado, where she kicked officers trying to arrest her and then became a candidate for secretary of state. Because Colorado voters regardless of political stripe appear to be saner than the current Republican party at large, she lost her primary quite handily.

This did not stop her from shouting about fraud (new definition: if I lose, fraud has occurred) and squandering over a quarter million of supporters’ dollars to get a recount that still showed she lost by 88,000 votes. She has also violated the terms of her bond at least twice, traveling out of state to appear at a conference in Las Vegas to tout her sore loserdom and contacting the Mesa County clerk’s office in her failed bid to get each county clerk to agree to hand-count ballots. (Which still would have shown a major loss.)

The lobbyist for the state’s county clerks decided this is either “the gold standard of stupidity” or a scam to take people’s money. It could be both.

But Ms. Peters’s gold standard has nothing on the platinum level being burnished by national-level republicans as they barrel at full tilt down the Fox hole.

And for what? Not someone’s notion that this country has lost its way and only he can fix it (even though he said that without meaning it back in 2016). No. There is no higher point here than this: Someone lost his re-election bid, fair and square, and because he has never done anything either fair or square in his entire life and has either been able to gain an outcome he wants through money and/or threats, he therefore should be able to change this outcome that happened in November 2020, almost two full years ago.

He is not offering his supporters any way forward, or even back. He just wants to be president, to win because he’s always been able to cheat his way to a win in the past. If he can own a “lib” or two along the way, and churn up chaos and controversy — well, that always makes for good TV.

But there is no interest in improving life for his constituents, many of whom vote against their own interests and then wonder why their lives are so downtrodden. And continue to vote for those who will keep them crushed to the bottom of the pile.

This is a campaign of and for the self (don’t forget the money), and he does not care about you, no matter who you are. He doesn’t care about you if you’re a member of his family. He cares about making a buck off you — perhaps you heard that he had his late first wife buried on his golf course, which then got him a tax break.

He is hoarding 100 million dollars in mostly small-money donations even as the Republican National Committee has backed off ad buys in three senatorial battleground states because donations are not coming their way. Although the RNC keeps paying his legal bills, he is not interested in helping the RNC.

Republican candidates don’t seem to understand that the former White House occupant might put his name to your campaign, preferably if it looks like you’re already going to win handily, or if two of you conveniently have the same first name in the same race, or — in Liz Cheney’s case — supporting an opponent not because he likes her, but in a fit of vindictive pique. But he’s not going to grant your campaign any money. He might come speak, nominally, on your behalf, but he’s far more interested in the accolades directed toward him.

Apparently the very notion of power is so intoxicating that you care nothing about any of this, so you will say and do anything this small-minded man wants, debase yourself and any principles you may have once had, just so you can get elected to — what?

George Will, no longer a Republican but never a Democrat, said this is not about governing; it’s performing for the people in the stands. And as long as the people in those stands — Mr. Will also tells me over 50 percent of the American population ages 16-74 read at a sixth-grade level or lower — care only about spectacle and not about substance, Liz Cheney is doomed to lose to someone who has offered no governing philosophy whatsoever, someone running exclusively on a “platform” that an election that has been proven over and over and over (and over) to be fair, with an accurate outcome, was fraudulent because one man says so.

Ultimately, where does that get the voters of Wyoming? I’ll tell you where, as a resident of Colorado’s Third Congressional District, home to Lauren Boebert, who can raise a lot of cash but not any issues that might help her district. And whose husband recently allegedly ran over a neighbor’s mailbox, while reeking of alcohol, after the neighbor hollered at a Boebert son to not drive 50 mph down their street on an ATV. This is ignorant white trash behavior that maybe plays well on TV, but how is this possibly legislative material?

Ignorance and cruelty are rarely effective governing principles, and surely the pendulum will swing back, as it did in Kansas after governmental starvation turned out to not be the panacea Republicans expected it to be. But this time, it’s not about governance or a guiding philosophy at all. It is a strange fealty to a strange, mostly unhinged man who understands nothing and cares nothing for anyone but himself. His ego has blocked the sun, and for some insane, inexplicable reason, this appeals to far more politicians than it should.

Except for a few like Liz Cheney, who has earned her voters’ enmity by standing up for their beliefs and adhering to her oath of office. That right there is the very definition of crazy.

And so I wait. My patience already feels thoroughly tested on this issue, although I’m afraid a satisfactory outcome will elude all of us for longer than we want.

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