GOP leader-hopeful Rep. Liz Cheney has ambitious plans for the future that may include toeing party lines and campaigning for Democrats. But the anti-Trump Replubican’s attempt at self-branding into a moderate may fall flat in the face of trying please both parties while still holding onto conservative values.
At the moment, Cheney is a Republican; that could change, however, if Trump ends up as the 2024 Republican nominee for president–a title that she herself may aim for. “I’m going to make sure Donald Trump, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he is not the nominee,” Cheney said during an interview at the Texas Tribune Festival. “And if he is the nominee, I won’t be a Republican.”
To say she “won’t be a Republican” feels contradictory, to say the least. Her track record as far as policy issues go is staunchly conservative. During Trump’s time in office, she voted in “near lockstep” with Trump’s legislative agenda. The Wyoming native has also voted down numerous bills that had heavy Democratic support, such as the Dream Act, updates to the Equality Act that would grant protections to LGBT+ people, and the American Rescue Plan Act. Her concern lies not so much with the people but with reforming a party that has historically prioritized profits over social welfare.
Cheney’s comments about potentially changing parties come just one month after her loss to Trump-backed Harriet Hageman in Wyoming’s GOP primary. The results didn’t surprise pundits, who have noted her plummeting popularity among conservatives for her attacks on Trump for encouraging the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. But while Cheney’s anti-Trump stance is a breath of fresh air in the context of modern Republicanism, those beliefs haven’t won her any substantial support from the two electorates who, on paper, would be her best supporters–moderate democrats and other Republicans who haven’t been indoctrinated into Trumpism. In numbers, she only has 50% approval from Democrats and a 17% favorability rating from Republicans. For the time being, I don’t see that changing–all I see is a Republican begging to be seen through a blue-tinted lens.