On Wednesday, Republicans stripped Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming of her leadership roles for her defiance in the face of former President Donald Trump’s lies about the election. Though the move was expected, it’s still pretty wild to see the Republican Party’s level of obedience to Trump and level of intolerance for any dissent.
Cheney didn’t waver, delivering a final address to a chorus of boos from her colleagues. She urged her party to not “let the former president drag us backward” and cautioned that the party had chosen a path of “destruction …possibly the destruction of our country.”
“If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person,” she said. “You have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy.”
A person present for the closed door vote provided a copy of Cheney’s comments to CNN, which include both her warnings to the GOP and a prayer for guidance and truth. Here’s what she prayed.
Dear God, Fill us with a love of freedom and a reverence for all your gifts. Help us to understand the gravity of this moment. Help us to remember that democratic systems can fray and suddenly unravel. When they do, they are gone forever.
Help us to speak the truth and remember the words of John 8:32 – Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
May our world see the power of faith. May our nation know the strength of selfless service. And may our enemies continue to taste the inescapable force of freedom.
In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.
It was the latest sign that whatever the Republican Party was before Trump, it’s definitely Trump’s now. Turning on Cheney is politically extraordinary but not particularly surprising given the rapid trajectory of the right towards “The Big Lie” — that Trump, not President Joe Biden, won last November. About two-thirds of Republicans believe Trump won, despite the complete lack of evidence of any significant voter fraud following months of investigations and recounts.
Cheney has been one of the rare voices in GOP leadership standing athwart the extremist tilt, and delivered a scathing rebuke to the former President for his role in stoking the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” she on Tuesday. “I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”