There's little doubt that Wyoming is the most politically backward state in the union-- and that it shouldn't even be a state, but should be joined with North and South Dakota to form a new state called Dakota. (Instead of 6 rightist senators, the new state would do much less damage with just 2. And instead of 3 members of the House, there would only be two.) The Wyoming state Senate has 30 members-- 28 Republicans and 2 Democrats-- and the 60 seat state House has 51 Republicans, 7 Democrats, a Libertarian and an independent. Every statewide office is held by a Republican. Most of the elected officials appear to be Trumpists. So are the voters. Trump won a higher proportion of votes in Wyoming than in any other state-- 69.94%, beating Biden 193,559 to 73,491. The last time Wyoming voted for a Democrat running for president was in 1964, when LBJ beat Barry Goldwater. It's also the state with the smallest proportion of vaccinated people. Politically speaking, Wyoming-- the nation's biggest coal producer-- is hell on earth.
The one member of the House, as you probably know, is Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz. Dick Cheney once held the seat himself. Liz is a raging conservative, not a progressive bone in her body... perfect for Wyoming? Well, no... she recognizes exactly what Trump is and, unlike almost all of her colleagues, isn't afraid to say so, even though it means she will probably lose her seat next year.
Yesterday, she stirred the shit with this tweet:
And after the tweet, Cheney spoke to a crowd of donors at the swanky American Enterprise Institute's annual retreat in Georgia, where she rubbed it in: "We can't embrace the notion the election is stolen. It's a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy. We can't whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump's big lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed."
There's no question that she's committing political suicide, both in terms of her constituents and in terms of her leadership position in the House. Soon after the tweet, NY Times reporter Catie Edmondson wrote that "The clash is threatening to reach a breaking point in the House, where a number of rank-and-file Republicans are growing increasingly frustrated with Ms. Cheney’s determination to continue calling out Mr. Trump and members of their party. Some have begun openly predicting that the Wyoming Republican, who overwhelmingly defeated a challenge to her leadership position in February after she had sided with Democrats in voting to impeach the former president, will soon face another such challenge and lose. Apparently undaunted by such threats, Ms. Cheney issued a scathing rebuttal on Monday to a statement put out by Mr. Trump in which he called his 2020 loss 'THE BIG LIE,' the term that Democrats have used to describe the former president’s lies about a stolen election."
McCarthy and Scalise, the two Republicans who outrank her in the GOP leadership-- both Trump ass-lickers-- have signaled they want her gone from their team.
The tensions came to a head last week, after Cheney told reporters that any lawmaker who led the bid to invalidate President Biden’s electoral victory in Congress should be disqualified from running for president. She also broke with McCarthy on the scope of a proposed independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot, telling reporters in response to a question that she believed it should be narrowly focused on the assault on the Capitol.
McCarthy and other Republican leaders have instead argued that the inquiry should be broadened to include “political violence across this country,” including by Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists.
The Hill ran a piece late yesterday about how the McCarthyites have made up their minds to oust her from her readership role. None of them would go on the record, of course, but one told The Hill that "There is no way that Liz will be conference chair by month’s end" and another said "This is a broad range of lawmakers who have had it with her. She’s a liability, and McCarthy’s as fed up as the rest of us that she is focused on the past rather than winning back the House."
The GOP is a mess-- and they can still win congressional majorities next year. Paul Waldman wrote yesterday that "Today’s Republican Party believes many things. Taxes should be lower, particularly for rich people; health and safety regulations are presumptively bad; we have too many immigrants; abortion should be outlawed; we shouldn’t do much about climate change; America is simultaneously the most perfect nation that has ever existed and a cesspool of depravity and cultural decline. But to understand a political party, you have to know not just what they agree on but also what they fight about, and what moves from the realm of conflict to the realm of consensus. As The Post reports, in states and counties and cities across the country, the Big Lie of the 2020 election-- that Donald Trump won reelection handily but his victory was stolen from him-- is being pushed by some who would like it to be moved from conflict to consensus. State and local party officials who admit Joe Biden is the legitimate president are being censured, harassed and driven from their jobs."
Look at the emerging 2024 presidential candidates. They’re not competing or being defined by their visions for the future of the party and the country; there neither is nor will be any Bernie-Biden kind of ideological conflict in their primary campaign.
The key question is whose lib-owning credentials shine most brightly. Which governor signs the most draconian voter suppression bill and targets transgender kids with the maximum cruelty? Which senator flogs the latest inane culture war pseudo-controversy with the greatest gusto?
Democrats, meanwhile, continue to argue about policy-- though process and strategy often swallow those arguments. They agree that the minimum wage should be raised, for instance, but differ on whether it should go to $11 or $15 an hour-- and every policy question is quickly pulled into the argument over the status of the filibuster and whether bipartisanship is achievable.
If you were watching Fox News, you might think Democrats are tearing themselves apart over “wokeness,” defunding the police and Mr. Potato Head. But the truth is that those conflicts are largely ignored by the party and its elected representatives.
They play out in social media and in breathless reports on Fox and Newsmax. But they have barely anything to do with what the party is actually concerned about right now. That’s why Biden has near-total support from Democrats: So far he’s making progress on their substantive priorities, and the internally contentious issues like health care haven’t been tackled yet.
There’s little reason to believe any of this will change between now and 2024. Democrats will try to move forward on their agenda, debating policy and legislative strategy. At times those arguments could become intense. Republicans will argue about culture-war idiocy and compete to be the true inheritor of Trump’s toxic legacy. And the next election could look a lot like the last one.