Thursday Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) delivered a speech to nominate Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House. The act of nominating McCarthy was just standard procedure as he had no chance of being elected as Speaker. Republicans lost control of the House by a commanding 40 seats so this gesture was just going through the motions. Cheney, though, delivered a well-worded, sometimes sharp-tongued rebuke of the Democrat victory and her speech included a slap at socialism.
The speech heralded Cheney’s arrival as a rising star of the Republican Party. Cheney embraced the spotlight, lambasting “the devastating practice of sanctuary cities,” talking up the importance of building “the wall” and saying that McCarthy would stand in opposition to “the fraud of socialism” that would presumably be perpetrated by Democrats.
Nancy Pelosi received 220 votes (she needed 218) and McCarthy received 192 votes in the Speaker’s race. Pelosi is not exactly popular with the incoming freshman class. AOC, though, did vote for her. My new congresswoman, Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) also voted for Pelosi. Fletcher benefitted by a Pelosi fundraising appearance toward the end of the campaign so her vote wasn’t a surprise to me.
Cheney is a rising star in the Republican party, as one of only 13 Republican women in the House. She was chosen to be Republican conference chair and is now in the #3 spot in leadership. She’s been front and center in the televised spots with other Republican leadership since the 116th Congress gaveled in. She’s an asset, too, as she’s a good communicator and never seems to lose her cool in the fray. The mother of five children, it should be no surprise that she can lower the boom when necessary. Bernie Sanders found out the hard way on Twitter Friday.
You’d think that Sanders would be treading lightly with professional women these days, given the less than flattering headlines lately of his 2016 presidential campaign’s problems with sexual harassment towards women campaign workers. In a particularly obnoxious – some say overly demeaning and sexist – way, Sanders decided to come at Cheney by dragging her father into the skirmish. That is when Cheney fired back in a similar manner.
Yes, @SenSanders, son of Eli Sanders, socialism is a fraud. It steals power from the people & gives it to the government, crushes human freedom & initiative & devastates economies (ask the Venezuelans). BTW – Your Dick Cheney history is as defective as your economic policy. https://t.co/8xjOVE3Tpu
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) January 4, 2019
Ouch. The lesson here is don’t come for Liz Cheney unless you can finish the job. That old socialist from Vermont didn’t stand a chance. Plus, he even shows how tone deaf he is towards women. His argument could have been whatever the strongest points in favor of socialism are in his addled reasoning but instead, he took a random shot at the former Vice-President. Let’s face it, the current wave of American socialists just add “democratic” in front of “socialist” to try and soften up the label. It’s run-of-the-mill socialism. Of the points Cheney made in that nomination speech, it was the jab at socialism that triggered Sanders.
Cheney, in her Republican conference chair capacity, is in charge of communication. She has previously noted that the House Republicans must be more aggressive in response to the Democrats. She’s spoken of the need for a rapid response. In her first 24 hours in the new Congress, she’s put rapid response into action.