The GOP is abuzz about Liz Cheney’s decision to mount a 2014 primary challenge against incumbent Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming. In an item titled “Old Boy Net United Against Liz Cheney,” Jonathan Tobin describes the daughter of old boy Dick Cheney as “widely acknowledged to be among the party’s brightest stars,” a dubious characterization.
He goes on:
Why are so many leading Republicans lining up against Cheney? They are saying that they are opposing her bid because they don’t like divisive Republican primaries that weaken the party and the eventual winner against the Democrats. But this is bunk. Wyoming is so deep red it’s almost impossible to imagine the scenario in which a GOP primary, no matter how nasty, would lead to a Democratic win. Rather, what they really seem to be mad about is a breach of manners.
If Enzi were to disappear from the Senate, few in Washington would even notice, let alone miss him, while Cheney would be a strong asset for a party that needs talented members able to stand up to President Obama and the Democrats as well as strengthening the party’s appeal to women. But many in the establishment are so offended by her not waiting her turn until Enzi left on his own steam that they are prepared to stand by him.
Liz Cheney hasn’t just embraced the objectionable actions and positions of neoconservative Republicans. She has also earned an independent reputation as someone who participates in weak, laughable, and even scurrilous attacks on ideological opponents that can only cast doubt on her judgment and moral character. The weak, laughable attacks are often aimed at Obama, of whom I am often critical. But even people who hold Obama in low esteem can’t help but feel embarrassed on behalf of commentators who discredit themselves by making absurd claims like, “He’s unwilling to go after the terrorists that are threatening the nation.” To deny Obama’s willingness to go after terrorists is to be deeply ignorant, ideologically blinkered, or a liar. None of those qualities is desirable in an aspiring U.S. senator.