So, now that Liz Cheney is dedicating herself to a national effort to bounce Trump out of contention for 2024, it turns out that her presence in the race could do exactly the opposite: she could pull enough votes away from Biden to get Trump back into the White House again. At least this is what the most recent poll appears to show, which is that Cheney would end up playing the same role in 2024 that Ross Perot played in 1992.
Remember good ol’ Ross? He was the guy who grabbed almost 20% of the popular vote in 1992, and although he didn’t receive any Electoral College votes, he probably cost George H. W. Bush to lose a bunch of states. His campaign took a nosedive when he showed up at the NAACP Convention and referred to his audience as ‘your people,’ which was about as unfeelingly racist as you can get.
I’m not saying that Liz Cheney doesn’t have the smarts or experience to run a national campaign and avoid making the kinds of mistakes that caught Ross Perot by the seat of his pants. What I am saying is that if she were to run as a candidate committed to cleaning up the GOP, I’m afraid that her real appeal would be to those so-called ‘progressive’ Democrats who still believe that the Democratic Party owes something to Bernie Sanders for screwing him out of the nomination in 2016.
Which brings me to a brief discussion about the primary election in New York City, where Jerry Nadler bopped Carolyn Maloney to represent the new 12th C.D. Nadler represented Manhattan’s Upper West Side which is probably the most liberal neighborhood in the United States. Or at least it used to be until rent control ended and apartments now sell for minimum of a million bucks.
Maloney, on the other hand, represented the Upper East Side whose residents are the Wall Street crowd that doesn’t like top commute. This population tends to be more mainstream and has even sent Republicans to D.C. in the past. In that respect, the primary fight between Nadler and Maloney was a context between the Democratic Party’s two wings.
Someone like Liz Cheney could look at the results of the 12th C.D. contest and believe that the area would be a good place to plant her electoral flag. She won’t win, of course, but she would probably siphon off enough votes from both the Democratic and Republican lines to make some serious noise. What’s wrong with that?
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that. Eliminate Donald Trump from consideration and Liz Cheney’s just another conservative Republican who votes the way the Chamber of Commerce wants her to vote every, single time. And when it comes to foreign affairs, she’s as much of a hawk as her father who pushed George Wubbalyou Bush into Iraq,
The bigger problem with Cheney is that she needs Trump to hang around as serve as a handy foil for her own campaign. If Trump disappears or changes his Armani outfit for an orange jumpsuit, who’s going to care what Liz said about him during the House Select Committee hearings about January 6th?
But come to think about it, Liz isn’t the only one who needs Trump to stick around. After all, the so-called ‘progressive’ wing of the blue team also uses the Trump ‘threat’ to remind everyone that they were the real ‘good guys’ over the last six years. I don’t think that Nadler ever opened his mouth during the [primary campaign without mentioning his ‘leadership role’ in the two impeachments of Trump.
Don’t get me wrong about Nadler. He voted against the invasion of Iraq and against the Patriot Act. But given the makeup of his district, if he had voted the other way, there would have been people standing in front of Zabar’s asking you to sign a petition to run Nadler out of town.
It really doesn’t take a lot of political backbone to be a peacenik on the Upper West Side. Where do you think the word was invented? On the Upper East Side or maybe where Trump was raised in Queens?
The problem that progressive Democrats need to deal with is they are strongest in neighborhoods whose populations don’t really represent the American mainstream. If someone like Liz Cheney decides to put up some phony campaign for President, she’ll attract support from progressive Democrats, which might allow a Republican to sneak in.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve had enough of the GOP up to (or down to) here.