Is Liz Cheney ready for the US Senate? If being a truly remarkable conservative woman is the sole measure, the answer is a simple yes. But politics, leadership, and a seat in the United States Senate are not typically and solely granted to those deemed remarkable. We conservatives have become selective of late…nit-picky. You see, we’ve been burned a time or two over the course of several election cycles.
I’m gun-shy. No, not literally, just in terms of selling my soul to the pipe dreams of polished, evasive politicians who are, like radical religious leaders, never to be fully trusted. But I am here to talk about the making of a Senator, and to answer the question is Liz Cheney ready to enter the US Senate?
The Care and Feeding of a Future Politician
Growing up under the watchful eye of Richard “Dick” Cheney is something Liz, I’m certain, would classify as an asset, not simply for political aspirations but life itself. And let’s quickly add mother Lynne Cheney to the shortlist of influential women, who in her own right (that means without the husband) must have shaped the youngster Elizabeth into the woman and leader we’ve come to know.
My intention here is to talk about Liz Cheney. But any discussion of her current or potential political qualifications must by necessity include background, not simply foreground. Her father, Dick Cheney, was admittedly a favorite of mine. The attraction was cerebral, as Dick was a thinking man’s conservative, tough, schooled in the ways of the world, pragmatic about the nuances of Washington politics, people and their motivations.
Father Cheney was dogmatic and straightforward. He offered the media, his colleagues, and his opponents sharp logic, suitable for only seasoned individuals whose skin had been toughened by the realities of life lived in a world that was dangerous.
When Dick Cheney visited Arizona, I would listen to him as if a student at the feet of a guru of global understanding. After grasping his world view, I came away thinking, “I get it.” Mind you, I was not at that time particularly interested in what was going on in Washington, DC. Other than voting, I was apolitical. I listened to Dick Cheney before, during, and after he was Vice President under George Bush. While his post-DC comments and appearances were often met with media derision, I respected Dick Cheney, as a man, a thinker, a father, a husband, a lawyer, a Senator, and a Vice President.
How does a man turn out who is of English, Welsh, Irish, and French Huguenot ancestry? Simplistically, I suppose, he becomes Dick Cheney, the 8th great-grandson of a man who immigrated from England to Massachusetts in the 1600s. That’s no slouch of a history. I could easily envision Dick Cheney in the British Parlement, even as a distinguished British general, uniform, accent and all!
Lynne Cheney was the mother and accomplished woman that shaped Liz Cheney in a different way. Lynne is family’s Wyoming connection, having been born and, as they say in Wyoming, reared in Casper.
Lynne’s mother was a deputy sheriff…I’m not joking! and Lynne’s dad was an engineer. Lynne was the daughter of an analytical father and a law-enforcing mother. Try that boot on and wear it for a day or two.
Most people don’t know this, but Lynne Cheney was an accomplished literary expert (my opinion) having studied and earned her first degree in English literature, followed by a Master’s, and consummated with a Ph.D. in British literature. I suppose in some strange yet beautiful way this is what happens to a girl whose mother arrested people and whose father designed and analyzed structural creations.
Dick and Lynne Cheney were WWII babies, both born in 1941. They were the trailing end and blessed recipients of the values of Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation. It was a sober era, a no-nonsense generation of people that really did stare down fascism, war, death, and global suffering. Dick and Lynne were tutored in a life that included and insisted on responsibility, individualism, true spirituality, and a kind of rare self-reliance.
Liz Chaney’s Transitional Generation
Like all of us, Liz Cheney was shaped by a family culture unique to the time, experiences and culture of overlapping, and often tumultuous eras. Her grandparents were incubated in a climate dominated by the challenges of survival, one without many of the creature comforts and luxuries afforded the information age.
Liz grew up in a transitional generation. She was a 60’s baby (DOB July 28, 1966), having been birthed three years after the assassination of President John Kennedy. She was a toddler learning her way around the Cheney home when he Rev. Martin Luher King, Jr. was gunned down on April 4, 1968. Just prior to her third birthday, Robert Kennedy would be stuck down on June 6, 1968.
At this same time, America was at the height of the Vietnam War. Campuses were on fire with the voices of social radicals who were denouncing McNamara’s war. Liz was about 3 when I was drafted #058 (the number corresponding to my birthday) in 1969. We were a society with three television networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC, each signing off in the late evening with the playing of the National Anthem.
Liz Cheney’s is a transitional generation, one crossing the large bridges that would take us from a post-WWII culture, through Vietnam and into what would later become the greatest driving force in her life, the Information Super Highway, now referred to as the World Wide Web (“WWW”). Her’s would be the generation of the Beetles, the Bee Gees, Black Sabbath, eventuating into Journey, Queen, U2, and all the rest. But what does all this mean?
It would be interesting to ask her about who her favorite artists were based on Billboards Top 100 Popular Artists of 1983. I’m going to venture a guess and go with Billy Joel on the pop side and perhaps Alabama’s #2 best country song, The Closer You Get.
While much more could be written, and since I’m not writing The Life and Times of Liz Cheney, I’ll stop here to ask a simple question: how did all of this global transition shape Liz Cheney, and what does any of it have to do with her potential run for the US Senate?.
I don’t know anything about the inner workings of the Cheney home, family events, challenges, holidays, traditions, birthday parties, and the passageways that shaped Liz Cheney, and I refuse to speculate. However, I do know that we are not merely docile genetic clones of preceding generations. We are not automatons. We are all products of the people and the powerful events that surround us, mysteriously, wonderfully, and at times, painfully, creating the climate in which we are raised. We see, hear, speak, and interact with our times, and it was no different for Liz Cheney.
In an attempt to retain your attention, I won’t recite Liz Cheney’s academic career and credentials, other than to say she Cheney was born in Madison, Wisconsin, one of two sisters. While father Dick Cheney campaigned in Wyoming, she attended sixth and seventh grade in Casper. While her father was in Congress, the family spent time in both Montana and DC. Eventually, Liz graduated from McClain High School. Later, she would earn a BA from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Makes sense! Liz attended the University of Chicago Law School, earning her law degree in 1996.
Liz Chaney’s resume includes working in the State Department, focused on eastern and north African affairs, eventually being appointed the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State For Near Eastern Affairs and Coordinator for Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives. Her foreign policy resume is deep, and her experience undoubtedly helped shape her current positions.
Cheney was no fan of the Obama administration and its domestic and foreign relations policies, a factor that led her to run against incumbent Republican Mike Enzi in 2014. Because of the distrust of Obama’s policies she accused Enzi of being too soft and giving in to Obama’s policies stating, “We have to not be afraid of being called obstructionists…obstructing President Obama’s policies and his agenda isn’t actually obstruction; it’s patriotism.” That sounds a lot like Barry Goldwater’s, “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”
Again, what does all of this have to do with whether Liz Cheney is ready to be a Wyoming’s next Senator in 2020?
Well, frankly, I want the old Liz Cheney back.
But is She Really Ready for the Senate?
We cannot tell everything about a person by tracing their roots, examining their cultural transitions, and assessing their employment resume. We can, however, examine a person’s life passage, their protracted interests, and long term focus and from this form a likelihood of probable performance. With any politician, we must draw our conclusions cautiously.
Is Liz Cheney ready? Yes, with qualifications.
For the conservative GOP citizens of Wyoming, the only ones whose opinion counts, I have a concern that must be addressed before Liz Cheney becomes Wyoming’s next Senator. She must tighten up her principled positions on conservative core principles, such as:
- Adopting legislation to end the national debt forever
- Shrinking, not just slowing, the size of the federal government
- Keeping the federal government out of healthcare
- Closing all immigration loopholes (visa lottery & chain migration)
- Stopping all funding of Planned Parenthood
- Ending all abortion and infanticide
- Getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Ending unfair trade imbalances
- Opening doors to more charter schools
- Advocating school choice and competition
- Insisting colleges and universities promote free speech
- Supporting the Convention of States under Article 5
The legislative work product of an elected politician, House or Senate, matters. Congresswoman Cheney’s legislative record needs improvement, and I’m asking her to pledge to us that her future votes will reflect long-held conservative values. Frankly, Liz has a less than stellar conservative voting record. According to Conservative Review, Liz Cheney has voted for conservative positions just 56 percent of the time. She can do better…she must do better.
This is the Liz Cheney I want to see and hear saying, “Socialism extinguishes freedom.”
We call on Liz Cheney to be one of what iVoteAmerica refers to a The Next Generation of Conservatives, an unflinching warrior for the common principles of limited government, free markets, self-reliance, the rule of constitutional law, the sanctity of life from conception until natural death, individual and collective virtue, national sovereignty reflected in sound immigration law and enforcement, a balanced budget, and an end to the bought-and-paid-for cronyism that has allowed us to slip away from our belief in government of, by, and for the people.
It’s my belief that Liz Cheney holds to these values, and we need that same voice in the Senate that once said, “We have to not be afraid of being called obstructionists…obstructing President Obama’s policies and his agenda isn’t actually obstruction; it’s patriotism.”
It’s my belief that Liz Cheney should be Wyoming’s next US Senator. Furthermore, despite naysayers, I believe at her core she is a principled, constitutional conservative and with her renewed commitments to the long-held principles of conservatism, she should be elected to the Senate. Lacking this commitment, Wyoming should seek another fully committed conservative.
On this basis, iVoteAmerica and iVoteWyoming encourage her to declare her candidacy for the United States Senator from the great state of Wyoming.
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