Emil Guillermo: Liz Cheney wants you–for democracy's sake
The new Uncle Sam may be Liz Cheney. She’s not the “Karen” wagging her finger saying she’s wants to speak to the manager. She is pointing her finger at us because now she has a proposition.
But is Cheney going to change the spelling of her name to CH-AA-NEY– just to lure us Asian Americans? She’ll need us and other BIPOC communities if she really wants to save democracy.
You’ll recall Cheney is the one who lost big earlier this week in Wyoming when she saw first-hand just how her own Republican Party is under the spell of this guy known in Florida search warrants as FPOTUS.
That, of course, stands for the defeated “former president of the United States.”
But how can we assure he stays defeated? Perhaps if we answer Cheney’s call.
You can go over what I’ve said on my livestreams at www.amok.com, and in some columns about Cheney. You may detect I have a soft spot in my heart for her efforts as vice chair of the Jan. 6 Select Committee.
She’s frumpy, but non-Trumpy. That’s the way I prefer my Republicans of either gender.
But she’s more like an ex-wife who has joint custody of your children.
You’re civil enough because you have some things in common.
In this case, it’s not children. It’s our @##@!! democracy.
And for that you have to give her a little credit.
In the Wyoming primary, she lost to her opponent by 37 points, 66% to 29%. That’s some rebuke. After all, the Cheneys for all their extremely bad qualities are Republican royalty. But they must have had a feeling of betrayal as if they showed up to the GOP rally and were treated as if they were…Democrats!
I go over her concession speech on E369 of my show [here](youtube: https://youtu.be/91LJ84ewBpY).
What you have to admire about Cheney was her willingness to pay the price–the loss of her job, her seat in Congress. And all because of her ultra-principled stand on democracy and her unwillingness to join in the zombie chorus of Republican election deniers who stand by their FPOTUS.
In my journalism/media career, I know what that’s like. As a talk radio show host, I was slightly left of center and I was on a radio station with the likes of Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh. When Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over the house in the mid-90s, I had a choice. I could be a Limbaugh clone and be a CPOC, a conservative person of color.
Or I could be me.
I know what it means to “pay a price.”
So I’m open to Cheney as she makes the case on election deniers.
“Our nation is barreling once again towards crisis, lawlessness and violence,” Cheney said in her concession. “No American should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility, where their refusal to follow the rule of law will corrupt our future.”
If you haven’t noticed, election deniers have been proliferating like a plague on democracy, according to CNN data. Already 11 states have Republican nominees for Secretary of State–the office in charge of elections and ballot counting. Another 21 of 36 Republican gubernatorial nominees are also ED’rs, including the former local TV anchor turned Arizona politico, Kari Lake.
But there’s one thing about Cheney. Did she vote for the Inflation Reduction Act which includes more than $750 billion for climate change, Obamacare extensions, prescription cost limits in Medicare, plus a never before 15 percent automatic tax on wealthy corporations?
No. She did not.
In fact, during the FPOTUS administration, Cheney’s votes almost 100 percent favored rich, white, and corporate special interests.
She probably would frown at this week’s court ruling that forces Wal-Mart, CVS, and Walgreens to pay more than $650 million for their share in spreading the opioid crisis. Why should corporations pay for you to swallow an addictive drug they made and distributed to you? They’re drug stores, not drug dealers. Same difference.
Big pharma, including the legal drug dealers, should pay. But I’d guess Cheney doesn’t see it that way.
No, she is of the ilk that calls people of color “Special Interests.” And her votes against the Voting Rights Act, LGBTQ issues, and all but the most obvious civil rights issues (she voted for the Juneteenth holiday) is as despicable as any election-denying Trumpian. In fact, she voted with Trump 93 percent of the time, according to Newsweek.
Liz Cheney has a 7 percent soul. Reason enough for a divorce.
But we do agree on one thing. The defeated FPOTUS must stay out of government. And as a single issue that may be enough to join her effort to jumpstart an American pro-democracy movement.
“Freedom must not, cannot, and will not die here,” Cheney said on a platform in Wyoming this week as she recommitted to defeating the ongoing threat of FPOTUS.
“This is a fight for all of us together,” she said. “I’m a conservative Republican. I believe deeply in the principles and the ideals on which my party was found.”
Then comes her compromise.
“But I love my country more,” she said. “So I ask you tonight to join me. As we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together, Republicans, Democrats, and independents, against those who would destroy our Republic.”
Asian Americans who have an independent, even a slightly conservative streak, may find her message attractive.
And some of the rest of us might too. . .if the GOP wasn’t generally so anti-Asian and BIPOC. (Cheney did, however, vote for the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act of Sen. Hirono and Rep. Meng, so she does see us. Sometimes.)
I will talk about what else this means for us in my E.370. (See it through the links below.) For Cheney to be effective, it may take actually mobilizing Democrats to register as Republicans.
Hard enough to get people to register to vote, period. Harder still when Republicans have done all they can to prevent people of color from voting.
But there’s a scheme out there that Cheney might use to “unite” us against the FPOTUS election deniers.
And together we might be able, as Cheney says, to be “Americans united in defense of our Constitution and committed to the cause of freedom.”
“There is no greater power on this earth, “she concluded in her speech. “And with God’s help, we will prevail.”
But in the end, can we trust her?
Here’s the upside: If we all fight for joint custody of democracy, us and Liz, will we know that she’s the kind of Republican who if she loses we know will concede and ensure an orderly transition of power? That’s what could be at stake– a return of civility in politics.
Is that better than all the FPOTUS rancor that is now only beginning? Or can we do better by wishing Cheney well and just support all the good folks we’re naturally aligned with in the first place?
I will talk about this specifically on E. 370 of my livestreamed show on www.amok.com.
NOTE: I always talk about my columns and other matters on “Emil Amok’s Takeout,” my AAPI micro-talk show. Live @2p Pacific. Livestream on Facebook; my YouTube channel; and Twitter. Catch recordings on www.amok.com.