Liz Cheney’s resounding primary defeat marks the end of an era for the Republican Party as well as her own family legacy, the most high-profile political casualty yet as the party of Lincoln transforms into the party of Trump.
Cheney’s defeat was no surprise, but it is an especially bitter pill to swallow for the Never Trump former Republicans who saw Cheney as the last outpost of the party they once knew. Cheney nodded to the GOP’s free fall in her concession speech. “I believe deeply in the principles and the ideals on which my party was founded,” she told her supporters. “I love its history, and I love what our party has stood for, but I love my country more.”
In her concession speech, Cheney tried to shake GOP voters out of their Trump thrall:
Today, as we meet here, there are Republican candidates for governor who deny the outcome of the 2020 election, and who may refuse to certify future elections if they oppose the results. We have candidates for secretary of state who may refuse to report the actual results of the popular vote in future elections. And we have candidates for Congress, including here in Wyoming, who refuse to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and suggest that states decertify their results.
“No American,” she continued, “should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility, where their refusal to follow the rule of law will corrupt our future.” She might as well have pointed to the voters and added: And by no one, I mean you.The Atlantic
Trump is purging the Republican Party, ridding it of dissenters like Cheney and others who dare to defy him, shifting the coast-to-coast GOP landscape and the makeup of Congress.
If Republicans gain control of the House and Senate in the November elections, the new Congress is destined to be remade in Trump’s image. However, his influence may in fact cut two ways, winning back the House for Republicans but costing the party the Senate if his candidates fail to generate the broader appeal needed for statewide elections.
Those running for Congress include many Republican incumbents who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election, amplifying Trump’s relentless false claims of a rigged election and fueling the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. And many of the new GOP candidates for Congress are also election deniers, according to a tally by Democrats.
The House is — should be — the people’s House,” said former Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida. Instead, he said, “It’s controlled by Mr. Trump”