In a Sunday interview with CBS News’ Robert Costa, Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, expressed confidence that ordinary citizens will pay close attention to the committee’s revelations, despite the GOP’s efforts to shove them down the memory hole like so many Trump White House papers down a low-flow loo.
CBS News' Robert Costa asked the committee's vice chair, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, “Are you confident that what you have found as a committee will somehow grab the American people by the lapels and say, ‘Wake up: You have to pay attention’?”
“I am,” she replied, calling the insurrection “an ongoing threat.”
“You know, we are not in a situation where former President Trump has expressed any sense of remorse about what happened,” Cheney said. “We are in fact in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that caused the attack. And so, people must pay attention. People must watch, and they must understand how easily our democratic system can unravel if we don't defend it.”
Yes, I agree that people must pay attention. Unfortunately, it sometimes feels like folks are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after it’s already cracked in half and expectorated Billy Zane like a sodden wad of circus peanuts. In my estimation, people aren’t paying nearly as much attention as they should, what with all those spine-chilling, graduate-level critical race theory lesson plans coming to a preschool near you.
But the urgent question that remains is will they pay attention? And will Republicans in particular be able to see even a glimmer of light through their ochre-hued hate goggles?
Well, they might—but don’t expect any help from the high suzerains of the Trumputin Party:
CHENEY: “We have too many people now in the Republican Party who are not taking their responsibilities seriously, and who have pledged their allegiance and loyalty to Donald Trump. I mean, it is fundamentally antithetical, it is contrary to everything conservatives believe, to embrace a personality cult. And yet, that is what so many in my party are doing today.”
COSTA: “Is the Republican Party a personality cult?”
CHENEY: “I think that large segments of it have certainly become that.”
COSTA: “A cult?”
CHENEY: “Yeah. I mean, I think there is absolutely a cult of personality around Donald Trump. And I think that, you know, the majority of Republicans across the country don't want to see our system unravel. They understand how important it is to protect and defend the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, after digging for the truth about the Jan. 6 insurrection, Cheney is convinced it was far more than a spontaneous uprising spurred on by a dusting of reckless rhetoric.
CHENEY: “Let me say it this way: I have not learned anything that has made me less concerned.”
COSTA: “Well, what's made you more concerned?”
CHENEY “Well, I think the extent, the expanse, how broad this multi-pronged effort was.”
COSTA: “Was it a conspiracy?”
CHENEY: “I think certainly—I mean, look, if you look at the court filings …”
COSTA: “But do you believe it was a conspiracy?”
CHENEY: “I do. It is extremely broad. It's extremely well-organized. It's really chilling.”
Cheney also appears to harbor no illusions about her own party’s craven response to Trump’s shitty, slow-rolling coup.
COSTA: “Is this moment a moral test for the Republican Party?”
CHENEY: “Absolutely. No question. And right now, we’re failing. You know, in my state, the state party chairman is a member of the Oath Keepers. He was here on January 6. He was here with a walkie-talkie in his hand on January 6. That is a mortal threat. And it is a moral test. We can't fail that moral test. But there are too many right now in my party who are failing it.”
Godspeed, Rep. Cheney. And I sure as shit hope you’re right about these hearings inspiring people to stand up and take this seriously. Because this could be our last real chance to nip American fascism in the bud.
Watch Costa’s full interview with Rep. Cheney on CBS Sunday Morning below.
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