Former congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) sat down for an interview with Rachel Maddow on Monday. Superficially, it was the first stop on Cheney’s tour to promote her new book, Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning (Wonkette gets-a-cut-link), which came out a few hours after the interview. But damn, even after a lot of pre-release teases of the book, it was still pretty incredible to see Cheney — still very much the rightwing militarist conservative hawk she’s always been — telling Maddow all about listening in on a phone call between Trump lawyers and campaign surrogates two days before January 6, 2021, and her “nauseating” realization that they really were out to ignore the results of a legitimate election:
“I had heard, obviously, there had been talk about having these electors meet, but it wasn’t clear to me what the contours of this particular part of the plan were until I got onto that phone call.
“Listening to them describe how these fake electors would be used, and the fact that they anticipated that Vice President Pence was going to use them to count legitimate electors, was certainly a moment of intense concern.”
Cheney said she immediately ran to the House Parliamentarian’s office to see what might be done to stop that, but nope, no luck:
“If you’re in a joint session of Congress, you’re not in a position where there are a lot of legislative steps that you can take except to basically move to adjourn, so it was a very dangerous and chilling moment.”
Well damn, that’s not good. Lucky for America that Dan Goddamned Quayle and others made clear to Pence that he didn’t have the authority to do that.
Here’s a highlights reel of the big moments from the interview that MSNBC posted to YouTube; we have to say we appreciated the very Rachel Maddow-y preface in which she explains just how thoroughly she disagrees with Cheney, and always will, on every last bit of political policy under the sun. And not just politics: “Honestly, I once even got mad at Liz Cheney about fishing. And it’s the one thing you’d think we’d have in common, right?”
Oh, yeah! We’d almost forgotten the fishing thing! (At least we assume that’s what Maddow had in mind.)
But on Donald Trump, they agree: If that guy takes office again, he isn’t going to leave as long as he draws breath.
Cheney didn’t have anything good to say about Mike Johnson, the accidental Speaker of the House, either. She said it would be “terrifying” if Republicans still control the House after the 2024 elections, because even if Trump loses the electoral vote, Johnson shouldn’t be trusted with certifying the vote. Even though they used to have offices next to each other and she originally believed Johnson to be “a man of principle,” her friendship with Johnson didn’t last.
“What I learned was he was willing to do things he knew to be wrong in order to placate Donald Trump. And again, a situation where you have a Speaker of the House, who […] so clearly set aside what he knew to be the facts, what he knew to be the law, what he knew to be our obligations under the Constitution in order to try to help Donald Trump in his efforts in 2020.
“We cannot count on a majority of Republicans, on someone like that, to do the right thing — to uphold the Constitution, if, for example, we have an election that was thrown into the House, if nobody got 270 electoral votes. So it’s really serious.”
Cheney reiterated that for fuckssake — she totally said that, believe me! — we can’t let Donald Trump take power again, because whatever she might dislike about Joe Biden, Americans must “make clear that Donald Trump is not an acceptable alternative.”
“He is not the lesser of two evils. He is a completely unfit man for office. He’s already shown us what he would do, and he can never be near the Oval Office again.”
So yeah, good interview! Good reminders. And good god, let’s hope voters pay attention.
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