A lot of people are up in arms over the announcement that Liz Cheney, daughter of war criminal Dick Cheney, will run against fellow Republican Mike Enzi for his Senate seat in Wyoming. Republicans are upset because it’s uncouth for a Republican to challenge an incumbent Republican in a primary. Democrats are revolted because, well, she’s a Cheney.
At Salon, Alex Pareene calls Liz Cheney an “aspiring warlord,” which is a wonderfully evocative description for a real neocon of neocons, and political celebrity because of her father who was the driving force behind the expanded executive powers and reckless foreign policy of the Bush years.
Conservatives are puzzled about Cheney’s decision to run because Enzi has reportedly been a reliable, toe-the-party line Republican. The decision to run is doubly strange because Cheney is a longtime resident of Virginia, and seems to have moved to Wyoming recently just for the sake of the impending campaign. Enzi said her decision was unexpected, adding, “I thought we were friends.”
But is there more to Cheney’s decision to run than meets the eye?
Liz Cheney, a current Fox News contributor and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, has long associated with the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party. Along with her cohorts — such as William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz — she’s spent the last five years attacking and vilifying the Obama administration for refusing to march to the beat of their war drums. As CAP expert Matt Duss noted in 2010, their goal has been to “resuscitate the neocons’ post-September 11 vision of a world in which the United States, unbound by rules or reality, imposes its will on friend and enemy alike.”
Brown adds that “Cheney’s potential place within the Senate would mark an unsettling resurgence of the foreign policy ideas her father and former President George W. Bush advocated for and implemented while in office.”
Ah, a “resurgence” of compulsively pro-war neconservatism is needed post-Bush, goes the thinking, especially with certain pockets of the Republican Party inching towards skepticism of aggressive U.S. militarism in every corner of the planet.
Rand Paul isn’t a non-interventionist by any means, but he has deliberately disassociated himself with pro-threat inflation, pro-drone war, pro-Syria intervention, pro-foreign aid Republican dogma – and a good number of Republicans have followed him. This is unsettling to the neocons. And apparently Paul sees it this way too.
“When I heard Liz Cheney was running for Senate I wondered if she was running in her home state of Virginia,” Paul said, seemingly as a zinger against Cheney’s targeting of the bystander Enzi. Paul also said, “I’ll do anything I can to help [Enzi]. In fact, somebody asked me today if they could use my name, and I said I’d be happy to sign on and do a fundraiser for him.”
As Chris Hayes says in the segment below, this “makes me think that he understands precisely what this is about.” Watch the video with Reason’s Matt Welch as a guest:
Alas, Dick Cheney and his ilk have not relieved us of their depravity yet.