Laramie, Wyoming
Liz Cheney’s concession speech, delivered from the Mead Ranch near Jackson before a small group of subdued supporters last night, was a thundering anti-climax that shook what remained of the glaciers free from the granitic steeps of the Grand Tetons.

The quiet, almost matter-of-fact tone of the address differed strikingly from the modestly grandiloquent substance, which was “Now, the real work begins;” an implicit acknowledgement that, for its defeated representative-at-large, Wyoming and its interests have been of small importance in her ascent to greater things. Chief of these is Cheney’s campaign to make certain that former president...

Laramie, Wyoming

Liz Cheney’s concession speech, delivered from the Mead Ranch near Jackson before a small group of subdued supporters last night, was a thundering anti-climax that shook what remained of the glaciers free from the granitic steeps of the Grand Tetons.

The quiet, almost matter-of-fact tone of the address differed strikingly from the modestly grandiloquent substance, which was “Now, the real work begins;” an implicit acknowledgement that, for its defeated representative-at-large, Wyoming and its interests have been of small importance in her ascent to greater things. Chief of these is Cheney’s campaign to make certain that former president Donald Trump “never comes near the Oval Office again” by joining with Democrats, Republicans and independents to save the American Republi  from the MAGA Republicans, “those who would destroy our Republic.” To emphasize the historical magnitude of her undertaking, she invoked the names of Lincoln and Grant and their determination to save the Union:

Our nation is barreling, once again, towards crisis, lawlessness and violence. 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.

Apparently it is 1861 in America all over again, but — providentially — a modern-day Lincoln is standing by in the wings to save the country from itself. Cheney noted that two years ago she won reelection by 73 percent, a feat she claimed could have repeated today had she been willing to sacrifice moral principle to political ambition. If indeed she chooses to run for president in 2024, as she hinted again she might do, she will have the chance to put the truth of that assertion to the test.

An hour or so afterward, Laura Ingraham’s producers displayed an image of a tombstone on the television screen to the accompaniment of Chopin’s “Funeral March”; Ingraham herself announced that the time has arrived to bury the Bush-Cheney political dynasty. CNN, by contrast, praised Liz Cheney for “standing up against evil” while, like the failed candidate herself, treating her defeat as almost incidental to the great and glorious future that lies ahead of her. Similarly, and even more remarkably, the New York Times ran an op-ed piece waxing eloquent about the virtues of the Old Wyoming Republican Establishment that included her father, Senator Alan Simpson and other has-beens, while deploring the nouveau-Republican populist Establishment that has taken its place. For the Times, I suppose, this indicates a measure of political progress.

Nevertheless, Liz Cheney and her fellow NeverTrumpers and establishmentarians in the GOP would be wise not to expect too much from their newfound admirers on the left in the coming months and years. Now that she is soon to be out of political office and off the January 6 Committee, she will be of little, if any, use to them but rather the opposite, as before; thus reverting in their eyes to her former identity as the daughter of George W. Bush’s war-mongering VP — and as the former reactionary representative who, while she was in Congress, voted for President Trump’s agenda 92 percent of the time.