Liz Cheney represents classic Republican conservatism. Her primary defeat attests to the demise of this wing of the party.
The fact that Liz Cheney will not be running in the upcoming congressional elections will be especially sweet revenge for Donald Trump. The daughter of the former vice president is the most prominent and staunchest of his opponents within the Republican Party.
The defeat of the Republicans of old, represented by Cheney, began long before the primary in Wyoming, however. In a terrifying combination of opportunism and fanaticism, large swaths of the party have handed themselves over to the base’s populist temperament and are now repeating Trump’s line about a stolen election.
Better Chances for the Democrats?
Only a small group of Republicans in the House of Representatives — 10 representatives, to be precise — even dared to vote to impeach Trump. Now, after Cheney’s loss, just two of them will run for office again in November.
There are Democrats who believe that their party has a better chance against Trumpists than against classic Republican conservatives. The results of the 2020 election support this theory, which was more about voting Trump out than about voting Joe Biden in.
But one should not underestimate the corrosive effect of Trump’s campaign. Even a democracy as old as the United States will suffer long-term damage if more and more politicians (and citizens) question the integrity of elections.