The risk of the Cheney-Biden fist bump that infuriated MAGA world

The risk of the Cheney-Biden fist bump that infuriated MAGA world

Before President Joe Biden gave a speech before members of Congress on Wednesday night, he enjoyed a friendly fist bump with Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. The arch-conservative GOP congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney was not endorsing Biden from a policy standpoint, but rather, was acknowledging him as the loyal opposition. And according to Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, that speaks volumes about the depressing state of the Trumpified Republican Party in 2021.

"It was a poignant moment captured on the floor of the House Wednesday night," Rubin explains in her Post column. "Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), rock-ribbed conservative and policy critic of President Biden, walked to the center aisle as he entered the chamber. She clapped respectfully. They exchanged a fist bump."

In MAGA World, however, the fact that Cheney was even civil to Biden is problematic. The conservative outlet The Washington Times published a piece calling the gesture "a show of globalist brotherhood."

Rubin continues, "Cheney and Biden agree on very few policy matters, although they are both pro-NATO, pro-human rights, anti-Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yet I am quite certain Biden has more respect for her as a fellow American and elected official than do many of her House Republican colleagues, who tried to boot her out of leadership. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has not even said he would support her bid for reelection."

Although Rubin used to be proud to call herself a conservative, she dropped the word "conservative" from her Twitter profile in 2020 because she believed that Trump and his allies had sullied the term. And she cites the hatred of Cheney by Trump supporters as a prime example of how twisted the modern Republican Party has become.

After a violent mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 in the hope of stopping Congress from certifying Biden's Electoral College victory over then-President Donald Trump, Cheney voted in favor of Trump's impeachment — and she was slammed as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) by Trump's devotees. In Wyoming, where Cheney is up for reelection in 2022, she has a very pro-Trump GOP primary challenger in far-right State Sen. Anthony Bouchard. Republican wingnuts who are hoping to see Cheney voted out of office via that primary include Rep. Matt Gaetz and Donald Trump, Jr.

Another conservative House Republican who voted to impeach Trump, Sr. is Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Following the 2020 presidential election, Kinzinger was quick to acknowledge Biden as president-elect and stress that claims of widespread voter fraud were totally bogus.

"Kinzinger, like Cheney, currently resides in a party that embraces the fantasy that January 6 was not so bad — or if it was, Antifa is to blame," Rubin laments. "Despite his efforts to debunk right-wing myths — e.g., the false claim that Vice President Harris' book was distributed at migrant facilities — he is a member of a party that places virtually no value on objective reality. He can fight against each new outrage, but that's akin to bailing water out of the ocean with a teaspoon."

The columnist continues, "It is far from clear whether Cheney or Kinzinger will survive primary challenges in 2022. If MAGA voters dominate the primary, they could lose their seats for the grave offense of defending truth and democracy."


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