Liz Cheney, seeking to parlay her devastating defeat in the Wyoming House primary into something, is considering running for president, either in the Republican primary or as an independent.
(In predicting her decision, it’s important to realize that running in the Republican primary is a lot cheaper than running as an independent. To participate in the primary she would only have to pay filing fees in each state as opposed to the vastly more costly route of qualifying as an independent in each of the 50 states.)
But the key question is, if Cheney runs as an independent, who will she hurt more — Donald Trump or the Democrats?
The conventional wisdom is clear: If two Republicans are running — Trump and Cheney — it benefits the Democrats.
But perhaps the conventional wisdom is flawed in this case. Is the polarization of opinions about Trump such that the real division among voters is not Democrat versus Republican but pro-Trump versus anti-Trump? In that case, having two anti-Trump candidates — the Democrat and Cheney — would actually help split the “Never Trump” vote and help elect Trump president.
But Cheney has an ulterior motive for running as an independent.
If she were to run as an independent, it would fit right in with the Democratic game plan to take Trump down.
As I stress in my book “The Return,” the Democrats know they can’t use the political process of elections to keep Trump out of the White House — not this year with Joe Biden’s record staring in their faces. So they are bent on using the judicial system and the criminal justice system to take Trump out, citing his ties to the Jan. 6 mob and claiming that he was leading an insurrection against the American government. They hope this will trigger the 14th Amendment prohibition against such candidates holding public office.
But they need a spokesman. They need someone in the public eye to make the case for disqualifying Trump on the grounds of sedition.
The Jan. 6 committee can’t go on forever. If Cheney runs as an independent, she gets a platform and a spotlight to continue to excoriate Trump and peddle the nutty fiction that he was trying to overthrow the government.
Part of the Democratic strategy is to use a Washington grand jury, packed with Democrats, to indict Trump. Such an indictment would likely be tossed on appeal, but the Democrats hope that it would knock Trump out of the race.
Wrong again! The public will shrug its shoulders and blame any indictment on partisan overreach, just like they did with two impeachments that did not dent Trump’s popularity.
He’d still win and become the 47th president of the United States.
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