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Liz Cheney Hopes for Democratic Win With US ‘Sleepwalking Into Dictatorship’

Liz Cheney, whose opposition to Donald Trump’s presidency alienated her from her fellow Republicans, has said she would prefer Democrats to win in the 2024 elections over members of her own party because she feared the US was “sleepwalking into dictatorship”.

In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Cheney suggested a Republican congressional majority that would be subservient to another Trump White House presented a tangible “threat” to American democracy.

“I believe very strongly in those principles and ideals that have defined the Republican party, but the Republican party of today has made a choice, and they haven’t chosen the constitution,” the former Wyoming congresswoman said when asked if she was rooting for Democratic victories in the 2024 election cycle. “And so I do think it presents a threat if the Republicans are in the majority in January 2025.”

She went on to say that the US was “sort of sleepwalking into dictatorship” with Trump emerging as the clear favorite for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, notwithstanding the fact that he faces more than 90 criminal charges, including some for attempting to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election against his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Polls also suggest it would be a competitive race if Biden is rematched with Trump, who has been running on promises to use federal authorities to crush his enemies and to dramatically expand the immigration crackdown that his White House oversaw after his 2016 victory.

“The tools that he is using are tools that we’ve seen used by authoritarians, fascists, tyrants around the world,” said Cheney, the daughter of the ex-congressman, defense secretary and vice-president Dick Cheney. “The things that he has said and done, in some ways, are so outrageous that we have become numb to them.

“What I believe is the cause of our time is that we not become numb, that we understand the warning signs, that we understand the danger, and that we ignore partisan politics to stop him.”

Cheney served as the vice-chairwoman of the US House committee which investigated the deadly Capitol attack staged by Trump supporters on 6 January 2021 in a desperate but failed attempt to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory in the election weeks earlier.

Cheney and her colleagues recommended that the justice department file criminal charges against Trump in connection with the Capitol attack, portending the four indictments obtained against the former president this year.

In her remarks on Sunday, Cheney asserted that the Republican US House speaker, Mike Johnson, was “absolutely” a collaborator in Trump’s attempt to remain in office after his 2020 defeat.

Johnson voiced conspiracy theories about Biden’s victory; authored a supreme court brief as Texas sought to have key state results invalidated; and was among more than 147 Republicans who unsuccessfully objected to certifying the outcome of the 2020 election even after the Trump mob’s attack on the Capitol had been foiled.

“What Mike was doing was taking steps that he knew to be wrong, doing things that he knew to have no basis in fact or law or the constitution … in order to attempt to do Donald Trump’s bidding,” Cheney said, echoing comments she has made in interviews and in her new book Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning.

Cheney said Johnson “can’t be” US House speaker when the new Congress takes its oath of office in early January 2025 and begins grappling with certifying the outcome of a presidential election the previous fall.

“We’re facing a situation with respect to the 2024 election where it’s an existential crisis,” Cheney said. “We have to ensure that we don’t have a situation where an election that might be thrown into the House of Representatives is overseen by a Republican majority.”

Cheney left office in January. She lost her bid to be re-elected to Wyoming’s sole House seat – which she had held since 2017 – after a Trump-supported challenger, Harriet Hageman, ran against her in a Republican primary.

Hageman subsequently won a general election and succeeded Cheney in the House. Cheney’s thoughts do not seem to be her party’s mainstream position, if comments from the prominent US Republican senator Lindsey Graham are any indication.

During an appearance on CNN, Graham – who has endorsed Trump – told Cheney that the former president “was far better” than Biden “in terms of actions and results”. “I think Liz’s hatred of Trump is real,” Graham said.

Source: The Guardian