The Fall of the House of Cheney

Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the most prominent elected anti-Trump Republican, lost her bid for reelection in Wyoming’s At-Large Congressional District.


Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the most prominent elected anti-Trump Republican, lost her bid for reelection in Wyoming’s At-Large Congressional District.

  • Rep. Cheney was defeated in the Republican primary by attorney Harriet Hageman by a resounding 66.3%-28.9% margin. A one-time Cheney supporter, the Cheney-area attorney previously lost a bid for Wyoming governor in 2018.
  • Ms. Hageman was supported by former President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). McCarthy backed efforts to oust Cheney from House Republican Leadership in May 2021 after then-Conference Chairwoman Cheney’s condemnations of Trump’s post-election conduct divided the Republican Conference.
  • The incumbent was widely expected to lose due to her consistent Trump criticism, allegations of home-state absentee-ism, and efforts by Trump and McCarthy to thwart her re-election bid. Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, appeared to embrace her defeat in the weeks leading up to the contest.
  • Even in defeat, Cheney floated a 2024 presidential bid and vowed to do whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.
  • In Alaska, moderate Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski finished first in the Last Frontier’s unique all-party top-four primary with 44 percent. Trump-backed challenger Kelly Tshibaka won 40 percent, while Democrat Patricia Chesbro and one minor candidate are likely to qualify for the remaining two general election spots.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times covered Cheney’s concession speech. She said, “Let us resolve that we will stand together…against those who would destroy our republic. They are angry and they are determined, but they have not seen anything like the power of Americans united in defense of our Constitution and committed to the cause of freedom. There is no greater power on this earth, and with God’s help, we will prevail.”
  • The Washington Post noted Cheney’s “singular focus on denouncing the former president” made her enemy number one in Trump circles and put her out of step with her constituents. After her concession speech, Cheney left the stage to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”
  • POLITICO chronicled how Trump and his allies “systematically snuffed out” Liz Cheney’s congressional career. Trump recruited Hageman, pushed out other anti-Cheney rivals and Trump’s PAC funded anti-Cheney ads to take out his fiercest G.O.P. critic.



  • National Review pointed out Cheney was in danger before she joined the January 6 Committee. Months before joining the committee, she was censured by her state party and booted from House leadership.
  • The Washington Examiner reported Cheney plans to be “a thorn in the side of Trump and his congressional allies” for the remainder of her term. Cheney’s allies expect her landslide loss will only elevate her profile among anti-Trump segments of the public rather than diminish her.
  • FOX News wrote the victor of the special election for U.S. Congress to finish the term of the late Rep. Don Young won’t be known until August 31 when the state tabulates voters’ ranked-choice selections. None of the three candidates – Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska governor, Republican Nick Begich, or Democrat Mary Peltola – won a majority in Tuesday’s special election.

Author’s Take

The formula for a Cheney primary victory was clear: focus her fire on the Democrats, downplay her criticism of Donald Trump, work to make nice with the Trump wing of the party, and run a hyper-local campaign focused on Wyoming issues. Had Cheney chosen this route, she would be just another elected Republican who criticized Trump in private but praised him in public – a consistent dynamic across a wide swath of elected Republicans since 2015.

Many other Republicans who were quick to condemn Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol riot and hold him responsible for the actions of his supporters in the hours and days after the attack on the Capitol quickly abandoned those positions to secure their reelections. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy exemplified this about-face when he condemned Trump for his role in the Capitol riot in the hours after the attack yet was the first major national figure to visit Trump at Mar-a-Lago just three weeks later. Liz Cheney chose a different path.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022

6 comments On The Fall of the House of Cheney

  • Congress will be the lesser??? She’s a token GOP on an expensive witch hunt that will do nothing She’ll choose between CNN and MSNBC, hopefully, she will fade away quickly.


    I question Ms. Cheney’s motivation. I feel that she has used the Jan. 6 hearings to continue a vendetta against Trump because of his consistent “put down’s” of the congresswoman. Personally, I could never vote for someone who puts personal revenge over what is ultimately good for the country. I feel that Trump has every right to challenge the election results, even though I believe he went too viral after the election was approved, and that he was not, in any way, responsible for the riots that took place on Jan. 6 and that the Democratic party is prolonging the proceedings because they fear Trump may win in ’24. I think Ms. Cheney’s best recourse is to switch to the Democratic party before considering running for any office.

  • …”with God’s help, we will prevail.” Was she plagiarising “The King’s Speech”?

  • I don’t believe that Liz Cheney served her House Republican role with honor. Her single focus on hating Donald Trump is motivated by preserving the Cheney dynasty in American politics. Like her father Dick Cheney, their incentive is to maintain wealth, power and control over the citizens of this country. Besides they have a lot to loose when the truth of corruption is exposed.

  • This was all guts and glory reporting on Liz Cheney… I thought you were fair and balanced. Where was the praise for Harriett Hageman who beat out the Cheney dynasty by working at it…not just because of Trump. Why do you think Cheney would have won had she chosen ‘dishonor’ as you so politically called it???

  • Chaney dishonored herself by selling out the republican party.

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