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Tipsheet

GOP Establishment's Latest Goal: Saving Liz Cheney

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Is this the swan song for the Republican establishment? The anachronistic ways of running the party are now apparent. It’s Donald Trump’s show. The Republican Party’s extensive renovation occurred in the 2016 cycle, but some hoped for a fluke moment. Not the case, as neo-populism is here to stay, and Trump’s incredible win streak on the endorsement front proves that his grip on the base remains strong. Silencing Trump on social media hasn’t worked either. The former president has been banned on various social media platforms, but his popularity among Republican voters hasn’t degraded much. Why would someone fix bayonets and charge into the fray against this moment? Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) decided to lead an anti-Trump charge to keep the party within its stale, losing structures of the post-Reagan era. The consequence of this action is that she’s about to lose her primary to an actual conservative.

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There’s been much discussion from liberal media outlets about these phantom Republicans who just hope Donald Trump would go away. Cheney has planted her flag in the camp that wishes to remove all vestiges of Trumpism from the Republican Party, a herculean effort that’s so far been met with failure and disaster. Everyone who has taken the ‘let’s fight Trump’ position has been defeated in their respective primaries. No one wants this circus act; they want the GOP to fight the Left, reopen schools, grow the economy, and get some competence back in Washington. Liz Cheney would rather keep the Democrats’ circus act going, which is why everyone in Wyoming is itching to toss her in the coming days. Sensing this, the GOP establishment operative class is mounting one last gamble to save her, even though there isn’t enough runaway for Liz to escape. She’s going down, but not before some serious cash is about to flow into the state in a desperate attempt to keep her career in public life alive (via Axios):

The previously unreported effort shows how some Republicans are trying to surreptitiously undercut the former president's revenge campaign, which has so far claimed the political lives of a significant chunk of GOP critics.

Cheney — the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee — could be the next casualty. She's facing tough odds in her primary fight this month against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman.

Driving the news: Involved in the effort are Jeff Larson, the chairman of Republican research firm America Rising and a longtime Cheney backer, and Julia Griswold Dailer, a former Trump White House and inauguration committee aide.

Their strategy is two-pronged: Persuade Democrats to cross the aisle and back the Wyoming Republican in this month's open primary, and dent her Trump-endorsed challenger by portraying her as insufficiently loyal to the former president.

What's happening: Two seemingly unrelated political groups recently popped up to try to beat back Hageman's challenge.

Wyomingites Defending Freedom and Democracy is running digital and television ads and encouraging Democrats in the state to cross party lines and vote for Cheney in the Aug. 16 primary.

Conservatives for a Strong America is portraying Hageman as a fake conservative secretly in league with Cheney and critical of Trump.

The latter group is also trying to boost two of Cheney's other primary challengers in an apparent effort to split the anti-Cheney vote.

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So, this is Liz’s Battle of the Bulge moment. It’s the last gamble to save her skin, but everyone has to have seen the polling numbers by now. It’s electoral death for Liz. Her campaign did make a play for Wyoming Democrats to back her, which earned her the support of Kevin Costner which isn’t an endorsement any Republican should be fishing for in a tight race. I like Field of Dreams and Bull Durham but Liz—Hollywood liberals isn’t the focus here. This effort to get Wyoming Democrats in the Liz camp which could save got hit with a brick to the face when the state party chairman admitted that there aren’t enough Democratic voters in the state that could probably offer refuge at this point.

Does the establishment have no one else to support this primary season? The media is also to blame for the current state of decrepitude among the anti-Trump wing of the GOP. The more they’ve attacked primary candidates who were smeared as nutty or have buoyed the ones they claim to like, but hate, the more Republican voters are inclined to back the untraditional newcomers running for office. For Liz, it was a combination of smearing her supporters as insane, endorsing the Left’s unhinged crusade against Trump, and simply being more focused on attacking Trump than working with the new Trump wing of the party. There’s a ton of overlap between Trumpism and Reagan conservatives. Cheney’s loss will be one of the most avoidable, but these people share something with the Left. They’re both condescending in their way and more obsessed with being right than leading.

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