There have been a lot of mainstream media attempts to grapple with and find a way to spin Liz Cheney's absolute trouncing in Wyoming's U.S. House primary this week as some kind of a win. TIME Magazine, however, found a different route: claim a democratically conducted election is merely a "Soviet skill." This, of course, makes no sense.
Here's TIME's headline: "The GOP Just Borrowed a Soviet Skill and Disappeared Liz Cheney"
Never mind, apparently, that Liz Cheney followed up her sub 30-percent finish in Wyoming with an exclusive interview on NBC's TODAY Show the next morning and is, perhaps unfortunately, not disappearing anytime soon. She also will continue to serve in Congress until January 2023 and retain her seat on Pelosi's J6 committee until then. Heck, Cheney even declared that her "real work" could now begin after she apparently felt relief to no longer have to pretend to represent the people of Wyoming.
TIME ignored the fact that Cheney has not been "disappeared" and will continue to show up on liberal TV networks and in J6 committee hearings and instead made their dubious case for why the collective voice of Wyomingites being heard is a communist trick. "It's not just the Soviets who are masters of disappearing someone. Just look at Wyoming," the piece argued. "It was a disappearing that would have made the Cold War Soviets proud," apparently because voters and conservatives held Cheney to account for her actions through the Democratic process.
Of course, TIME also ignored the ongoing and decidedly more undemocratic attempts to make Trump ineligible to run for president again — looking at you, Liz Cheney — rather than letting voters decide whether they want him to lead the country. The use of a Pelosi-created partisan select committee to derail a potential future Trump bid for the White House is far closer to a "Soviet skill" than the people of Wyoming voting in a regular primary election, but that sailed over TIME's narrow, partisan worldview.
Still, as TIME exhibited, the media won't admit that Cheney's loss was about anything other than going after Trump. While that's a factor that made Wyomingites show her the door on Tuesday, it's just one piece of her failure to represent her constituents and their values — which was her one job as the *representative* to the House for Wyoming. Cheney went against her constituents and, as is their right, they took that power away from her.
Continuing, TIME insisted "it's worth treating the current roster of Republicans like a politburo postcard" while lamenting voters' rejection of other anti-Trump Republicans who remade their politics into Cheney's image at the expense of their constituents' values and wishes. TIME also omitted the fact that a handful of the 10 Republicans who joined Democrats to vote for Trump's impeachment "disappeared" themselves by cowering away from reelection bids.
Liz Cheney finally became the martyr, at least in the eyes of the mainstream media, she apparently always wanted to be. But making the case for that requires TIME and others like CNN to claim that a democratic election imperils American democracy or is a Soviet trick. For them, indulging such spin is as unbelievable as it is predictable.