Liz Cheney’s Checkered History

Deep in her new book, “Oath and Honor,” Liz Cheney points out that the likeness of Clio, the Greek muse of history, is found in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. “Clio is depicted riding in the chariot of time, making notes in the book in her hand,” Cheney writes, “as a reminder that what we do in the Capitol Building is written in the pages of history.”

Cheney’s book is likewise an attempt to write the history of our time, a history in which Cheney has become a protagonist. Her telling of this history, though vital, is unnecessarily partial. If this book is intended as both “a memoir and a warning,” as its subtitle declares, Cheney delivers on only half of that promise.

The warning Cheney issues is clear and persuasive: A second presidential term for Donald Trump would pose great risks to the nation’s democratic practices and identity. A retribution-minded, Constitution-terminating leader buttressed by unscrupulous advisers and ethically impaired lawyers could, she argues, “dismantle our republic.” As both a witness and a target of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and as a leader of the House committee that investigated the attack, Cheney recognizes the power of the mob that Trump commands. She also understands the cowardice of his enablers in the Republican Party, the same kind of loyalists who would populate — or at least seek to justify — a second Trump administration.

“The assumption that our institutions will protect themselves is purely wishful thinking by people who prefer to look the other way,” Cheney writes. And that was before Trump suggested that he would act dictatorially in his new term, if only on day one.

We are having trouble retrieving the article content.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Want all of The Times? Subscribe.

Related Articles

Back to top button