Noble: Madam President |

Noble: Madam President

The first female president of the United States would have been Hillary Clinton if Americans directly elected the president by popular vote. But we do not.

The first female president will likely not be Kamala Harris. American history is littered with vice presidents who progressed no further than second in command. In our nation’s 245-year history, nine vice presidents have won the presidency, and five became president upon the death of the president. More recently, Walter Mondale, Dan Quayle and Al Gore all fell short trying to succeed their boss. Former Vice Presidents Joe Biden and George Bush bucked this trend.

The first female president of the United States will be the daughter of a vice president: Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney. I am not happy about this either, but hear me out.

Cheney was one of the few Republicans in the House to vote to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection and refuses to support or lend credibility to the Big Lie. Despite House Republican leadership stripping her of her leadership role and the Wyoming GOP no longer acknowledging that she is even a Republican, Cheney remains steadfast in her opposition to Trump, refusing to join the ranks of her craven Republican colleagues. The problem with Cheney is there are not more Liz Cheneys.

Outspoken anti-Trump Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker both retired rather than face a primary challenge from a pro-Trump stooge. Perhaps Cheney is hoping that like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, when she is primaried in 2022, she will be able to prevail as a write-in candidate in the general election.

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More importantly, Cheney has made it abundantly clear that her principled position is about much more than winning elections. In a May op-ed in the Washington Post, Cheney explained what was at stake: “Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this.”

Although no longer a member of the Republican leadership, Cheney is a member of the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6. Attack on the United States Capitol. Along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Cheney is one of two Republican members to serve on that committee. In that role, Cheney is not merely window dressing to lend bipartisan credibility to the committee. She is one of the most visible and outspoken members of the committee.

While some have accused Cheney of disloyalty to the Republican Party, Cheney insists her crusade is undertaken to safeguard the Constitution and refocus the Republican Party on its core principles — limited government, low taxes, rule of law, strong national defense and other conservative beliefs — and away from the Trump cult of personality.

Few Republicans have come to Cheney’s defense. Notably, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck did. Addressing her removal from Republican House leadership, Buck claimed, “Liz Cheney was canceled today for speaking her mind.” He is an outlier. Most Republicans seem happy to cast Cheney out as a pariah. An attitude reflected by North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn who tweeted, “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye Liz Cheney.” He’s how old?

I want Cheney to succeed. I want her to save the Republican Party from its descent into conspiracy-theory-addled authoritarianism. America needs two functioning, normal parties committed to democracy.

I do not champion Cheney because we align on policy. Nor do I champion her because she opposes Trump, although I am glad she does. I champion her for her unwavering courage and commendable integrity.

While many of her Republican colleagues have their eyes on the next election cycle, Cheney is firmly focused on history. Far from trying to destroy the Republican Party, Cheney is trying to save it from the MAGA Trump cult. She is fighting for the soul of the Republican Party. Cheney is wagering that eventually, enough Republicans will come to their senses and shed Trump’s toxicity from their party. If she is successful, she might just find herself occupying the White House.

Mark 8:36, asks, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” In 2022 Cheney may be headed for early retirement. Or if her gambit pays off, eventual leadership of the free world. Either way, she does so without sacrificing her soul. Godspeed, Liz Cheney.


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