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What is Liz Cheney’s Wyoming?

By Monica Chen

If someone only knew about Wyoming from paying attention to Liz Cheney, they might think it was a cozy, domestic kind of place.

A state that likes to hold a lot of meetings in rooms with pin-cushioned couches. A state that holds a lot of conferences in comfy banquet halls. And a place where people really like Zoom meetings.

They also might think people in Wyoming are frothing at the mouth angry about what happened on Jan. 6 and desperately want their Congressional representative, the Republican Cheney, to take action.

But Cheney was ousted from the Wyoming Republican party in November for her role on the committee and also because she was a no-show at county party meetings.

In response, as CBS News reported, Cheney’s office turned up its nose: “She is bound by her oath to the Constitution,” a spokesman said. “Sadly, a portion of the Wyoming GOP leadership has abandoned that fundamental principle, and instead allowed themselves to be held hostage to the lies of a dangerous and irrational man.”

Come election time, Cheney will probably find out that it’s not a good idea to paint members of your own party, in your own state, as crazy.

And that would be particularly the case when Cheney doesn’t seem to do anything in Wyoming but Zoom into meetings.

And even when she is there, she is still tied to Washington, D.C., she makes Wyoming look like a suburb.

What is this state that loves Chamber of Commerce-like photo ops with the warm light of the sun reflecting off the Potomac River? Is it somewhere in Maryland?

It’s as if she hurried out of her office in D.C. into a car and half an hour later, she’s at a taxpayers association meeting at a hotel with paid actors. In fact, that would be more believable than Cheney actually being in Wyoming.

The casualness of these posts signals that something is very awry. Just meeting with some constituents, then back to the regularly scheduled programming of tweets about energy, energy, gas, oil, Jan. 6 (pencil that in for a special day), inflation, energy. Being an elected official should not be this easy.

Especially not in Wyoming. Because this is Wyoming.

Cheyenne, Wyo., in 2012. Source: Creative Commons
July 4 parade in Lander, Wyo., in 1984. Source: Creative Commons 
Jackson, Wyo., in 2005. Source: Creative Commons

What is Wyoming in these photos? Wyoming is strong, and grand, and rich in history.

It’s not domesticated. It’s nothing like Maryland.

The cognitive dissonance, and that’s the best way to put it, that comes with observing Cheney’s behavior with Wyoming is too strong.

More than anyone else, Cheney does not at all represent the place she has been elected to represent. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez conveys a sense of the Bronx and why the constituents there voted for them.

So why is Cheney a big blank when it comes to Wyoming? It’s because Cheney is a Wyomingite only on paper, and just barely. She was born there, but she moved away for most of her life. She graduated from high school in Virginia. College and law school were in Colorado and Chicago. Her career was spent all in D.C. Then in 2013, she moved back to establish residence and run for office.

Her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, also has tenuous ties there. He is from Nebraska, and went to high school and college in Wyoming, the latter only after first dropping out of Yale University. After getting his Master’s in political science at the University of Wyoming, he left again, that time to Wisconsin. Then it was on to D.C.

Have any of the media ever asked Liz Cheney: Why are you running for office here when you barely know this state?

Unlike Cheney, the governor of Wyoming does actually know the state:

Not only does Cheney not respect what makes Wyoming the place it is, but she doesn’t even seem interested in being a legislator to serve the people who live there. A new bill on Nov. 30, the desperately cobbled together “PILLR Act,” is the most recent horrible example:

“To direct the Secretary of the Interior to compensate states for lost revenue for any year during which federal oil and gas leasing of Federal land within a state does not occur or otherwise results in lost revenue to that state as a result of an order, moratorium, pause, or other action by the President, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, or other designated official.”

This is the title for that bill. Other more normal bills are headlined in more sane terms.

Alright, Liz Cheney. We get it. You are a “pillar,” standing against the horrible Jan. 6 insurgency.

How about Build Back Better?

Cheney has tweeted about Build Back Better just once, to bemoan the IRS expansion.

She expresses no other thoughts about it. She never talks about it directly. It’s always “the Biden administration’s runaway spending.”

She also has said nothing about President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandatess, despite it being so unpopular in Wyoming that they have joined nine other states in suing the Biden administration.

How is anyone allowed to do so little and coast along and be this comfortable, let alone the Congressperson from a place like Wyoming?

This is Wyoming.

How could this be ignored?

Liz Cheney doesn’t seem to have any affection for Wyoming at all. She doesn’t even seem to know it on paper.

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