Profiles in Courage

“A bullet had found him
His blood ran as he cried
No money could save him
So he laid down and he died.”– Gregory Lake

Those that come looking for irony certainly can find it in abundance in the current news cycle. One of those comes in the conclusion of the Liz Cheney story. At least, it is the conclusion of her story in regards to her leadership position within the GOP. The greatest irony is that the only person within the party showing leadership has had her title removed. Isn’t it ironic don’t you think? A little too ironic, yeah I really do think.

Numerous stories surround this particular one and they serve only to highlight the courage Cheney is showing. We don’t get to pick our heroes in real life. Most of them are closer to Batman than Superman. They are flawed. They have psychological foibles and sometimes they aren’t likeable at all. Enter Liz Cheney.

Cheney isn’t likeable for anyone close to the middle or left of center. Her father is one of the least likeable politicians in modern history. In many ways, she is more conservative than her father. She voted with Trump more than 90 percent of the time and has more conservative bonafides than anyone in the House. So no, I don’t like her. However, we have to consider what she is up against and what she was willing to give up to simply state the truth.

Bob Corker and Jeff Flake spoke the truth. They whispered it to the cameras as they were walking out the door. Paul Ryan and John Boehner spoke the truth. They spoke the truth well after the door was shut. They wrote it down in books and obscure interviews well after they could actually do anything about what was going on.

All of the Cheney news has to be held up in concert with the news that numerous “prominent” Republicans want to start a new party. I have to put prominent in air quotes. Christine Todd Whitman and Tom Ridge headline this group. I will forgive you if you immediately crank up the Google machine to figure out who they are. The fact that John Kasich might be the most prominent former Republican to be openly critical of Trump is noteworthy.

They are in fact former governors. Ridge was also Secretary of Homeland Security back in the day. The fact that the term “former” is placed in front of their titles is not lost on anyone. There isn’t a single current Republican heavyweight willing to speak the truth other than Cheney. She shares the stage with Mitt Romney and Adam Kinzinger.

While they deserve credit for speaking out, neither are in positions of leadership or likely to be. Cheney was and she knowingly surrendered it to speak the truth. There are those that blather on about karma or comeuppance, but I go back to my original point. We can’t pick our heroes all the time. We can’t discount courage because it comes from someone we don’t like. We will only see more of it if we support it now.

It doesn’t mean we have to agree with Liz Cheney. It doesn’t mean we have to like Liz Cheney. It doesn’t mean we have to forgive Liz Cheney. It does mean that we need to support her efforts now by simply acknowledging the sacrifice. She sacrificed her position of leadership for the truth. She likely will surrender her seat in the House as well. None of those other “prominent” politicians were willing to do that. None of them put their careers on the line to speak the truth. Sure, they muttered it after the fact. What good is that?

Keeping the irony train going, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he did not want to stifle debate. Huh? He just engineered an ouster of someone that did nothing other than simply aim to hold the ex president accountable for something he did and things he continues to say. Talk about cancel culture. He effectively cancelled Cheney for holding an opposing viewpoint. That’s the very definition of stifling debate.

If you want to understand where the GOP is going then consider this whole situation. He isn’t ousting her for policy opinions. It isn’t that she isn’t conservative enough. It isn’t that she didn’t vote the way she should on matters of policy. She simply saw the truth about the election and January 6th and dared to say it. Ironically, many others said it and then backed off when they discovered their cover was blown. She didn’t care. She doesn’t care. She kept saying it. It appears she will continue to say it until other voices join her in the wilderness. We pray it won’t be too late.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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