(Dec. 15) Former United States Rep. Liz Cheney’s new bookOath and Honor, is a tour de force. The Wyoming Republican presents a fact-heavy account of former President Donald Trump’s dishonest and dangerous attempt to steal the 2020 election.

In the book, subtitled “A Memoir and a Warning,” Cheney rightly condemns the excuses and lies about Trump and the election that still are peddled by the vast majority of her former House Republican colleagues. Some of those former colleagues, such as former Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California and current Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana, come across particularly badly in Cheney’s telling.

But none of them come close to the maleficence, amply documented, of Trump himself. As Cheney pithily put it, “Today Donald Trump poses a threat that many in Washington simply fail to grasp.” She also writes accurately that “the power to rally a mob must never be underestimated. Nor should the fear that a mob can install in people of reason.”

In prose that is clear, spare, and direct, Cheney shows that Trump didn’t merely inspire a flash mob on January 6 to invade the U.S. Capitol building. Instead, he spent months, even before the election, deliberately inciting a radical distrust in the electoral process that quite obviously included a sense that mob action might be needed to keep him in power. It was, she wrote, “a direct threat to the foundations of our republic.” For any who paid attention, it was easy to see the violence coming and to warn against it.

Indeed, Cheney shows that for weeks Trump was aware of threats and intimidation tactics, including at personal homes, against even Republican elected officials who wouldn’t help Trump throw out the election. Nonetheless, Trump kept stoking the flames and refusing to condemn the threats of violence.

Cheney is right about all of this. …. [The full column is at this link.]


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