It is impossible to feel sympathy for Cheney, whose odious version of conservatism was never far afield of the lie-fueled, panic-promoting opportunism that has now reduced the movement to conspiracy theory and demands to tamp down on democracy itself, but the Republican move is a dire one for the country. Supporting fraudulent claims that the last United States election was “stolen” and therefore invalid due to invisible “fraud” that not even Trump’s gaudiest of allies has been able to identify is now an absolute requirement for maintaining a Republican leadership position. Even after violent attempted insurrection and the attempted assassination of Trump’s declared enemies, the hoax is now not just an unofficial Republican Party policy but a mandated position.
It is all based on a lie, and a lie Trump publicly insisted he would rely on if he lost even before Election Day. Even before the Capitol insurrection, the party had embraced propaganda as major governing tool, but is now claiming that U.S. democracy itself is no longer fully valid because reasons. It has stood by all these claims even after they resulted in violence at the Capitol itself perpetrated by hoax-believing militants. It has coupled these same hoaxes to white nationalist claims, to furious condemnation of anti-racist efforts throughout the nation, to new laws curtailing voting rights and to new powers its members have granted themselves to take command of state elections that might go against the party.
It is a fascist movement, and a fascist party. All who remain in it are helping it to attain those crooked and dangerous goals. This includes Cheney, and Mitt Romney, and every Republican voter, and every supposedly conservative pundit and wag who frets about the party’s overt embrace of fraud as party policy but refuses themselves to abandon it. If the Republican Party now insists on support for fraudulent, anti-American attacks on democracy as litmus test, there is no possible redemption. It is a fascist party, and all those remaining in its ranks have betrayed their country either through their support or through their silence.