Absolutely the most glaring example of the Republican Party’s trump-ing
He didn’t mention the fact that Hageman was part of an effort to withhold the presidential nomination from him at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
“Ms. Hageman called Mr. Trump ‘the weakest candidate’ and attributed his rise to the Democrats, who she claimed voted in the Republican primary.
“She condemned Mr. Trump as a bigoted candidate who would turn off voters that Republicans needed to win a national election and warned that the GOP would be saddled with ‘someone who is racist and xenophobic.’ “
What happened to this Harriet Hageman? Well, Trump won – not just the Republican nomination, but the White House as well. And Hageman quickly changed her mood.
“I heard and believed the lies the Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends told in the media at the time, but that’s old story as I quickly realized their allegations against President Trump were untrue,” Hageman told the Times of hers previous criticism of Trump. “He was the greatest president of my life and I am proud to be able to nominate him again in 2020. And I am proud to support him strongly today. “
Talk about the Zeal of the Converts! The truth is that Hageman had no revelation about Trump. Instead, like so many other Republicans who expressed serious doubts about the prospect of the billionaire businessman at the helm of their party, she simply gave in to political expediency.
The GOP base loved Trump. And after his election it became clear that there was simply no political reason to oppose him on grounds of principle. (Just ask former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake how this approach worked for his political career.)
And so Hageman, not a dummy and ambitious for office (she was third in the 2018 Republican primary as governor), threw her lot – everything – with Trump.
Don’t you think Hageman’s flip-flop about Trump was politically motivated? Think what she thought of Cheney, the woman she’s about to hit next year, back in 2016.
As reported by CNN’s KFile earlier this week, Hageman Cheney showered with praise in 2016.
“I know Liz Cheney is a proven, courageous, constitutional conservative with the education, background and experience to effectively fight for Wyoming nationally,” Hageman said at the time. “There has been and will continue to be a concerted effort to force real conservatives to sit down and shut up. Those efforts have never worked for me and I know they are not working and will have no effect on Liz Cheney. I am proud to “introduce Liz Cheney as the next Congresswoman from great Wyoming.”
What has changed in the intervening five years, you ask, what would so radically change Hageman’s view of Cheney?
Certainly not the conservative bona fides of the congressmen. Cheney currently has a 96% rating from Heritage Action, the conservative political advocacy organization. (Her lifetime score is 80%.) According to VoteView, Cheney’s voting record is more conservative than 74% of the House of Representatives in the 117th Congress. What has changed is that Trump attacked Cheney for blaming him for the 6th uprising was one of 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to charge him with his conduct that day.
This split between Cheney and Trump created an opportunity. And Hageman, clearly an opportunist, stepped in. Even if it required her to give up her previous views on both Trump and Cheney in the most transparent way possible.
That’s what caused Trumpism in the Republican Party. Since the former president requires absolute and unconditional loyalty, people like Hageman are ready to do anything to win his support. Even if it involves coming back to everything you once said you believed.