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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Putting ideology above political pragmatism, Liz Cheney is rehashing her neoconservative campaign narrative despite dismal poll numbers.

In a recent interview with Time, Cheney reiterated her foreign policy stance:

TIME: The Republican Party is turning away from the brand of foreign policy that you and your father have long espoused. Is that a danger for the Republican Party?

Cheney: I think that yes, it is dangerous. I think isolationism is a mistake, no matter what party you see it in. We have to remember that there are two threats to our freedom: there’s a threat that comes from the federal government, from the Obama Administration policies..but there’s also a huge and significant threat from al-Qaeda. The war on terror is still underway. Al-Qaeda is stronger today than it’s been in many years. We have to be able to protect our freedom from both of those threats.

This may well be an attempt by Cheney to differentiate herself from incumbent Mike Enzi (R-WY). But a deeper look at her foreign policy views raises the question of who is really pushing for “dangerous” changes.

It’s no shock that, for Cheney, Obama administration policies are “threats to our freedom.” According to Cheney, Obama finds it “fashionable” “to side with terrorists.” Commenting on the administration’s release of photos of detainee treatment — after a court order that required the administration to do so — she said:

I think that it is really appalling that the administration is taking this step. I have not seen the pictures, I don’t know what is in them. But clearly what they are doing is releasing images that show American military men and women in a very negative light. And I have heard from families of service members, from families of 9/11 victims, this question: When did it become so fashionable for us to side, really, with the terrorists? For us to put information out that hurts American soldiers.”

Cheney is also one of the few people in the world who still fully believes that the U.S. aced the Iraq War. In a 2011 episode of The O’Reilly Factor, Cheney defended her father’s statement that U.S. troops would be greeted as “liberators” after the invasion of Iraq.

“It actually did happen, we were greeted as liberators in Iraq,” she told host Bill O’Reilly. “Here’s why you’re wrong,” O’Reilly shot back, “We weren’t greeted as liberators.”

Finally, in another position ripped from her father’s playbook, Cheney’s been an unapologetic supporter of torture. After the killing of Osama bin Laden by the Obama administration, Cheney seized the moment to defend “enhanced interrogation techniques,” aka torture. Declining to acknowledge a debate that was raging at the time, she said on This Week that the debate over enhanced interrogation was over:”It worked, it got the intelligence.”

Whether or not this ideologically driven campaign will resonate with Wyoming voters will be clear on Election Day in 2014. For now, the polls may indicate how Cheney fares with voters: One recent poll shows her trailing Enzi by over 50 points.

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