Commentary

What did big bad Liz Cheney even do to poor innocent Mark Amodei?

May 8, 2021 11:26 am

Left: Liz Cheney with a plate of what appears to be medium rare meat. Right: Mark Amodei with a big balloon. (Photos: Cheney’s campaign Twitter; Amodei’s congressional Facebook page)

“Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality,” Liz Cheney wrote in a piece published in the Washington Post Wednesday.

Alas, however small the window of opportunity for the GOP to turn away from Trump and Trumpism, that window has closed.

Cheney also wrote that “Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.”

The vast majority of Cheney’s Republican colleagues know all that. But they’ll be voting to oust her from House leadership anyway. Trump has decreed that House Republicans must put his perpetually aggrieved petulance ahead of the good of the nation and its people. And as Cheney also observed, “embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes.”

Which brings us – again! – to Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei. He already voted – with only 60 other House Republicans – to oust Cheney from leadership once, in February. He told the RGJ after the vote that he didn’t hold her vote to impeach Trump against her, “but what about us?”

“She showed no indication of circumspection. It was a very cold, self-centered response. … I’m not talking about remorse, it just seemed like it was all about her,” Amodei said.

Who on earth knows what he is even nattering on about? Maybe Cheney never remembers his name or where he’s from? That truly would be bad form for a person in House leadership like Cheney, who should know all her Republican colleagues no matter how banal they might be. But in Amodei’s case maybe it could be forgiven? Except by Amodei?

Or was the not infrequently glib Amodei simply not sure how to frame an explanation for voting to remove Cheney from leadership, because the explanation is that in February he was still floundering and flailing about, searching for bearings in the immediate post-Trump era? One Amodei eyeball always firmly fixed on the Amodei future, Mark was miffed — “but what about us?” — because Cheney was complicating aspirations to thread the needle and appeal to both the cult and normal people.

Whatever chance momentarily existed to strike that delicate if immoral political balance has gone poof. The GOP has made its choice. 

For decades the GOP branded itself as more patriotic than Democrats. Republicans tried, often successfully, to score political points by presenting themselves as the Daddy Party, professing to be uniquely aware of just how dangerous the world is, and so deeply appreciative of the bravery and sacrifice of Americans fighting and dying for their country. 

Now in an act of world-historical cowardice, Republicans have willingly rejected reality and surrendered to a cult.

House Republicans are expected to vote to remove Cheney from their leadership Wednesday. Perhaps Amodei will surprise everyone, put his state and nation ahead of Trumpism, and this time refuse to vote to punish a colleague for the offense of telling the truth.

Probably not though.

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Jobs jobs jobs. You’ve seen the charts showing what wages would be if over the last several decades they’d kept pace with inflation, or productivity, or the stock market, or corporate profits, or high-end income growth. So stop asking why people are not rushing back to a crap restaurant/retail job with its erratic scheduling and sexist manager.

Business owners seem pretty keen on the godliness of the law of supply and demand. Leaving aside the issue of whether that “law” has ever consistently applied to the benefit of the working class, it doesn’t any more and hasn’t for some time. Employees have been methodically stripped of bargaining power for ages, while their employers – not all of them but collectively – put shareholders first, employees last, and embraced the nation’s transition to a service sector workforce by constructing an economy that runs on cheap, disposable labor.

Put another way, employers were allowed to pervert the law of supply and demand in the labor “market,” and the market failed. Extraordinary failures require extraordinary remedies. Maybe we’re seeing one now.

Since the start of the pandemic began there have been a lot of reasons to worry that the new new normal would be much worse than the old new normal. There are still a lot of reasons to worry about that. But it looks like there is a chance post-pandemic U.S. employers just might have to meaningfully increase wages, along with working conditions and the overall quality of working class jobs. It’d be long overdue.

***

People generally agree Jimmy Carter did the most with his post-presidency, certainly of modern presidents. In a related story, Facebook will remain Trumpless for the foreseeable future.

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A pattern, not an accident, say some UNLV staffers writing anonymously on Medium about Joshua Shenk, their former boss at the Black Mountain Institute, exposing himself during a Zoom call. “Instead of silencing those of us who experienced harm,” they write, “we ask that UNLV take real action towards building healthy, equitable workplaces for part-time staff, lower level employees, contractors, and those who have the least power and are the most vulnerable to mistreatment in any of its departments. We ask that UNLV value its workers with the least power, rather than enable and protect the most powerful.” Also they think that LATimes puff piece on Shenk sucked.

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Oh look the Legislature is still meeting. Nevada has a thing called the Economic Forum comprised of bizz types. They listen to a few projections from state officials and other bizz types, and then guesstimate up a limit proscribing how much money your governor and Legislature can spend over the next couple years. If your governor and Legislature go over that amount in the budget then they do not win a Peloton on The Price is Right.

The forum met Tuesday, prompting smiley faces in some quarters because there will be more tax revenue than the forum previously projected. Meanwhile, in the reality-based community, even in flush times Nevada does not have enough money to adequately provide things states need to provide, because Nevada’s tax structure is mostly just a plaything for special interests. That will not change this year, and probably not ever.

But! It would be a lot worse this time around in particular if not for all that sweet, sweet federal money.

Upshot: Thanks, Uncle Joe. Nevada needed you to come to its rescue, because Nevada refuses to even try to rescue itself.

(The above items are excerpts, some slightly massaged, of material published in the Daily Current newsletter, the editor’s opinionated morning news roundup, which you can subscribe to here.)

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

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