The Best Historical Analog For Liz Cheney Isn’t Lincoln. It’s Colin Kaepernick

Following her humiliating defeat in Tuesday’s Wyoming primary elections, soon-to-be-former Rep. Liz Cheney gave one of the most comically narcissistic speeches by a politician in recent memory.

Despite losing to Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman by more than 30 points, Cheney thought it was fitting not only to forecast a potential run for president in 2024 but to do so while comparing herself to former President Abraham Lincoln.

“The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and House before he won the most important election of all,” she said before an audience of what few supporters she has. “Lincoln ultimately prevailed. He saved our union, and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history.”

Hardly finished with her delusional Civil War era comparisons, Cheney went on to equate her ongoing fight with former President Donald Trump to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant during the Battle of the Wilderness.

“As the fires of the battle still smoldered, Grant rode to the head of the column. He rode to the intersection of Brock Road and Orange Plank Road, and there, as the men of his army watched and waited,” Cheney said. “Instead of turning north back towards Washington and safety, Grant turned his horse south toward Richmond and the heart of [Confederate Gen. Robert E.] Lee’s army. Refusing to retreat, he pressed on to victory.”

Colin Kaepernick 2.0

While Cheney’s self-indulged fantasies about becoming the country’s next Lincoln is great comedy, there is one figure throughout American history that the Wyoming representative measures up to quite well: former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Much like Kaepernick, who made a Civil War era comparison of his own by relating the NFL draft process to a slave auction, Cheney has always been a washed-up nobody that was never good enough to make it in the pros. Rather than engaging in serious self-reflection as to why her popularity plummeted among the Wyomingites she swore to represent in Congress, Cheney decided to play the victim card and cast her work in the disgraceful Jan. 6 Committee as necessary for the future of the republic. From that point forward, anyone who refused to go along with her one-woman war against Trump became the enemy, while the bitter resentment intended to drive the rest of her political career completely divorced her from reality.

The same pattern of delusions can also be found in Kaepernick’s story. In the case of the disgraced former quarterback, Kaepernick has to believe that NFL teams’ refusal to hire him is all about racism because the reality — that he sucks and just isn’t good enough to make it in the pros — hurts his ego too much to be accepted.

At the end of the day, Cheney didn’t lose her job in Congress because of her integrity any more than Kaepernick lost his job because of race. The simple truth is that they both got fired for the same reasons: They were incapable of doing what they were hired to do, and everyone got tired of watching them fail over and over again.


Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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