An Authoritarian Fanatic For Wyoming, Ctd

Ponnuru sizes up Liz Cheney’s Senate campaign:

It’s definitely not going to fly if people think of her as an outsider who’s just trying to establish a dynasty. She has to avoid any hint of that. But I do think she has at hand a critique of Enzi that might work with Wyoming Republicans. When he was running for the Senate, Ted Cruz said that he would consider himself a disappointment if all he did with his time in office was to compile a conservative voting record. He presented himself as someone who would be more of an activist than that. Enzi has a conservative voting record, but some Republicans in Wyoming might want someone who has done more to move the debate than he has. Cheney, if she wants to run that way, could find that Republicans agree.

But there’s one more wrinkle: She (presumably) favors same-sex marriage, while Enzi doesn’t — which would make this an interesting test of how important that issue is to Republicans.

Chait sees her visibility as a drawback for the GOP as a whole:

No. 1 problem here is that Cheney, if she wins, will become a high-profile spokesperson, and will join the Limbaughs, Palins, and Glenn Becks as defining the GOP as the party of crazy.

No. 2 problem is that she will make it hard for other Republicans to nudge their party to the center, or even to prevent it from moving even farther right. One of the problems faced by the pragmatic wing of the party is that its elected officials can’t say even mildly heterodox things without incurring the wrath of the true-believing faithful, and Cheney could become one more loud true believer flaying any colleagues who gesture in the direction of sanity.

Liz Cheney won’t cost the Republicans a seat in Wyoming. The real fear is that she’ll cost it seats elsewhere.

Francis Wilkinson’s view:

If she wins, which she well may, her victory may prove to be another dose of self-administered poison for Republicans. One lesson will be clear: No one is conservative enough to be safe from internal attack.

Earlier Dish on Cheney’s campaign here.