By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Liz Cheney for speaker

Earlier today I posted on Mastodon what I thought was a commonsense though impossible idea: the Democrats should nominate Liz Cheney for speaker. There didn’t seem like there would be any chance of that happening. There still doesn’t, although right-wing candidate Kevin McCarthy has just lost the third round of voting at the hands of the ultra-right.

But consider the possibilities. If you could get all of the Democratic House members to vote for Cheney, she would only need about a half-dozen Republican votes. I don’t know whether there are that many rational Republicans left to do such a thing, but maybe there are.

I’m not a fan of Liz Cheney on policy issues, but I admire her integrity and commitment to principle. The Republicans won the election and the Democrats lost, so I wouldn’t be expecting too much. But perhaps a Cheney speakership could lead to a few positive outcomes. She could agree ahead of time to stop Republican efforts to hold the debt ceiling hostage, which would risk default. She could draw sensible limits around Republican attempts to investigate the Jan. 6 commission of which she was part. And she could say no to Republican fantasies about turning the next two years into a witch hunt with Hunter Biden at the center.

Other than that, I would imagine she’d pursue the agenda of a typical conservative and work with Republicans more than Democrats. Progressive dreams are not going to come true in a House where Republicans outnumber Democrats. But is it too much to ask for decency and normality?

Update: Sorry, I forgot to note that there is no constitutional requirement that the speaker be a member of the House. That should clear up some confusion.

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  1. Doesn’t the speaker need to be a member of the House? She lost her seat.

    • Dan Kennedy

      No. Not a requirement.


      #JUSTSAYNOTOJIMJORDAN. LIZ AS SPEAKER IS THE BETTER CHOICE. Principles rather than partisanship!! So let’s not shoot our shot into the wind. Selecting Liz Cheney as Speaker of the House signifies a pivotal move towards bipartisan collaboration and unity. Her commitment to democratic values transcends party lines, making her an ideal leader to bridge the political divide. With her experience and dedication to the rule of law, she can contribute to a more effective and inclusive legislative process, ultimately benefiting both parties and the American people. Crucially, the Speaker of the House is not required to be a member of either party, nor must they currently hold a political seat. This opens the door for Liz Cheney to step into the role without the compromises and political wheeling and dealing that have been all too common for too long. We must return to the roots that celebrate the people like Liz Cheney. She is a principled and determined candidate for Speaker of the House, a leader committed to preserving the integrity of this institution This is a solution that serves all of us.

  2. Cécile B Stelzer-Johnson

    I’m not a fan either, however, she impressed me with her statesmanship. although Dems are licking their lips and brining the popcorn at the idea of showing off how Hakeem Jeffries got more votes than McCarthy, the House will never make him Speaker because he’s a Dem.
    Liz Cheney has the advantage of being greatly admired, even by Bernie supporters like myself but also by moderate Republicans. She has shown her conservative bona fides many times and her integrity too, at the risk of her own career.
    Choosing her would also mean that the investigations into 1/6/21 would continue.
    The 20 who are hell bent on destroying this Republic should not be given sway, especially since they are incapable of good governance. What they are presently doing is a continuation of the 1/6 coup
    “Caving McCarthy” agreed to a number of compromising demand by this cartel. They should be rescinded, and Liz Cheney could do that.
    There are 212 votes that could go to her. You need 6 Republicans with integrity to also vote for her. I believe that there are at least that many. Please offer her the job. she has EARNED IT.

    • Gerry

      The best possible scenario for our country would be Dems finding six moderate Republicans to elect Liz Cheney Speaker. I disagree with 80% of her policies . But she has proven herself to be a patriot in 2022 . She is principled, dedicated and has extensive experience in House leadership. Best choice available

    • I abolutely will enter my name in the pool to elect Liz as speaker! She has what a lot of guy wish they had –ls. She would be a perfect speaker and I am a Dem.

  3. Billy James Cobin

    PLEASE get this out there. I’ve been saying this for weeks and hoping that the idea will get into the media spin cycle. I’m frankly stunned that it hasn’t – it’s so obvious.

    It would be a strategic masterstroke that could beat back the right wing and its assault on democracy, possibly even saving the Republican Party in the process. Let’s get this out there… Now!

  4. Robert Reid

    I posted the same thing on my Facebook account yesterday. Almost word for word. Such a decision would need only a few moderate republicans. The only question I had was whether republicans would then allow her (who used to be second in command of Republicans in the house) to make committee appointments for Republicans. But I have to think Cheney might accept such a request because it allows her to begin to rebuild the conservative Republican party from within. It would dethrone the freedom caucus, because she would not permit committees to spend all of the next two years investigating grievances, including a grievance against the January 6th Committee.

  5. Christina McCumber

    Absolutely agree that Liz Cheney — or even Adam Kinzinger — have EARNED the role of Speaker of the House — seemingly, the only two Republicans who could recognize — and acknowledge — the absence of integrity, the manipulation of the American people, and the absolute narcissistic agenda of our last POTUS. When did doing the right thing become unpopular? It didn’t. Rather, it’s the courage to speak up and exhibit real leadership skills that is almost non-existent across the board now, in our businesses, our schools, etc. — even, and especially in the leaders we elect — shameful! That lack of leadership in the Republican Party is why it is broken today and they will continue to suffer the consequences. Voters are watching….and voting accordingly. We did it this past November and we’ll do it again and again until the shenanigans of BOTH parties ceases and they start working together for ALL Americans, not any SINGLE SORE LOSER like the one who cost Americans their lives on January 6, 2021. Remember, INNOCENT AMERICANS died that day – all because of the SILENCE and retaliation agenda of our so-called elected leaders in DC.

  6. Len Mckee

    How can “we the people” put a plea or a demand on the Dem’s to nominate and push for Liz here? I’ve heard the nay-saying on this, but if the Dem’s are united as they appear to be, they can pull this off. What other choice is there? There’s no way Jeffries nor any other Democrat is going to pull 6+ votes from the Trumpublicans. Liz can. She would be an excellent Speaker. If they (we) don’t do this, we are going to wish we (they) did.

    • Tom Ruen

      Agree. Best of all Liz is actually a contender for President 2024, so she’d likely accept and want to show herself capable of working with a divided congress. Maybe we’d find she’s only capable of leading as a far-right conservative who happens to hate Trump, but we can find out.
      At any rate, we all owe her, because she helped bust open the idea that prosecution of Trump was a partisan thing. We owe her big time, and a few Republicans might see people who stand up for things can be rewarded, not just sycophants like McCarthy.

  7. Carlotta Atchley

    Why not nominate Tracey Abram’s as Speaker of not Jeffries. Jeffries would be the best choice because he has been mentored by Nancy Pelosi.

  8. Brilliant. I’m not American and so have no vote, but i admire your country and admire Ms Cheney’s, and think this is brilliant. If only our israeli leaders had such a figure here for that!

  9. joan surrodge

    I thought I was alone in this idea & was thrilled to see some like minded among the powerful & articulate. I, too, am not a conservative but had my faith renewed by the demonstration of bi partisanship shown by the insurrection committee.

  10. John Bjork

    Liz Cheney would make an excellent speaker of the house and bring sanity and pride back to our nation. Start the movement democrats would be stupid not to support this very strategic idea.

  11. Andre Houle

    I’m a democrat and 100% support this idea. Sitting back and smirking as the Republicans struggle is a losing strategy and caters to the tribalism that plagues our country. I’m not a fan of Cheney’s politics, but the Republicans won the House…it’s their turn to influence policy in a conservative direction. Cheney would be a strong leader.

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