But there is another strong Republican woman who has been lending her voice to the pro-truth cause. Former Republican congresswoman Barbara Comstock of Virginia has been a dynamo. In an interview with the Hill published on Thursday, she spoke out in defense of Cheney. “The women don’t get the same slack that the men get. And I think a lot of the men are attacking her because they resent that she’s got guts and they don’t,” she said bluntly. “They’re on their knees for Trump and she’s standing up for herself. And that’s kind of an embarrassing thing if you’re the guy on your knees.” Ouch.
She was not done:
It’s an existential crisis for the party to cynically throw out somebody for stating the truth and then say, ‘OK, let’s go find a woman who makes Donald Trump happy.’ You know, really? That’s our standard now?” Woe to the woman who’s going to be the handmaiden to what is basically a male assault on [Cheney], and has been from the start.Any woman who would take that position under these circumstances, it’s not going to do well for them or for the party. Because . . . your role is: smile and read the talking points. Then we like you. Then it’s OK to be a woman who smiles and reads the talking points. That’s not where you want to be. That’s not equal.
That would be Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who’s likely to succeed Cheney in her leadership position.
Comstock kept up her campaign of candor on Friday. Appearing on CNN, she slammed her party for sticking with a “loser.” Comstock argued, "He divided the country and now he’s dividing the Republican Party. So you are dividing up what is a minority.” She went on: “There are so many great Republicans who we have out there. To hang our hat on a two-time impeached guy who lost the popular vote twice does not make any sense. But it has become a cult of personality. It’s very destructive, and I am very sad to see it come to this.” She added, “It makes no sense to say ‘Let’s go hang with the loser.’ He is a sore loser, he was a big loser, and it is time to move on.”
On the one hand, one might argue that Comstock is out of office, so this is no big deal. But she is an effective fundraiser and booster for Republican women, helping to elect several in the 2020 cycle while the disgraced former president was losing. She represents a segment of the GOP — educated suburban women — who are fleeing the party in droves. If she and other such women use their voices and their wallets to weigh in on behalf of anti-MAGA Republicans, some of them might survive primary challenges from the far right. More important, Comstock — like Cheney — can lay the groundwork for a sane, non-MAGA presidential candidate for 2024.
It is not clear whether there is any place for women such as Cheney and Comstock in today’s GOP. If they are unsuccessful in reeling their party back toward reality, they might consider a third-party movement. If they fail to stage a successful intervention with their party, thousands if not millions of women still in the GOP may finally throw up their hands in disgust.
For shaming her former colleagues, defending Cheney’s bravery and effectively eviscerating Stefanik, we can say well done, Ms. Comstock.