1/6 panel: Told repeatedly he lost, Trump refused to go

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives her opening remarks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington on June 9.

Back in the seventh grade a former teacher of mine, Ms. Susie Dixon, grabbed my arm and pulled me out of a line of fellow students when we were returning from the library.

I’d done nothing wrong. In fact, I was a pretty docile student. I knew if I managed to find trouble at school that trouble would be far worse at home when my father found out. He supported teachers and principals without question.

Ms. Dixon said I needed to be careful about who I hung around with. She mentioned two of my classmates in particular, neither of whom I will mention here. They were a year or so older than I was because they had failed a grade.

Both were likable classmates and, yes, both were rambunctious and enjoyed having a laugh. She didn’t think that I should rub shoulders with either of them.

It was not the first time I was warned about being in the “right” crowd. My parents expressed the same at times, especially my mother who seemed to have a fear that I would wade into the deep end of a pool without being able to swim. I was a passenger in a motor vehicle accident several years later. Both my parents highly suggested I find another friend.

Interestingly, the two young men in the seventh grade turned out to be good people, as did my friend who was driving the vehicle the day of our wreck. Proves that misbehaving in school doesn’t necessarily equate to a horrible future. People grow up.

So why do I mention all this?

Politicians are judged by the company they keep, too. That is especially evident today in the state of Wyoming. You see, Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney — daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney — is actually going to be judged in a primary on Aug. 16 by the company she keeps.

In fact, she is being judged at this very moment by the residents of the state she represents. Why should that be a topic of this column, you might ask?

I found it interesting that a politician like Cheney seems to be tanking in the polls faster than President Joe Biden who is down as low as a 39 percent approval rating in some polls or 40.2 percent, according to the FiveThirtyEight.com average of several polls. Cheney is down 28 percent to 56 percent to her opponent, Harriett Hageman, NBC News reported in a poll conducted by Tony Fabrizio. The poll is similar to other polling in the state.

Fabrizio also polls for former president Donald Trump, who clearly wants Cheney defeated since she supported his second impeachment trial, a trial that did not end in conviction.

Hageman had an early lead of 8 percent when she filed to run against Cheney, NBC News reported. “A huge 71% majority say they will vote against her, including 66% who will definitely vote against Cheney no matter who she runs against,” wrote Fabrizio in a memo, of which NBC News had a copy. “With only 26% saying they will definitely or probably vote for Cheney, she has hit her ceiling on the ballot.”

According to the Western Journal, the same poll indicated that 62 percent disapprove of Cheney’s Congressional actions. The poll noted, too, that Hageman’s support among Wyoming Republicans jumped from 34 percent to the current 56 percent in the month of December.

I suppose Cheney’s issues go back to the company she keeps. The Wyoming Republican Central Committee voted a year ago not to recognize her any longer as a member of the party. Her position in the Trump impeachment and her role in the Jan. 6 committee apparently hasn’t endeared her to conservatives in her state.

Of course, anything can happen in a political race. The primary in Wyoming is about two months away. Could conservatives in the state change their minds and decide to keep Cheney? Is the polling accurate? Or will Hageman oust the incumbent because of the company Cheney keeps?

I will be watching what happens on Aug. 16.

Mitchell Oakely is The Standard’s publisher emeritus.