After Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)—daughter of the notorious warmonger former Vice President Dick Cheney—attacked the so-called "fraud of socialism" in a "Trumpism-inflected" speech on the U.S. House floor on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) clapped back with a reference to what has been called her father's "biggest lie."
"Really? I wasn't aware that it was 'socialism' that lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and got us into a horrific war that we should never have started," Sanders tweeted Friday, a clear reference to Dick Cheney's hand in misleading the American public ahead of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq that launched a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people—including, by some estimates, more than than 200,000 civilians.
Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of Dick Cheney, yesterday attacked "the fraud of socialism." Really? I wasn't aware that it was "socialism" that lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and got us into a horrific war that we should never have started.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 4, 2019
Liz Cheney's speech on the first day of the 116th Congress, in which she endorsed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for speaker, was a largely symbolic move, as Democrats regained a majority of seats in the November midterm elections. The younger Cheney has her own leadership position in the GOP—as the Republican conference chair in the House, she holds the party's third-ranked spot in the lower chamber and is responsible for communications strategy.
Since Sanders, who identifies as a democratic socialist, ran for president in 2016 and several progressives—including some candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), such as newly sworn-in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—have sought elected offices at various levels of government in the years that have followed, many Republicans have ramped up attacks and helped solidify "socialism" as a buzzword of the current political moment.
Prior to Sanders' response to Cheney, People for Bernie, the grassroots movement that grew out of the independent senator's last presidential run, issued its own rebuttal, charging that "the real fraud is capitalism."
The real fraud is capitalism.
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) January 3, 2019
While Liz Cheney on Friday responded to Sanders by falling back on the favored Republican invocation of Venezuela and dismissing the senator's reference to her father's history of lying to promote war, critics such as independent journalist Thor Benson were quick to shut her down on both fronts, asserting in a pair of tweets that she does not "even vaguely understand what happened in Venezuela," and that her "father is a war criminal."
You know what actually steals power from the people and gives it to the government/massive corporations? The scam people like your father have been involved in for decades. And Sanders' explanation of what your war criminal father did is just fine.
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) January 4, 2019