“Dude looks like a lady
That, that
Dude looks like a lady” 


Whether through greatness, shame or sheer popular acclaim, names can accrue a certain symbolic significance. Long before the Internet’s magic meme machines, certain names became synonymous with the best and worst traits of the human race. 

Achilles has his heel. Midas has his touch. Napoleon his complex, and Freud his slip. The government is “Orwellian,” the politicians are “Machiavellian” and laws have become “Kafkaesque.” When calling someone an Einstein, a Casanova, a Don Juan or a Johnny Appleseed, very rarely is there any need for further explanation of the appellation. Call any American a “Benedict Arnold” and he will immediately know you mean “traitor.”  

However, Arnold’s ghost can now rest a little easier, as a large swath of Americans recently discovered a new name for “traitor”: Liz Cheney.  

And ever since Cheney became a symbol of betrayal for the new American right, many Alabamians have warily searched for the “Liz Cheney of Alabama” – but to no avail.  

The most prominent failed attempt to paint Cheney-face on an Alabama politico was the Club for Growth attack ad on then-U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt. Even Donald Trump, Jr. couldn’t make the “Cheney” label stick to Britt, likely because Britt bears little resemblance to Cheney in appearance or political record.  

Yes, I suppose they are both women, but that tells you little to nothing. Yes, they could both be fairly described as “establishment” GOP, but that’s about as far as the similarities go. It is one thing to be a charming GOP moderate working the halls of power behind the scenes – some populists, after complaining publicly, might even thank you privately for bringing home the bacon – but it is an altogether different thing to publicly straddle the tracks athwart the populist TRUMP TRAIN, obnoxiously yelling “stop!” in unison with the Democrats.  

Anyone with a keen eye could see that Cheney had long been sharpening a knife meant for Donald Trump, for Trump’s brand of populism was clearly a rebuke of Cheney’s politics. Liz simply bided her time, waiting for her best opportunity to slit Trump’s throat. That opportune moment was Jan. 6 when Trump was truly at his weakest. Yet, Trump somehow survived, and forevermore the populist faithful will associate the name “Liz Cheney” with “traitor.”  

That said, the search for Alabama’s own Liz Cheney has continued with little luck. Well, luck be a lady tonight, because we may have finally found her – or rather, him.  

The results aren’t final, but the odds are good, and he’s been hiding in plain sight in Alabama’s congressional delegation for almost two decades. Just take off that toupee, throw on a long blonde wig, a smart pair of glasses and a fetching pearl necklace, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) from Alabama’s third congressional district is the spitting image of Liz Cheney.  

Dude looks like the lady in question. The resemblance is uncanny.  

Yes, I suppose Mike is a man and Liz a woman, but that tells you little to nothing. I guess they could also both be fairly described as “establishment” GOP. But the similarities go much further, especially when it comes to publicly railing against the populist wing of the GOP while actively working with the Democrats to maintain the beltway gravy train.  

Populists should have known something was up when Mike Rogers lunged at Matt Gaetz during that whole weeklong hullabaloo to kick off the 118th Congress. Now, as Kevin McCarthy vacates the Speaker’s chair, the conservative base — Trump included — is rallying behind Jim Jordan to be the next Speaker of the House. Cheney, of course, hates the idea of Speaker Jim Jordan, tweeting, “If Rs nominate Jordan to be Speaker, they will be abandoning the Constitution.”  

Rogers appears to agree. What a drag. 

According to a recent “Bloomberg News” report, Rogers suggested Republicans might have to cut a deal with Democrats, drawing rebuke from many conservative elected officials and commentators. 

“They put us in this ditch along with eight traitors,” Rogers told the press, speaking of the hardline GOP dissidents who toppled Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week. “We’re still the majority party, we’re willing to work with them, but they gotta tell us what they need.” 

I suppose who’s a “traitor” in politics depends on one’s perspective and priorities – but especially one’s position. 

The GOP base has long suspected the worst of the GOP leadership and vice versa. Think of the Tea Party, which rose only to have John McCain call Tea Party Senators “wacko birds.” Think of the Bush wing of the GOP, with its disdain for Reagan and his “voodoo economics.” Think of William F. Buckley’s “National Review” serving as the arbiter of respectable conservative opinion against the likes of Pat Buchannan (though thankfully those days are long gone).  

Liz Cheney and Mike Rogers are simply playing that same uniparty game, only now it’s plain for the public to see.  

The game plan? Work with Democrats and the donor class to maintain a massive welfare and warfare state leaving most Americans less safe, less free, and more impoverished. No doubt this approach has long been lucrative for the select few allowed to engage in the legalized bribery and extortion government power affords, but it’s all been done for decades at the expense of the American middle class. 

Alabama’s Mike Rogers may not literally look like a lady (ew), but dude does look like Liz Cheney — and the populist wing of the GOP is tired of getting their hopes up only to encounter a bait-and-switch in the private backroom. 

Good news is, the populist movement is luckier than we thought. After initially looking like a Liz this past week, Mike Rogers is now supporting Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House. The search for Alabama’s Liz Cheney continues...

Joey Clark is a native Alabamian and is currently the host of the radio program News and Views on News Talk 93.1 FM WACV out of Montgomery, AL M-F 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. His column appears every Tuesday in 1819 News. To contact Joey for media or speaking appearances as well as any feedback, please email [email protected].

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]

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