This episode is much more telling about Cheney’s internal GOP critics than Cheney.

She rightly refuses to play by the dumb rule insisted on by MAGA and Never-Trump Republicans from their respective parts of the spectrum, that the only two options are to submit to the president totally or to oppose him totally, with no honorable space in between…

Whatever you think of Cheney’s views on national security, she has a well-thought-out worldview that she defends resolutely and thoughtfully. The same can’t be said of one of the leaders of the fusillade against her, Trump epigone Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican.

Gaetz long ago realized the power of clownishness—it generates interest, and interest means cable TV bookings, and TV bookings equal a kind of notoriety. Why be an unknown backbencher from Florida with zero substance when you can be a known backbencher from Florida with zero substance?