You probably know that Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP’s strongest – and loneliest – Donald Trump critic, lost her reelection bid this week. You probably know it’s because Trump waded into the race, bent on revenge, and endorsed a rival GOP candidate. You may even know that Cheney quoted both Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant in her concession speech.

But what you may not know is how the once-popular Wyoming legislator could be unseated by what political philosopher Robert Talisse describes as a “one-term, twice-impeached and historically unpopular former president” who was able to “catapult an unknown candidate into a massive win over an effective incumbent.”

Talisse, who teaches at Vanderbilt University, offers an elegant lesson in how the public interest can be subverted by partisan identity – an increasing problem in America’s democratic system.

“We assume that voters first determine their interests and then support candidates who will best advance them,” he writes. But this assumption puts things backward: “In today’s hyperpartisan America, political interests are the product of political allegiances – not the other way around.”

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Rep. Liz Cheney at a primary Election Day gathering at Mead Ranch in Jackson, Wyo. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Liz Cheney trounced: ‘Black sheep effect’ and GOP partisan identity explain her decisive defeat after criticizing Trump

Robert B. Talisse, Vanderbilt University

Liz Cheney has been a conservative GOP congressional policymaker since 2016. But when she turned against Donald Trump, GOP voters in Wyoming turned against her.

President Joe Biden applauds Brielle Robinson, daughter of the late Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson, after signing the PACT Act on Aug. 10, 2022. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

PACT Act providing health care to burn pit victims caps decades of denied benefits for veterans

Jason A. Higgins, Virginia Tech

President Joe Biden signed into law the most expansive health care package for military veterans in recent history – despite initial GOP opposition.

Don’t expect the Inflation Reduction Act to bring down prices all that much. AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Will the Inflation Reduction Act actually reduce inflation? How will the corporate minimum tax work? An economist has answers

Nirupama Rao, University of Michigan

The new law will pay for increased spending in several ways, including a corporate minimum tax and funding tax code enforcement by the IRS.

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