Saturday, October 16, 2004


Mary Cheney: Political Football

The feigned outrage of the Republican party over John Kerry's remarks about Vice President Cheney's daughter during the third and final debate is laughable at best. To be clear, this is the exchange in question:

I fail to see anything that should cause offense in this statement. Had the question been about education, would we be seeing the same outrage if John Kerry had used Jenna Bush as an example? After all, she's planning to be a teacher. The answer is, no we wouldn't. The crux of the issue here is that John Kerry pointed out that Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian, something Cheney himself has done many times on the campaign trail, and the Republicans don't want their religio-crazy base to be reminded of that. Had Kerry done something truly offensive like call her a dyke during the debate, I could understand the anger, but he didn't do that. He called her what she is, a lesbian.

A little over six weeks ago, Illinois Senate Candidate Alan Keyes made some truly troubling comments concerning the Vice President's daughter when he said that she was a sinner practicing "selfish hedonism."

Certainly the Vice President and his family were upset about these comments, but I don't recall hearing about it on the nightly news three days later. Where was all of the outrage then? Where was Lynne Cheney saying that Alan Keyes was "not a good man?" Where was snarling Dick saying that he was an "angry father?" The fact of the matter is, being upset at Keyes for some truly disparraging remarks didn't have the same political value as being upset at Kerry for some open and honest comments. When it can benefit them politically, anything is fair game to the Republicans including the sexual preference and reputation of a family member.

Last night on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher, Rep. Jim Rogan (R-CA) claimed that the Kerry campaign was using Mary Cheney as a political football. He qualified this remark by saying that John Edwards had brought up her up in the VP debate and now Kerry in the last Presidential debate. As I recall, Dick Cheney said thank you to John Edwards for his statement about Mary Cheney, so I don't see an issue there; and John Kerry was citing her as a person the President is familiar with who disagrees with his point of view. Once again, I don't see where the outrage is coming from.

Obviously, this is a diversion. The Bush campaign is hoping to divert attention from the President's poor performance in the debates. They are trying to create a stir about Kerry's comments so the media won't report that Kerry swept all three debates, Iraq is falling into chaos, allies are leaving the coalition, the economy and the job market are going in the tank, the deficit is growing, and the President has absolutely no plan to fix any of this. If anyone is using Mary Cheney as a political football, it's the Bush/Cheney campaign. Cheney can use her to say that he has a gay daughter and therefore he doesn't support a constitutional ammendment banning gay marriage, while the President continues to come out in support of it to keep the evangelicals content and on his side. They're using her to play both sides of the issue. I hope they look back on this and are ashamed of the way they've used her private life for their own political gain.

Funniest part of this whole story is that I haven't heard a single word from Mary Cheney. Apparently she's too distraught over being a political football.

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