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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Lynne Cheney: "This is not a good mother"

You can quote me on that.

MSNBC has a story about Lynne Cheney blasting Senator John Kerry for mentioning her gay daughter in last night's presidential debate.

This is what the Senator said in the debate, in response to this question, "Both of you are opposed to gay marriage. But to understand how you have come to that conclusion, I want to ask you a more basic question. Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?" :
SENATOR KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob, and I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as. I think if you talk to anybody, it's not choice.
Of course, the Vice President himself brought his daughter's sexuality into presidential politics when he said the following at a campaign event in Iowa, August 24, 2004:
Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. We have two daughters, and we have enormous pride in both of them. They're both fine young women. They do a superb job, frankly, of supporting us. And we are blessed with both our daughters.

With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be able to free -- ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.
Oh, wait, I get it. The Vice President frames the question of gay marriage as a matter of personal choice -- and strongly signals that all gay relationships are matters of choice. Are we to conclude that it is only OK to personalize this issue if one employs that framing?

This must be why Lynne Cheney went ballistic last night after the debate. After all, Kerry was saying that homosexuality obviously isn't a choice:
“Now, you know, I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more and now the only thing I could conclude: This is not a good man,” she said.

“Of course, I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick.”
What a dirty and cheap trick by a mother, who is also a political figure (she worked for then-Governor George Bush in Texas on Education policy, for example).

MSNBC gets the story wrong, too. They think Mrs. Cheney is angry because what Kerry did violates personal privacy:
Mrs. Cheney made clear she thought Kerry had crossed a line into family privacy when she introduced her husband...
However, given that her own husband "outed" their daughter, this mother of a lesbian must simply be angry because of the way Kerry discussed her daughter's homosexuality.

Indeed, it must have been a calculated attack, given that the daugther's sexual orientation was also raised in the Vice Presidential debate. Mrs. Cheney must feel that Dick Cheney dropped the ball when he went out of his way to thank Senator John Edwards for his kind remarks:
SENATOR EDWARDS: I think the Vice President and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can't have anything but respect for the fact that they're willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It's a wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their children, who want their children to be happy....

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Well, Gwen, let me simply thank the Senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that, very much.
There was quite a bit of discussion about gay marriage in between these statements, so Cheney's reply was not absolutely necessary.

Does Lynne Cheney believe her daughter's sexual orientation is a matter of choice? If so, the implications are clear. Given the way the Republican base (Evangelican Christians) feel about homosexuality -- i.e., they think it is always a moral wrong, and a choice than can be "fixed" -- then Mother must think Daughter is intentionally attempting to undermine their political positions.

I repeat: "This is not a good mother."

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