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 A Gay Old Time With Lynne Cheney. . .
 (Oct. 15, 2004)      

    At the Repugnican National Convention, Mary Cheney did not join her family on stage after her father's speech. She and her partner were seen applauding from the VIP section. Although Mary said it was her choice, the Cheneys went along with it, instead of showing the country how much they loved their gay daughter.
        In other words, Lynne and Dick Cheney were playing politics with Mary because she is a lesbian. They did not want to call attention to her on national television. They were afraid of boos from the seething anti-gay marriage contingent. They thought it might cost votes.
        This is a less extreme form of the same cynicism and fear that made Strom Thurmond go through his Methusalan life without ever officially acknowledging his illegitimate black daughter, Essie Washington.
        And Lynne Cheney has the temerity, the crass hypocrisy, to accuse Sen. John Kerry of using her daughter for political gain.
        How Repugnican.
        The Cheneys demoted their daughter to second-class citizenship on national television for political expediency. It was as if Mary was the Bearded Lady in the circus, or had moles and missing teeth.
        Think about it: would they have done the same if their child had cerebral palsy? Not likely. That arouses sympathy. But much of so-called "middle America" believes that gays will all be roasted eternally on the devil's own spit, and the Bush-Cheney ticket depends on these loving "Christian" votes. Remember: when nutball Alan Keyes, a Repugnican plant running for congress against Barack Obama, called Mary a "selfish hedonist," Lynne Cheney was quiet as a little Christian Right church mouse.
        The Cheneys were afraid, after delegates cheered iron-jawed, anti-gay marriage Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney like had just beheaded Osama.
        For the record, here is what Kerry said in debate three, answering moderator Bob Schieffer's question as to whether homosexuality is inborn:
        "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."
        For this, Lynne Cheney got up on her hind legs on national televison, and repeated in acid tones, "this is not a good man."
        I say that Kerry did more in that moment to make Mary Cheney accepted as a normal human being in this country than her parents have done lately. Possibly ever.
        It is important to note that Kerry did not bring up her name in a vacuum. Pops Cheney first introduced his daughter as an issue weeks ago, in suggesting that states should decide gay marriage (parting with Bush's push for a constitutional amendment banning same.) ""Lynne and I have a gay daughter," he said, "so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with."
        What's more, when Sen. John Edwards complimented Dick Cheney on their love and support of Mary Cheney during the vice-presidential debate, the veep thanked Edwards---further legitimizing his daughter as part of an election issue. Quoth Dick:
        "Well, let me simply thank the Senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that, very much."
        Now Tricky Dick says he is a "pretty angry father" and that Kerry "will do and say anything to get elected."
        Can you say flip-flop?
        This is the sort of grandstanding and cynical playing to emotions that the Repugnicans do incessantly, and do so well. It is manipulation of impressionable, well-meaning people---every bit as caculated as inspiring fear with meangingless color-coded terror alerts.
        Lynne and Dick Cheney shamelessly portray themselves as wounded, morally outraged parents, protecting their (full-grown, adult) daughter as they court the sympathy of parents everywhere. They want other moms and dads to rally to their "cause," and denounce that naughty Kerry, who is "not a good man." Soon you will probably see Lynne shed a tear or two.
        And the mainstream press will continue to eat it up like Pringles on Super Sunday---all but ignoring astounding stories like the one investigative reporter Greg Palast will break next week in Harper's: that few of the voters illegally purged from the Florida voting rolls in 2000 are back on the voter lists.
        Yes, Dick and Lynne Cheney are "protecting their daughter," whom they would not invite on stage with them at the convention because she is a lesbian. Just think what that gesture might have done to calm a virulent and terribly divisive issue in this country, and make the lives of gay people a little easier.
        One can only wonder of Dick and Lynne Cheney: were you born callous    , cruel, and hypocritical, or did you choose to become that way?

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