I wonder, though, why Mr. Kerry was speaking about Ms. Cheney at all -- or why any political candidates would speak about another's relatives... for any reason... unless they felt, somehow, that introducing them into their discourse had some relevance to the voters in choosing whom to put in office. Perhaps the idea of a certain decorum in such matters is so alien now to the political arena that even raising this point is being quixotic...
"Why John Kerry" would mention Mary Cheney, well... yes, I admit that could be questionable.
But, the question was "is homosexuality a choice?"
Mary Cheney being gay has been raised multiple times in the campaign, and she's working for her father's re-election.
If you took away those facts, I'd agree with you, bringing her up would be out of bounds. If you changed what Kerry said, and the circumstances, it could easily be out of bounds.
In this case, though... well, Bush was hemming and hawing about whether homosexuality was a choice, but is sponsoring an amendment to ban gay marriage.
"You know, and indirectly work with, someone who is openly gay; ask her about this(Implication: "And why haven't you, already?") doesn't strike me as unfair.
But yes, it would be a lot more tasteful if it was just Joe/Jane ImportantCampaignWorker... and probably, it would have been better if Kerry had thought to say "You have openly gay people working on you and Cheney's re-election campaign; I bet if you ask them...". (Better, hell... change it to that, and include the implied "why haven't you asked already?" and you've not only made it more tasteful, you've turned it from a decent comeback to a knockout blow on the issue.) That it was a not-directly-involved family member *does* make it worse than it would have been otherwise.
What's interesting to me is that the Cheneys have been quite blase' about other people's references to their daughter's orientation.
As pointed out in CNN's Crossfire
last night:" PAUL BEGALA, COHOST: When he wants to look moderate, Dick Cheney invokes his lesbian daughter, Mary, on the campaign trail. When Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes viciously attacked their daughter, Dick and Lynne Cheney said nothing. When John Edwards praised their evident love for their daughter, Vice President Cheney said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me simply thank the senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEGALA: But now, suddenly, after four debate losses and 18 days until the election, the Cheneys are shocked, shocked, that John Kerry mentioned their daughter in a debate."
So it's evidently all about *who* mentions it, and under what circumstances.
segment</a> featured Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, BTW, and he evidently kicked their asses for the harm they do to American political discourse.)
2004-10-16 02:48 am (UTC)
for that link! I heard about the appearance but was a little hesitant to download the AVI link that someone posted. Thanks for the transcript!
Personally, I think if you are a public figure running for office and your daughter has put herself in that same public spotlight for the purposes of helping your campaign, your name is going to come up as a reference point...
The fact that they are outraged is rediculous..
2004-10-18 11:46 pm (UTC)
What gets me though, and I never see anyone point it out, is that the question is irrelevent.
Choice or not, genes or not, upbringing or not, gamma radiation or stray aliens, whatever...
*ALL* people are deserving of equality under the law. Period.
(And yes, I'm well aware that one of the parties seems to be intent on ensuring the law is changed to no longer reflect that. As though the acts in doing so are not a "cheap and tawdry political dirty trick".)