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Kinda-political... [Oct. 15th, 2004|04:08 pm]

Apparently, there's this flap. John Kerry mentioned that Mary Cheney is gay... "If you ask (her), she'll say she's being who she is".

The Cheney's were outraged... and several other people seem pretty pissy about it too, including buying into the line that Kerry said it for some less-than-neutral reason, to score some points in some way.

I'm puzzled.

The way I see it, Kerry saying this is something bad if

1) Mary Cheney is closetted (and she most certainly is not),
2) being gay is something bad, or at least 'not good', or
3) if saying someone is gay is always (or usually) an insult.

This last one actually caught me. I heard people talking about the Indigo Girls being gay, and my first assumption was that they were pointing to two women touring with strong voices and that suspicious folk-rock kind of music, and coming to a (to them) nasty conclusion. Then I heard just *how* out they were, and it was like "oh."

That was a good turning point for me; it was what's made me get rid of that last idea (that calling someone gay usually is meant as an insult).

Now, I can hardly blame other people for making a mistake that I could have made until I learned better, but I'm kinda puzzled.

Is there another reason to be upset over this? Maybe something I'm missing?

I do have to admit, my feelings on this matter are a little funny.

If I thought Kerry was trying to score points, I'd be upset; I just don't believe he was, and don't even see an strong evidence that he was.

If I found that the Cheneys were using this to score points on Kerry, just because they thought it would work (as in: "HEY! He mentioned our daughter! I bet we can USE this!" versus "that bastard! He won't get away with it!") well, I could hope that Cheney would retire from the ticket and be replaced by a dead rat, since I'd find the dead rat less contemptible and overall a better person to occupy the vice presidency.

But, more than anything else, my feelings are "Mary Cheney's an adult capable of taking care of herself. If she's pissed off about it, let her talk to Kerry, privately or publically, personally or through a spokesperson. If she's not pissed off about it, no one else has any right to be."

[User Picture]From: pernishus
2004-10-16 12:22 am (UTC)
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...
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2004-10-16 02:47 am (UTC)
"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.

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From: kightp
2004-10-16 01:32 am (UTC)
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.


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.


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.

(The Crossfire 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.)
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[User Picture]From: krrayn
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!
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[User Picture]From: malaechi
2004-10-16 03:46 pm (UTC)
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..
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From: (Anonymous)
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".)
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