Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Cheney Gets Prickly

This is rather interesting (hat tip to Pam Spaulding). Wolf Blitzer had an interview with Dick Cheney and he asked him about the nasty things being said about his daughter Mary’s decision to have a child with her partner, Heather Poe. And ol’ Dick got a mite testy over the question. Transcript below the fold:

BLITZER: You know, were out of time, but a couple of issues I want to raise with you: your daughter, Mary. She’s pregnant. All of us are happy shes going to have a baby. Youre going to have another grandchild. Some of the –some critics are suggesting –for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family, “Mary Cheney’s pregnancy raises the question of what’s best for children. Just because it’s possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father doesn’t mean that it’s best for the child.” Do you want to respond to that?

CHENEY: No.

BLITZER: She’s, obviously, a good daughter -

CHENEY: I’m delighted I’m about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf. And obviously I think the world of both my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you’re out of line with that question.

BLITZER: I think all of us appreciate -

CHENEY: I think you’re out of line.

BLITZER: We like your daughters. Believe me, I’m very sympathetic to Liz and to Mary. I like them both. That was a question thats come up, and its a responsible, fair question.

CHENEY: I just fundamentally disagree with you.

This strikes me as a ridiculous reaction on Cheney’s part. I’m sure it makes him quite uncomfortable to be asked about a difference of opinion between he and his political allies, but that does not make the question an unfair or unreasonable one. It should make him uncomfortable, and frankly the moral thing to do in my view would be to blast those who are claiming that Mary is doing something wrong, or is immoral, or is trying to destroy our society or the family or whatever the idiotic rhetoric is today from the anti-gay crowd.

You don’t have another election to face, Dick, your political career, for all practical purposes, is done; stand up for your daughter and for the millions of other gay and lesbian people who are just like her. Stand up for their rights and tell the Dobsons of the world to go to hell and mind their own business. It’s what you should have done years ago, but you let politics trump what you know is right. You’ve made a few weak statements in her defense, but as a prominent conservative spokesperson, you could be a powerful voice for real equality. Stand up and do the right thing; it’ll feel good, I promise.

Comments

  1. #1 Will
    January 26, 2007

    Every time I have hope that Cheney will be the bridge that leads conservatives to at least tolerate gays, he does something like this and I lose all hope.

  2. #2 S. Rivlin
    January 26, 2007

    It is now a family tradition of the Cheneys to attack anyone who dare talking about their lesbian daughter. Mrs. Cheney attacked John Kerry when he brought up her daughter’s name in one of the presidential debates in 2004, and now Mr. Cheney is telling Wolf Blitzer that he is out of line asking about the pregnancy of his lesbian daughter. Yet, it is OK by them that their daughter is publishing an all-tell book about her lifestyle. If they want their daughter to stay in the closet, they should have kept her there. Despite their remarks to the contrary, I believe that the Cheneys are a bit ashamed of their lesbian daughter, somehow believing that her sexual orientation is ‘nurture’ (theirs) rather than ‘nature.’ After all, by admitting that homosexuality is ‘nature’ they are going against their own beliefs.
    If homosexuality were a choice, I would also choose a ‘same sex partner’ after growing up in a heterosexual family like the Cheneys. ;)

  3. #3 doctorgoo
    January 26, 2007

    I really don’t care that much that Dick refuses to answer these questions. I find it to be expected from him based on his entire history of trying to keep it a secret.

    But kudos to Wolf (and others) who keep asking him anyway. It’s important to put the spotlight on Cheney whenever possible to point out his hypocricy.

  4. #4 David C. Brayton
    January 26, 2007

    I literally gasped aloud when I heard Cheney say this. He was so out of line.

    But I really wasn’t surprised. I hope that for the next two years every jounalist asks him about his position on gay marriage every single time he answers questions.

  5. #5 Colugo
    January 26, 2007

    Some of the top figures in the Bush administration are personally much more tolerant of gays than is their own religious right base, who they do not want to antagonize.

    George Bush, private conversation: “I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays.”
    http://www.washblade.com/2005/2-25/news/national/tapes.cfm

    Gay Republican Charles Francis on Bush’s reaction when he came out to him: “‘Course I knew you were gay … And I want you to know we are better friends than ever…”
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101031013-493257,00.html

    Condoleeza Rice was fully supportive of transgender biologist Joan Roughgarden:

    “Many transgendered people are hounded out of their jobs. [Roughgarden] attributes the fact that she is still at Stanford to the support of Condoleezza Rice, formerly the university’s provost…”
    http://joandistrict6.com/nature-profile.html

    Rice publicly referred to Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul’s partner’s mother as his “mother-in-law,” acknowledging his same-sex marriage.
    http://www.washblade.com/2006/10-13/news/national/ceremony.cfm

    The fact that some the political elite within the Republican Party personally hold such views (even if they fail to translate them into policy) is indicative, I believe, of an inevitable shift towards greater acceptance.

  6. #6 Mark
    January 26, 2007

    What’s sad is that he didn’t even do what you would expect a good father to do, defend his daughter.

  7. #7 Hume
    January 26, 2007

    What do you expect someone to do who attacks your daughter?

    Go fuck yourselves.

  8. #8 J-Dog
    January 26, 2007

    Cheney is such a dick. Jon Stewart did a nice piece on Cheny’s hypocracy evidenced by his Wolf interview on his show last night. Bottom line – He IS a dick

  9. #9 Ed Brayton
    January 26, 2007

    Hume wrote:

    What do you expect someone to do who attacks your daughter?

    I expect him to defend his daughter. But the ones attacking her are Dobson and his fellow gay bashers, not Wolf Blitzer. He was giving Cheney the opportunity to defend his daughter and Cheney chose instead to attack him.

    Go fuck yourselves.

    You first.

  10. #10 Coin
    January 26, 2007

    I never cease to be fascinated when people complain about (Wolf Blitzer, John Edwards, etc) mentioning that Cheney has a gay daughter, and then somehow make the assertion that by mentioning Mary Cheney is gay, (Wolf Blitzer, John Edwards, etc) is “attacking” her. Apparently the people offended by (Wolf Blitzer, John Edwards, etc)’s references to Mary Cheney feel that referring to someone as gay is an “attack”. I think these responses say much more about the responder than they do about (Wolf Blitzer, John Edwards, etc).

  11. #11 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    January 26, 2007

    The Bush-Cheney-Rove camp is very good at Outrage-On-Demand (TM). They can turn it on whenever necessary: Kerry makes a gaffe about college dropouts gong into the military; Nacy Pelosi says something to Rice about a personal cost to trumped-up wars, documents detailing Bush’s supposed poor military service turn out to be fake (but the details may not all be); you name it, they can be outraged by it, if its convenient to them. Meanwhile, they pull the lowest of the low personal attacks on their opponents routinely.

  12. #12 gwangung
    January 26, 2007

    What do you expect someone to do who attacks your daughter?

    Well, generally, attack the person who attacked the daughter, not the person who asked you why you DIDN’T.

    You can’t possibly be as stupid as you appear to be, but….

  13. #13 FishyFred
    January 26, 2007

    Maybe Jon Stewart is right: Cheney really is evil to the core. How can he possibly live and function like this? How can such an aggressive man be such a coward on this issue? Unbelievable.

  14. #14 Pieter B
    January 26, 2007

    S. Rivlin wrote:

    It is now a family tradition of the Cheneys to attack anyone who dare talking about their lesbian daughter.

    No, it’s a family tradition to attack Democrats and “liberals” who simply mention Mary’s orientation. “Pro-family” GOoPers who actually attack Mary for being gay get a free pass.

  15. #15 Alex
    January 26, 2007

    “Well, generally, attack the person who attacked the daughter, not the person who asked you why you DIDN’T.”
    All this does make sense if you assume he secretly subscribes to the whole “gays are bad mentality”. Then the attacker isn’t nut-job-homophobe but the reporter accusing your nice daughter of being gay, so that is who you defend her from. Of course how you would hold that position when your daughter is not only out of the closet but also having a kid with her partner is beyond me.
    Hume up above might also have this mentality going.
    Basically substitute “gay” for “a Nazi” throughout this and you get the idea.

  16. #16 Gretchen
    January 26, 2007

    All this does make sense if you assume he secretly subscribes to the whole “gays are bad mentality”. Then the attacker isn’t nut-job-homophobe but the reporter accusing your nice daughter of being gay, so that is who you defend her from.

    Exactly….sort of like if your daughter were a criminal. You might acknowledge that and love your daughter regardless, but if someone brings it up then it’s an attack. And naturally, people who love their ex-con daughters can still be in favor of laws against…well, crime. But of course that means holding the implicit belief that being a criminal is wrong– which I would not be surprised is exactly the approach Cheney and his wife take toward homosexuality.

  17. #17 doctorgoo
    January 26, 2007

    I came across this old post, and it seems appropriate to mention it again.

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2004/10/keyes_lesbian_daughter.php

  18. #18 James
    January 26, 2007

    It interesting how these things vary between countries. In New Zealand talking about a politician’s kids would be a guaranteed interview killer, its simply Not Done.

    Colugo: what you say doesn’t surprise me, for many poilticians principles are more a form of branding than the articulation of personal beliefs. There’s also the purely tactical aspect of it. Anyone with the slightest insight can see that in the long run the whole anti-gay thing is a losing proposition. Republicans should be concerned that their party is turning into an political cul-de-sac.

  19. #19 Loren Michael
    January 26, 2007

    Sorry, but my hatred for Dick Cheney just got trampled by my contempt for Wolf Blitzer.

  20. #20 Sadly
    January 27, 2007

    The point of it is to eat up interview time. Why ask Cheney a real question that he’ll have to side-step or lie in his answer when you can look tough asking questions of no import?

    “It interesting how these things vary between countries. In New Zealand talking about a politician’s kids would be a guaranteed interview killer, its simply Not Done.” Posted by James.

    Depends on the kids. If they’re uninvolved in the politician’s career, then a question about them is irrelevant and in bad taste. If they are (and in America politics is a gravy-train for your whole extended family, friends, pets, etc…) Cheney’s daughter was involved in the campaign, draws several paychecks that involve Cheney in some fashion and so on. There’s a pile of legitimate questions to ask there where sexual orientation is unimportant. But that would be too much like journalism for Blitzer.

  21. #21 bones
    January 27, 2007

    You have to be asthonished by the total lack of character and hypocrisy that Darth Cheney exhibits daily. A father who refuses to defend his daughter against a large group of campaign contributors. If I refused to defend my child in exchange for money, I’d be too ashamed to ever show my face in public again.

  22. #22 BadAunt
    January 28, 2007

    James, given that a fairly conservative electorate in NZ elected Georgina Beyer, I suspect the lesbian daughter of a high-ranking politician wouldn’t ruffle anybody’s feathers. It would be a non-issue, and there would be no reason for a journalist to even ask. Politics in NZ and the U.S. seem to have very little in common.

  23. #23 Brandon
    January 29, 2007

    Sadly: Blitzer was trying to get Cheney to open up about his tolerance for homosexuals, which might have led more Republicans to do the same. That doesn’t sound like “no import” to me.

  24. #24 gwangung
    January 29, 2007

    Cheney’s daughter was involved in the campaign, draws several paychecks that involve Cheney in some fashion and so on. There’s a pile of legitimate questions to ask there where sexual orientation is unimportant. But that would be too much like journalism for Blitzer.

    Huh. When I was in journalism school, it would frankly astonishing for a journalist NOT to ask about Cheney’s daughter. It’s frankly the whole point of journalism–ask the hard question.

    And don’t be stupid and say that the younger Cheney’s sexual orientation was irrelevant. You’re smarter than that.

  25. #25 DuWayne
    January 29, 2007

    Bad Aunt -

    We’re getting there. I have yet to hear of any transpeople here getting elected to any but fairly minor offices, they are making it into elected office.

    But I would daresay that politics here are a lot different than NZ – in many ways, unfortunately so.

  26. #26 doctorgoo
    February 1, 2007

    Mary finally responds:
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/02/01/mary.cheney.ap/index.html

    I agree with her that her baby shouldn’t be a prop to be used in a debate if she doesn’t want the spotlight. One can talk about this issue without pointing her out specifically against her wishes.

    But yet I find myself disappointed that she doesn’t volunteer to address this issue more often. A lot Republicans who aren’t wingnuts might listen to her.

    But unfortunately she deliberately chooses not to fight for this issue, even though it’s fairly obvious that it’s important to her.

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