Not-So-Proud Mary

OK. I wasn’t going to say anything about Mary Cheney’s recent full-court-press to promote her book in the media, but my bullshit meter just went so far in the red that I can’t stand it any more. I kept my mouth shut and just changed the channel when Mary did her face time with Diane Sawyer. I said nothing when two of the biggest lesbian political power brokers gave Mary Cheney the kid glove treatment. I bit my tongue when the queer chorus of “let’s not bash Mary” started tuning up.

But enough is enough. Mary apparently took a cue from her folks, and is feigning outrage over John Kerry mentioning during the debates that she’s a lesbian; something everybody already knew. But it was her choice of words that stood out to me.

But Cheney saves her harshest words for Bush’s 2004 opponents, calling Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry a “son of a bitch” and his running mate, John Edwards, a “total slime” for discussing her sexual orientation during nationally televised debates during the campaign.

… “John Kerry didn’t ‘out me’, nor did he offend or attack me by calling me a lesbian. It wasn’t a secret that I was gay, and I certainly couldn’t be offended by the truth,” she writes. “What was offensive E was that he was obviously trying to use me and my sexual orientation for his own political gain.”

To borrow a well worn phrase common among gay folks: Oh please, Mary. And while I’m at it, fuck you.

Let me break it down for you, Ms. Cheney. John Kerry’s not the “son of a bitch” here.

If anybody’s a bitch, it’s you. For the simple reason that you stood silently by and let George W. Bush and your father use my family and thousands of families like mine for their one political gain, and to boost your own fortunes as a six-figure consultant to the campaign.

What’s sad is that even most gay leadership is so cowed by the the perceived power of the anti-gay, right wing bigots that you helped put into power, that it falls to a heterosexual politician to say what should be obvious to anyone with working sets of eyes and ears.

Kerry spokesman David Wade said Mary Cheney had “flacked for the most anti-gay administration in history.”

“Seems like a suspicious lecture from a political operative who flacked for the most anti-gay administration in history and allowed Karl Rove to divide America for political gain,” Wade said. “She’d be more credible if she pushed dad’s administration to support hate crimes legislation and equal rights for gay Americans.”

And of course, queer conservatives are breaking out the violins for Mary and family if anybody so much as looks cross-eyed them. Like we’re the one’s who’ve succumbed to insanity.

I’m not quite sure what wrongs the Cheney clan per se have done (the veep has distanced himself from the Federal Marriage Amendment).

Distanced? I suppose you could look at it that way, but here’s a guy who didn’t stand up for his own daughter, and a daughter who didn’t stand up for herself or the rest of us. Pam noted that Mary had a chance to stand up, and chose to stand down. What Mary and her family did was to stand by and let George W. Bush and the zealots who supported him use gay & lesbian Americans and our families as scapegoats to appeal to the worst kinds of fear and hatred, for his own and their own political gain. What they didn’t do was speak up against it, or to anything to apparently counter it.

There are times when silence and inaction are not neutral. They add up to complicity, and in “choosing her own path” Mary chose the route of complicity.

That it “gave her a knot in her stomach” is meaningless. How much she agonized over it doesn’t matter. Maybe if it were possible to show how Mary did gay & lesbian families any good by remaining on the campaign and in the party, it would matter. Maybe if it were possible to point to anything Mary’s done to effect change in her party and in the Bush administration it would matter. But it doesn’t because she didn’t.

The Republican Unity Coalition — which set out to make sexual orientation a “non-issue” in the party — seems pretty much dead, and hasn’t made a peep in ages. And Mary’s stayed away from it since she left it to join the Bush ’04 campaign. What she’s done for gay & lesbian equality since then I don’t know, but it seems pretty much non-existant in comparison to what the candidate and party she helped bring to power have done against it.

That Mary had an opportunity to take a stand, and chose to stand aside is what matters. As for her reasons why, I can’t put it any better than Pam did.

What a difference you could have made at the national level, Mary. The path you selected — wealth and access to power — is heartless, selfish and ultimately reflects badly on the purported Cheney family values that we’re going to hear about over and over as you shill your book.

Mary is, first and last, a Cheney — and more her father’s daughter than anyone might have guessed. Because in the end it doesn’t matter whether Mary gets it on with men, women, or any other living organism because she’s a Cheney. The Cheney family’s money and the Cheney family clout will always take care of her.

Because when you have enough money you don’t have to worry much about discrimination or having to deal with the consequences of discrimination. Mary Cheney will never be a Laurel Hester. You can count on that. You can also count on Mary and others like her to stand silently by while simultaneously empowering people like the Ocean County Freeholders to discriminate against gay families who happen on to have the political or economic clout of the Cheney family.

As far as Mary’s concerned, the Laurel Hester’s of the world are on their own. It’s not so much that Mary’s on the side of the bigots, or not on the side of gay families. It’s that she’s on her own side. Period. The rest of us are none of her concern.

So, as we approach a Senate vote on the constitutional amendment that would write discrimination against me and my family, and thousands of others like ours, I can’t help remembering that it’s an amendment Mary helped bring to the floor by supporting the candidate and the party who dreamed it up, and not raising her voice when it could have made a difference.

But like I said, Mary’s family, and their wealth and power, will keep her from facing the consequences should discrimination against the rest of us become constitutional. That and the advance on her book should be more than enough. Mary, rest assured, has got hers and will have hers no matter what. The rest of us — to quote Mary’s dad — can go fuck ourselves.

Right backatcha, Mary. Right backatcha.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
This entry was posted in 2004 Election, Books, Bush, Current Events, Family, Gay Rights, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Not-So-Proud Mary

  1. ChgoRed says:

    Excellent post.

    I don’t suppose it will be heartening to know that privately, Mary Cheney subject is apparently a very sensitive one over on Freep land. One posting on her new book merited 300+ responses, with one person suggesting that Ms. C. should “shut up and marry a cucumber.”

    Compassionate conservatives, indeed.

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