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Feb 22 2012

Dick Cheney’s Belated Push for Equality

The Huffington Post reports that former VP Dick Cheney is helping to lobby in favor of marriage equality in the state of Maryland. And it appears to have worked with at least one prominent state politician:

Dick Cheney is part of a lobbying campaign to convince at least one Maryland state lawmaker to back marriage equality, the Baltimore Sun reported on Thursday. Since leaving the vice president’s office, Cheney has been increasingly vocal in his support for same-sex marriage, but the extent of his engagement on the issue was not previously well known.

The Sun storyflagged by John Aravosis at AMERICAblog, focused on the fight in the state over Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) bill to legalize gay marriage. It revealed that Maryland Del. Wade Kach (R-Baltimore) had been offered an opportunity to chat with Cheney, ostensibly to convince him to support marriage equality.

Kach (R-Baltimore) had been widely expected to vote against the legislation. He told the Sun that he changed his mind and decided to support it after hearing testimony from committed same-sex couples during a hearing last week, which went on for nearly 11 hours.

This is good, of course, but it’s more than a bit delayed. Dick Cheney helped Bush lead the fight for a federal marriage amendment that would have banned such legislation. What does he tell his daughter Mary? “Sorry honey, I love you but I was more than willing to sell your rights down the river for 8 years to help my political career.” How inspiring.

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  1. 1
    cycleninja

    As if Mary Cheney wasn’t a willing participant in that, as well. Plenty of people in the LGBT community consider her a quisling.

  2. 2
    VeritasKnight

    Better late than never. Much better always then late. Cheney deserves a little sliver of support for this, maybe a polite clap. He doesn’t deserve applause.

  3. 3
    d cwilson

    Not to mention the fact that a big piece of the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign was about promising a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage nationwide.

    Of course, Bush reneged on that promise as soon as his inaugural gala was over, not that it stopped the lemmings from flocking back to the GOP again and again.

  4. 4
    Tabby Lavalamp

    Of course, Bush reneged on that promise as soon as his inaugural gala was over, not that it stopped the lemmings from flocking back to the GOP again and again.

    To be fair, it’s not like aren’t a bunch of lemming Democrats too. That’s why, despite Obama’s failings as president, most of them will still vote for him again (and why many support him doing the same or worse than W. Bush in the name of “security”).

  5. 5
    Chiroptera

    “Sorry honey, I love you but I was more than willing to sell your rights down the river for 8 years to help my political career.”

    But his continuing in office was important for the good of the country, donchaknow. Some sacrifices have to be made for the greater good.

    “Sorry, honey, but to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs. And you’re an egg.”

  6. 6
    whheydt

    And in related news… Late yesterday, the anti-SSM crowd in California filed for an en banc re-hearing of the appeals court ruling against Prop. 8.

    One legal commentator quoted by KCBS (CBS affiliate in San Francisco) said he thought part of it was in hopes of there being a Republican President in the White House after the November election. Why they might think that would help in the time frame they’re dealing with is beyond me.

    –W. H. Heydt

    Old Used Programmer

  7. 7
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    That’s why, despite Obama’s failings as president, most of them will still vote for him again (and why many support him doing the same or worse than W. Bush in the name of “security”).

    I’m still of the opinion that, for all his faults and betrayals, Obama is still a better person to have in the White House than any of the current Republican crop of candidates.

    When I step into the voting booth and my choices are Obama, Santorum/Gingrich/Romney, and a number of other people with no chance of hell of winning, you can bet I’ll pull the lever for Obama. That’s not being a lemming, it’s self-preservation.

  8. 8
    Tabby Lavalamp

    When I step into the voting booth and my choices are Obama, Santorum/Gingrich/Romney, and a number of other people with no chance of hell of winning, you can bet I’ll pull the lever for Obama. That’s not being a lemming, it’s self-preservation.

    And that’s why the Democrats are never going to get better. Last time it was Sarah Palin, before that it was Dubya/Cheney – as long as people can point to the GOP and shout “BUT LOOK AT THEIR TICKET!” the Democrats will continue lurching to the right.

  9. 9
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @Tabby:

    You may be right. But do you see a way out? Let me remind you what we got in 2000, at least partly because some people pulled the lever for a more palatable candidate who couldn’t win. I’m personally so horrified by the idea of a Gingrich or Santorum presidency that I don’t want to put the country through that, even if the price is that the Democrats don’t improve. Distress is better than disaster, at least in the short run.

    Meanwhile the Republicans keep pulling to the right even without fringe 3rd-party candidates to draw them in that direction. The Democrats need to figure out a way to acquire a comparable leftward pull.

  10. 10
    democommie

    ” The Democrats need to figure out a way to acquire a comparable leftward pull.”

    What they need to do is construct a road to a very, high cliff and convince the teabaggists that Zion is at the bottom.

  11. 11
    regexp

    “Lead the fight for the federal marriage amendment”

    That’s a bit of a stretch isn’t it? Bush and Cheney never seriously pushed for it. It just played well to the crowds they were trying to get to vote for them.

    Personally I think Cheney is evil but this is one area where he has been consistent.

  12. 12
    d cwilson

    I have to agree with Hercules. You can scream “He’s just like Bush!” all you want and then pat yourself on the back for it. But at the end of the day, the republicans really are just that bad.

  13. 13
    Modusoperandi

    Tabby Lavalamp, does the Democratic Party nominee just *foop* in to existence*? Do only the Republicans have primaries?

    * “Nominato Disapointus!”

  14. 14
    Chiroptera

    OP: Dick Cheney is part of a lobbying campaign to convince at least one Maryland state lawmaker to back marriage equality….

    regexp, #11: Bush and Cheney never seriously pushed for it. It just played well to the crowds they were trying to get to vote for them.

    …this is one area where he has been consistent.

    lol wut?

  15. 15
    subbie

    He’s eventually better than a contemptible godstapo shitforheart who disowns his own gay children. I guess I have to give him that much credit.

  16. 16
    gwangung

    Tabby Lavalamp, does the Democratic Party nominee just *foop* in to existence*?

    I think my point is that a more progressive Presidential candidate is necessary, but it is not sufficient to get more progressive results.

    The Progressive Caucus in Congress may be the largest segment in Congress, but they make up far fewer than a quarter of all Congresspeople. Do the math. Figure out how to get more progressive things done without a bigger Progressive faction getting dirty in the trenches.

  17. 17
    sundoga

    I should note that it actually does work the other way around, as well. I was so disgusted by Kerry I voted for Bush’s second term – and I loathed Bush.

  18. 18
    arakasi

    I’ve noticed that usually when Republicans break ranks on social issues it is because the issue in question affects them personally. Cheney was never ardently anti-homosexual. Nancy Reagan spoke in favor of more stem cell research because it may have led to treatments of Alzheimers. If I dug, I could probably find a dozen cases of Republicans coming out in favor of gay marriage because someone who is close to them is gay.

    Now I admit that this might be selection bias – a conversion like this makes headlines while a simple decision to support marriage equality because it is the right thing to do doesn’t make the news. Still, it means that I’m not in the least bit surprised that Cheney was on the right side of the issue here.

  19. 19
    jerthebarbarian

    I’ve noticed that usually when Republicans break ranks on social issues it is because the issue in question affects them personally.

    This is true. And I think it’s because for most people empathy is hard work. And for Republican politicians, empathy is not rewarded by their base of voters. So the process has selected out Republican politicians who cannot place themselves into someone else’s shoes mentally and ask themselves “how would I feel if this were my son/daughter/wife/me in this position”.

    So the ones we hear about, like Cheney, are the ones who don’t have to empathize. They’re the ones who don’t have to imagine what it would be like because they ARE in that position.

    (This is a problem with humanity in general, and there are clearly also Democratic politicians who also have empathy problems. But more of the Democratic electorate rewards politicians who are good at empathy, so the selection pressures are different and it’s much more noticeable among Republican politicians here at the start of the 21st century).

  20. 20
    slc1

    Re stubbie @ #15

    He’s eventually better than a contemptible godstapo shitforheart who disowns his own gay children.

    Alan Keyes.

  21. 21
    John Hinkle

    So Cheney went to Maryland to fondle Kack. Ok, I guess I’m seeing the tie-in to same sex marriage.

  22. 22
    stace

    I should note that it actually does work the other way around, as well. I was so disgusted by Kerry I voted for Bush’s second term – and I loathed Bush.

    On the other hand, I’m sure I was not alone in being so disgusted with Bush’s first term that I held my nose and voted for Kerry.

  23. 23
    plutosdad

    I have always read the opposite, that he didn’t help at all on that issue, but argued with Bush against it. Of course, he did not publicly condemn it very much:
    from 2004:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5817720/#.T0it9ahOSK4

  1. 24
    x10hostia

    x10hostia…

    [...]Dick Cheney’s Belated Push for Equality | Dispatches from the Culture Wars[...]…

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