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Cheney Parents Come Down on Wrong Side

In the battle between the Liz and Mary Cheney over the former’s denigration of the latter’s same-sex marriage and attempt to deny her equality, Dick and Lynne Cheney are coming down firmly on Liz’s side of the fight. And they have a weird conception of who is to blame:

Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, released a statement saying Liz has always opposed gay marriage and defending her treatment of her sister, who is openly gay.

“This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public,” the older Cheneys say in a statement.

“Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister’s family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz’s many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position.”

But no one is distorting her position. The controversy is over the position she is taking. And she is taking that position publicly and for political gain. So why weren’t Dick and Lynne issuing statements about how unfortunate it was that their private family disagreements were made public before Mary and her partner criticized her publicly for it? It’s Liz who decided to denigrate her sister’s equality publicly.

Comments

  1. eric says

    Don’t know about Lynne, but Dick was pretty predictable. He put political ambitions ahead of personal sense of right and wrong for eight years running. You think he’s not going to put political ambitions first now?

    In fact, I’ll go further. I’m guessing he only publicly supported Mary because he didn’t anticipate Liz making a poltical run. Had you told then-Cheney what Liz was going to do in 2013, he would’ve continued to toe the GOP line.

  2. marcus says

    Note to Liz, Dick,and Lynne Vader: Please keep talking about what a terrible thing Mary is doing, I see Liz’s political aspirations veering towards the dustbin of history, it could not happen to a nicer person.
    P S: Maybe you should look up ‘Streisand effect’

  3. efogoto says

    I much prefer the linked story’s use of “Mary Cheney and her wife” rather than your watered down “Mary and her partner”. Their marriage is equal to any other.

  4. rdmcpeek43 says

    Illinois becomes 16th state to legalize same sex marriage. The dustbin is a fillin’ up. Sorry about that Darth, et al.

  5. says

    “This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public,” the older Cheneys say in a statement.

    Well, that’s what tends to happen when you and your party make a PUBLIC issue of other people’s PRIVATE lives. If Cheney wasn’t at the head of a party that made a point of bashing people for their private relationships, this wouldn’t be a problem.

    And why the fuck did the Cheney’s never say how “pained” they were at all the people saying stupid hateful shit about people like their daughter, because of her sexual tastes that were no one else’s business anyway? Their chance to take a moral high ground on this came and went years ago.

  6. says

    They are not stupid. Liz is running for office. The other is just a lesbian. Compassion is for the non-lesbian and the persecution card is being played rather well

  7. daved says

    Where exactly is “compassion” supposed to come into this? Is Liz supposed to be compassionate towards Mary? Mary towards Liz? And what are they being compassionate about? At least one of the news stories I saw made it look as though Liz was supposed to be treating Mary like she had some sort of fatal disease.

  8. AsqJames says

    Compassion is called for

    Compassion (noun): sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

    The only misfortunes LGBT people suffer are caused by bigots…who then say we must have compassion for them.

  9. zenlike says

    Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister’s family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done.

    Those two sentences are mutually exclusive: you cannot claim you love and respect someone while simultaneously disrespecting an important part of their life.

    Compassion is called for

    Neither Dick nor Liz Cheney have ever shown one iota of compassion, it is a concept completely alien to them.

  10. cptdoom says

    Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz’s many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position.”

    My read on this statement is a slam on Enzi, the Senator Liz is trying to unseat (and to whom she is currently losing by a large double-digit margin in polling). The Cheneys are complaining Enzi is distorting Liz’s position because she’s been nice, on occasion, to Mary and Heather. A potential translation would be “just because Liz has bought presents for Mary’s kids and doesn’t treat Heather like a leper, that doesn’t mean Liz thinks dykes are human.”

  11. M can help you with that. says

    Wait, so if Dick, Liz, and Lynne are all Vaders, does that make Mary a Skywalker? Is her wife actually Mara Jade?

    I now kinda hope that Mary and her wife are geeky enough to read and appreciate this.

  12. doublereed says

    Wait, so if Dick, Liz, and Lynne are all Vaders, does that make Mary a Skywalker? Is her wife actually Mara Jade?

    mind = blown

  13. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Ed, your blog post is extremely misleading.

    You seem to be writing that Dick Cheney is opposed to gay marriage when in fact, the opposite it true. It even says in the article you posted, right after the quote you pulled: “Dick Cheney supports gay marriage.”

    His staement does not come down “firmly” on Liz’s side, opposing gay marriage, but just reitterates what Liz’s position is and calls for civility. I agree that him calling for compassion for Liz, but not for Mary is troubling, but this is far from entirely taking Liz’s side and opposing gay marriage.

  14. lanir says

    Okay, well… I could say a lot of things but let’s focus on the positive.

    “I pains me that some people appear to think consensual, responsible adult sexual acts between people they are not personally involved with are somehow their business.

    I have always believed in the traditional definition of stupidity. I have always treated flagrant public displays of it with the love and respect it so richly deserves. Compassion is called for, even if it’s obviously faked (it’s okay, they may be too backwards to figure it out) and the many times I’ve rolled my eyes at this sort of nonsense should not be held against me.”

    … That was positive, right?

  15. says

    “You seem to be writing that Dick Cheney is opposed to gay marriage when in fact, the opposite it true. It even says in the article you posted, right after the quote you pulled: “Dick Cheney supports gay marriage.”

    I don’t see that.

    I see him calling the Cheney’s, Lizard and Dickless, hypocrites and political opportunists. It’s a charge that is both true and not novel.

    I have no idea about Mary Cheney’s nature, her sibling and her parents are all fucking scumbags.

  16. Michael Heath says

    OverlappingMagisteria:

    Ed, your blog post is extremely misleading.

    You seem to be writing that Dick Cheney is opposed to gay marriage when in fact, the opposite it true. It even says in the article you posted, right after the quote you pulled: “Dick Cheney supports gay marriage.”

    His staement does not come down “firmly” on Liz’s side, opposing gay marriage, but just reitterates what Liz’s position is and calls for civility. I agree that him calling for compassion for Liz, but not for Mary is troubling, but this is far from entirely taking Liz’s side and opposing gay marriage.

    I think the assumption in this venue is that we’re well-informed, where anyone even half-informed knows Dick Cheney’s role in the gay marriage debate. Additionally, Ed has written about Dick Cheney’s convenient support of gay marriage, but only after his term as VP expired.

    Here we see Dick Cheney defending one daughter’s dehumanzing bigotry towards gay people and their children. As if this debate is merely an abstract one rather than one where Liz Cheney’s side isn’t promoting continued bigotry towards gays. It’s bigotry that isn’t as harsh as what conservative Christians predominately advocate given the state’s rights issue is now a, “let’s vote on it”, position rather than stopping gay marriage at all costs, but still institutionalized bigotry that seeks to leverage the power of government not to defend rights equally, but harm some instead.

    The reality is this, we live in democracy, a liberal democracy. We don’t function competently unless we protect rights equally. That means the exercise of some rights are protected by the government in spite of majoritarian opposition.

    Here he encounter Dick Cheney inferring this debate is a mere difference of opinion on optimal policy. But that is not true, not even remotely true. Dick Cheney’s defense of Liz is a lie. Liz Cheney is promoting the continuing dehumanization of gays and their families. Her position by default asserts that heterosexuals own the privilege of deciding whether gays and their families should enjoy the same protected rights heterosexuals already do, , as if we’re superior rather than equal.

    In defending Liz’s argument as credible, Dick Cheney isn’t supporting the path to optimal policy but instead justifying Liz’s win/lose framing of this issue as credible. But Liz’s position is not justifiable, not in a liberal democracy, especially one like ours with the clear unambiguous language in the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment (and other sections of the Constitution. A violation that’s even more amplified when we consider the Constitution through the ‘just governance’ standard argued for in the Declaration of Independence.

  17. lofgren says

    Assuming for half a second that Dick Cheney is either not evil or hires competent people to craft his public positions, here is how I parse the statement:

    This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public.

    “The deep divide between our two daughters’ positions on this matter has been a source of conflict for our family for a long time.”

    Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter

    “Liz has treated her sister respectfully and kindly, as well she should, even though they disagree on this important question.”

    Liz’s many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position.

    “Even though she treats her sister kindly, as she should, Liz still does not believe that gay people should be allowed to get married.”

  18. lofgren says

    To clarify the above, I don’t think that the Cheneys are saying that we should have compassion for Liz. I think they are saying that Liz’s compassion for Mary is the reason that she has appeared supportive of her sister’s family, and that we should be happy for our loved ones to find such happiness even if we disagree with them on political matters. I can’t say I entirely disagree, although I think Heath is correct above that on this particular matter the least we could expect of someone who supports gay marriage is to point out that compassion doesn’t amount to much if you speak kindness out of one side of your face and yet advocate for stripping a person’s rights with the other.

  19. Michael Heath says

    lofgren,

    Yes, a personal squabble broke out that helped give this story legs. But Dick Cheney’s deceptive attempt to direct our attention only to the personal squabble is a red herring. The reason this story actually matters beyond the media pushing the dramatic angle is that Liz Cheney thinks so little of gay people and their families that the equal protection of their rights should be put up for a vote where the privileged decide, where Dick defends this position as credible.

    This is mindful of Sarah Palin continuing to claim in 2008 that she personally supported “life” rather than having an abortion, with no follow-up by the press on whether her choice should be inflicted on all even when they disagreed. As if we should give a flying fuck about Palin (or Liz Cheney’s) personal position. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton have long held the position that abortion was imprudent while simultaenously supporting the government protecting that choice.

    The real crux on both matters is whether politicians will be advocating to protect our rights or instead advocating the government infringe upon our rights. That’s what matters, and here Dick Cheney is arguing that Liz’s position that we should vote on gay marriage is a credible position (though he supports gay marriage). Liz Cheney’s position is not justifiable, at least from a Constitutional perspective.

  20. doublereed says

    Let me help you out with the parsing:

    This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public.

    We’re duplicitious and hypocritical, and it’s really annoying when the public realizes it.

    Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter

    Calling my daughter a bigot for her bigoted statements is not acceptable. Stop being so mean to my daughter. Not the gay daughter, of course. Be as dehumanizing as you want to her.

    Liz’s many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position.

    Liz was only being kind to Mary because they’re sisters. If they weren’t sisters, Liz would have never been kind to her in the first place. Don’t let her many kindnesses distort her bigotry.

  21. marcus says

    Shorter Liz Cheney:”Some of my best friends and relatives are (insert minority) I don hate them, I just don’t think they should get special treatment (equal rights).”

  22. lofgren says

    here Dick Cheney is arguing that Liz’s position that we should vote on gay marriage is a credible position (though he supports gay marriage). Liz Cheney’s position is not justifiable, at least from a Constitutional perspective.

    I don’t see that happening, even slightly. He is failing to make an attempt to discredit that position, but that’s not the same thing. To me it appears that he is basically saying that he is not going to take sides. Yes, we can call that cowardly but I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s equivalent to supporting her position or making any other more substantive comment about it.

  23. Michael Heath says

    lofgren writes in response to something I wrote:

    I don’t think it’s fair to say [Cheney’s public reaction’s] equivalent to supporting her position or making any other more substantive comment about it.

    I never claimed Dick Cheney supported Liz’s position. In fact I repeatedly pointed out the opposite, that he’s in favor of gay marriage. What I did point out is that Mr. Cheney comments here lend credibility to Liz Cheney’s so-called state’s right argument. But that argument is not credible, instead it’s:
    a) a horribly bigoted argument that requires us by default to assume heterosexuals are privileged and gay people are not quite as human and therefore deserving of equal protection by the federal government and,
    b) not morally credible because it’s not focused on an optimal solution but instead focused on the attempt to keep gay people from enjoying equal protection of their rights.

  24. lofgren says

    Michael Heath writes in apparent response to something I wrote, although it’s hard for me to tell because it seems only tangentially related:

    I never claimed Dick Cheney supported Liz’s position.

    I never said you did.

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