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Why Gay Activists Must Read Mary Cheney’s Book

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:37 pm - May 20, 2006.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics,Literature & Ideas

I just finished Mary Cheney’s book Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life and recommend it as the most important book addressing a gay topic of the year, if not the past few years. Indeed, it is must-read book for anyone who wishes to talk honestly about the Bush Administration’s record on gay issues.

While I will not, at this time, write a complete review of the book, I expect this to be a continuation in a series of posts on the significance of the book — and what it reveals about the Vice President of the United States. I have already noted how it shows what a good man Dick Cheney is and how few gay leaders and activists are willing to acknowledge his positive record on gay issues.

Because he is our nation’s Vice President, widely respected in conservative circles, even by social conservatives who know about his relationship with his lesbian daughter, I wish to focus on what this book tells us about this good man and what its release shows about the narrow-mindedness of gay activists. Perhaps you will say that I have said this already. But, as the comments to my recent posts indicate, some of our critics don’t seem to be listening, so, in the words of André Gide, “it is ever necessary to start again.

What emerges from reading Mary’s book is that the Vice President is an exemplar of how a parent should treat his gay child. When Mary first came out to her father, she writes, “the first words out of his mouth were exactly the ones I wanted to hear: ‘You’re my daughter and I love you and I just want you to be happy.'”

About fifteen years later, when then-Governor Bush, the Republican nominee for president in 2000, was considering Cheney as his running mate, the former Secretary of Defense talked with his daughter about what his selection might mean. Mary notes that he “was concerned that people would target me and my sexual orientation in an attempt to attack him. He wanted to make sure I understood exactly what this decision could mean.”

In order words, this man showed great sensitivity to how his career choice might affect his lesbian daughter’s life.

This is not the only example which shows the Vice President as an exemplary parent of a gay child. It’s clear as well from Mary’s narrative that Dick Cheney has welcomed Mary’s partner, Heather, into the family, treating her as he would a child’s different-sex spouse. Indeed, on Election Night 2004, Heather and Mary slept with him (though on different sofas and chairs) in his White House office.

Despite these stories of the Vice President’s relationship with his daughter, in their Washington Post column, Elizabeth Birch, former executive director of HRC and her partner Hilary Rosen, refuse to praise him directly for treating his child as we would want all parents to treat their gay children. Perhaps they didn’t even read Mary’s book.

Instead they focus on how her coming out might impact political battles. To be sure, I share their delight that “timing of the book’s release is a welcome boon to the effort to defeat (for the second time) the . . . Federal Marriage Amendment.” In their column, however, Birch and Rosen fail to reference the content of Mary’s book, a sign that they are unwilling to let Mary tell her story even as they applaud her “leap onto the national stage.

So much have these two activists spent inside the Beltway that they remain focused on legislative (& judicial) solutions to the concerns of our community. They have apparently long since lost sight of the real goal. Perhaps were they to read Mary’s book and focus on the Vice President’s relationship with his daughter, they might discover it once again.

Reading this book would expose them to a side of the Vice President different from the one they are accustomed to hearing in the liberal circles in which they travel. They would see how much Mary loves her parents even though she occasionally disagrees with them on matters of policy. They would see how loving a father Dick Cheney is to his daughters and that Mary’s coming out did not cause him to love her any less.

As they read her story, they might realize once again that we all wish our parents would react as did Dick and Lynne Cheney. Not only that. They would see the impact of a child’s coming out on a parent’s attitudes toward gays. Mary’s coming out didn’t make Dick Cheney any less conservative, but it surely caused him to speak out in favor of tolerance for gay couples and in opposition to a constitutional amendment defining marriage.

Birch and Rosen (and their allies on the left) may be upset that Mary’s coming out didn’t cause Dick Cheney to switch parties. (Heck, her coming out didn’t cause her to become a Democrat either.) But, once they let go of their expectation that coming out makes one liberal, they might have the sense to praise this good man and his wife as exemplars of how parents should treat their gay children. And praise the Vice President as a model of political courage, willing to defy part of his political base to speak up for what is right.

Mary Cheney’s book shows what a good man her father is. And in describing their relationship, she helps us focus on (what should be) the real goals of the gay movement. That we can live freely and openly as gay individuals in our families and in American society.

And yet, Birch and Rosen, like so many other gay leaders and activists commenting on Mary’s book, focus more on the political implications of Mary’s coming out than on the actual contents of her book. It’s too bad they prefer their own fictional narrative about the Vice President to his daughter’s own true story.

So, I suggest that before they criticize the Vice President, they read his daughter’s book. It confirmed to me that I’ve been right to look up to this man for as long as I’ve been involved in politics. They may not share his politics as do I, but they will at least come to respect him as a man and look up to him as the type of father we all wish we had. (And that some of us do have.)

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

UPDATE: A reader wrote in to take issue with a point I made:

It’s not that Dick Cheney is “an exemplary parent to a gay child.” He’s an exemplary parent, period. The qualifying adjective diminishes the larger point—the nature of parental love.

She’s right.

WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS!!

While you’re here, please browse around the blog that has been called “the most reliably conservative gay blog on the Internet.” You might want to check my recent post on John Murtha & media bias or my co-blogger’s piece on a reader e-mail which heartened him. And I note that not only did Dan Brown get Christian history wrong in the Da Vinci Code, he got the Grail legend wrong as well.

I have blogged pretty extensively this past week on Mary Cheney and her father. I discovered that one ostensibly gay book store is not stocking it. Here I note that by living quietly and openly as a gay woman, she has done more to help gays than many activists. And in these two posts (here and here), I show how the animus most gay groups and leaders have against President Bush and his allies and associates has prevented them from acknowledging what a good man the Vice President is.

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63 Comments

  1. But Dan – [insert frantic point that is NOT responsive to anything you just wrote or claimed, here] !!!!!

    Have a good evening 🙂

    Comment by Calarato — May 20, 2006 @ 8:52 pm - May 20, 2006

  2. I am so glad that you wrote this. I am gay and also am a conservative and supporter of Dick Cheney. That Mary has been able to speak up as she has with the support of her parents even though there may be differences is what most of us would like to have with out families.

    You are right to say that. I am a good deal older and was a little leery of speaking to my parents about being gay. It is kind of funny the way it happened. We were watching a TV show and the musical act that was on had women who looked a lot like bad drag queens. I mentioned to my dad that the looked like men dressed as women. He looked at me and said “you mean they look like drag queens.” That my dad who lived in a small farming community knew what drag queens were surprised me. I later found that he had figured out that I was gay and read up on everything he could find so he would know about me. He never mentioned it to me at all and he never changed in the way he treated me. Once I told him he said he had known for years and it made no difference at all. I was truly blessed. Never interfered, never tried to change me, just accepted and loved me. What more could anyone ask for.

    When I read about Mary Cheney and her family it brings it all back to me now. I lost my father 25 years ago and I still miss him for the love and support he gave me. That is why I get so upset when I read stories like the one you mentioned above or the one that Michael Signorile wrote that Mary should disown her father because he was conservative and she was gay, that she owed it to the gay people not to support her family. They should be shot. They have no right to try to force her to give up her beliefs and her family because of the gay political groups.

    Comment by dick — May 20, 2006 @ 9:38 pm - May 20, 2006

  3. im sorry… but with all due respect…

    youre discussion on how much the sainted cheney loves his daughter is pathetic,…
    I am sure he does…and thats wonderful.

    but this commentary comes after the Senate Judiciary Committe (read GOP) just referred a Constitutional Amenedment to Ban same sex marriages (and any other measure taked to acknowledge or accord any rights to same sex partners) WHAT DOES IT MATTER that he loves his daughter while his party the GOP… once again ONCE AGAIN plays the gay hatred card to maintain its power

    Ive got to ask… what are you guys thinking….
    Conservative? give me a break…
    How about another war in the middle east based on ideology and bad intelligence…

    SO… maybe Cheney is wonderful to his daughter… so… what….

    Comment by rick — May 20, 2006 @ 9:59 pm - May 20, 2006

  4. Where have you been, Rick?

    Howard Dean made it clear just last week that marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman; therefore, it’s OK to ban same-sex marriage.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 20, 2006 @ 10:10 pm - May 20, 2006

  5. As Instapundit and others have reminded people again and again and again, Candidate Kerry was quick to say that his position on gay marriage and President Bush’s position on gay marriage were identical. On a national level, homosexuals are to the Dems as gun-nuts like me are to the GOP: “give us your votes every two years and then shut the fuck up and get back in the closet because we aren’t really going to do anything for you…oh yeah…and don’t forget to send money because the other side is the boogie-man.”

    Comment by Letalis — May 20, 2006 @ 10:23 pm - May 20, 2006

  6. Bruce, though I don’t agree with you politically, I can see you are an intelligent and thoughtful person and you have a great blog site. I respect that you feel the way you do about Mary Cheney and the Vice President. But, again, with all due respect, I agree with Rick. Please see this article:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060518/pl_nm/rights_gays_congress_dc_1

    In the closed door session, the measure to pass a constitution ban on gay marriage passed ten Republicans for, eight Democrats against, with nobody crossing party lines. I guess I don’t understand why you think the Republicans are on our side and Democrats against us.

    Comment by reilly — May 20, 2006 @ 11:38 pm - May 20, 2006

  7. P.S. I realize you are talking about Dick Cheney and not the Republicans at large, but Mr. Cheney’s thoughts about gay issues have apparently not had much effect on the party with which he so closely aligns.

    Comment by reilly — May 20, 2006 @ 11:42 pm - May 20, 2006

  8. Iguess rick thought it was ok when joe wilson, democrat, indicated in a speech in miami, that “unlike ken mehlman and David Dreier, he liked women.” JOE WILSON.DEMOCRAT.

    Comment by gloria — May 21, 2006 @ 12:10 am - May 21, 2006

  9. Gays and Lesbians; get a clue. NEITHER OF THE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES will come out in favor of gay marriage. No one will, on the other hand, seriously push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The Democrats understand that if they came out in favor of marriage as a civil right for gay people, they would lose vast swathes of socially conservative black and Latino voters.

    But you gay voters insist on believing that Republicans are two steps away from opening up Gay Auschwitz because the Dhimmicrats tell you so. That’s what I get for taking Andrew Sullivan so seriously for so long. That simply proves how easy you are to manipulate. What kills me as a Republican activist is to watch the same pattern be repeated with you folks that worked like a charm on the black community. Republicans are the Boogiemen who will force you all back to the Pre-Stonewall Era and into Concentration Camps run by Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed. The Clintons must be laughing all the way to the bank. With your campaign contributions, I might add….

    And you buy it, hook, line, and sinker. Oh, and you’ve got this extremely high level of disposable income as a group? Gay Democrats haven’t quite figured out just why they’ve been gelded.

    Jesus, I wish our base voters were that easy to take in. But they’re not. Our people don’t get gulled so easilty. Notice that not many Republicans are terribly happy about the Be Nice to Mexicans Speech that Bush gave?

    So, the latest cause for gay faux anger is Mary Cheney. Please, I’m not impressed. Come back and talk to me when you get upset with Howard Dean for stabbing you all in the back in a baleful attempt to get the Bubba vote for the Democrats. As if a NASCAR dad would vote for the party of appeasement!

    Comment by section9 — May 21, 2006 @ 12:10 am - May 21, 2006

  10. I haven’t read the book, and obviously I can’t judge Mary Cheney’s relationship with her parents, but based on their public comments, my sense has always been that Dick Cheney is basically OK with Mary’s homosexuality, but his wife far less so. Remember, during the 2000 campaign Lynne Cheney tried to deny that Mary had even come out. And while Dick’s reaction to Mary coming out was the model all parents of gay children should follow, Lynne’s distress at the “discrimination” Mary would face struck me as being rather disingenuous — the reaction of someone who was personally bothered by the news but afraid to admit it. When she got so outraged at Kerry for his comment in the third debate, and Elizabeth Edwards speculated that her anger was a result of shame, I thought she (Edwards) was spot on, even if it was rude — and politically boneheaded — to say so in public.

    That’s not to say Lynne is a vicious homophobe or anything — I’m sure lots of parents of her generation would have had the exact same reaction; she certainly handled it better than, say, Alan Keyes. And as I said at the outset, this is all just speculation. But it’s definitely the vibe I’ve always gotten from their public statements.

    Comment by Zorro for the Common Good — May 21, 2006 @ 1:13 am - May 21, 2006

  11. Is this a re-post? Or can we take a week or two off while you repeat yourself ad nauseum about this book?

    Everyone already knows how great Mary and her Dad are, so there’s no need to keep saying so.

    Comment by jimmy — May 21, 2006 @ 1:14 am - May 21, 2006

  12. Letalis, I agree, but I don’t think you take it quite far enough.

    The Republicans also treat Christians, Libertarians, nativists and the fiscally responsible the same way.

    And the democrats treat feminists, blacks, hispanics, union members and environmentalists the same way.

    And none of those interest groups will ever get anything from thier parties until they put their votes in play.

    Comment by Richard R — May 21, 2006 @ 1:15 am - May 21, 2006

  13. #3 and #4. C’mon Rick!! Just because there was a party-line vote of 10-8, you should not at all conclude that the Republicans are anti-gay! Seriously, what kind of logic is that? Get with the program, Rick. The Republicans saved us from the anti-gay Clinton and his hatred of gay people AND are saving us from the anti-gay Democrats who are pushing a Federal Marriage Amendment. If you can’t see this, you must be absolutely blind. Didn’t you see Howard Dean make a special trip to the Rose Garden to ask for the FMA? It was frightful and I am glad that Dick Cheney loves his daughter, because that protects us from the anti-gay Democrats and their Constitutional Amendment. “Mwah! Mwah! Mary, we love you.”

    Comment by jimmy — May 21, 2006 @ 1:19 am - May 21, 2006

  14. His response after learning of his daughters homosexuality didnt seem that remarkable to me, I expect thats what most parents would say to their daughter or sons (especially if theyve known ‘the truth’ for some time). And my guess is that if he didnt have a gay daghter that his position on gay issues would be the opposite that they are now. Id have to read the whole book but from the things you mentioned I cant say Im very impressed. Youre making a mountain out of a molehill imo.

    Comment by Jonesy — May 21, 2006 @ 1:43 am - May 21, 2006

  15. For what it’s worth, in 1981 (surely long before her daughter, born in 1969, “came out”), Lynne Cheney wrote a novel with a prominent role for a gay couple, Sisters.
    I have much respect for her as a thinker and a wife; the only thing she shares with Hillary Clinton is that she often appears to have a harder personal edge than her husband. Their daughter’s descriptions seem to bear that out. Not that personality & politics are the same thing – he is surely no less conservative. He just appears (and I’m glad to read is) warm.

    Comment by Ginny — May 21, 2006 @ 1:52 am - May 21, 2006

  16. Um, Rick in #3, the Vice President has been an outspoken opponent of the constitutional amendment in question. Yeah, it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it hasn’t — and won’t — muster the two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress to be sent to the states. And the Vice President’s public opposition will make it easier for wavering Republicans to vote against this pernicious proposal.

    Pathetic? Please study the Vice President’s record — and read the book — before criticizing him. Had you read the book you would know of his opposition.

    Um, Reilly in #6 & #7, I’m Dan and I wrote this. Read the book. Ditto to you, Zorro.

    And Jimmy #11, perhaps it is a repeat, but note what I said in the 3rd paragraph about listening. Once you start listening and acknowledging my points, then I’ll stop blogging about this.

    Mountain out of a molehill, Jonesy in #14? Are you aware that since George W. Bush tapped Richard Cheney to be his running mate nearly six years ago, Cheney has publicly differed with the president on one issue — in opposing a constitutional amendment on gay marriage.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — May 21, 2006 @ 2:00 am - May 21, 2006

  17. This is one of the worst books ever written. Period.

    Comment by Kiwi — May 21, 2006 @ 3:19 am - May 21, 2006

  18. Dan, my apologies for addressing my comments to Bruce.

    At the risk of going off topic a bit, this is how I see the judiciary committee vote:
    The Republicans want to distract the public away from such issues as intelligence gathering failures, emergency response failures, record deficit spending, a mismanaged war in Iraq and multiple high ranking Republican ethics scandals and criminal indictments. Thus, they are bringing FMA back to the forefront of political discussion.

    They are aware that it won’t pass with two-thirds vote in the House and the Senate and they don’t care.

    Their strategy is to distract and to rally the Republican base vote to keep marriage exclusively between a man and a woman. They know that Gay Marriage is a hot-button issue with many Republicans. It motivates them to go to the polls to support Republican officials who in turn will vote for a federal marriage ban against gay marriage. It motivates conservative Republicans to go to the polls, not Democrats or other parties.

    Regarding VP Cheney, his feelings for his daughter over the years he has served may be heart-warming. But they do not seem to be making inroads over the five and half years he has served as VP in the base Republican Party regarding gay marriage.

    Having said that, I have read parts of Mary Cheney’s book, and do intend to read the whole thing.

    Comment by reilly — May 21, 2006 @ 3:21 am - May 21, 2006

  19. I wonder why the Rs are not flogging the drug war this year?

    Fighting a phantom menace

    Comment by M. Simon — May 21, 2006 @ 6:32 am - May 21, 2006

  20. reilly, et al.:

    It strikes me that both parties know the FMA idea is going nowhere… both parties think they can garner election-year political points by beating their particular drums about it… neither party is terribly interested in how its “base,” whatever that is (tell me that urban African-Americans as a bloc are pro-gay marriage – go ahead! Tell me that suburban thirty- and fortysomethings as a bloc are anti-gay – go on!), actually feels about the issue… and everyone’s just lined up for the ol’ Midterm Reel again.

    For the record, I don’t support the FMA, I do support civil unions, I’m hesitant about calling such civil unions “marriage” because there’s a very long-standing social construct that will be affected by it at those ever-sensitive margins and we can’t tell in advance what the long-term effect will be (though looking to Scandinavia gives suggestions, and not pleasant ones, if we’re going to continue to rely on the stability of unions of whatever name and the reliable production of children within such unions as a major framework of society), I want to see everyone who wants to be in a committed relationship happy, fulfilled, and recognized in that relationship, I’m a Republican, and I get darn tired of being told both what I think and how morally bereft I am by complete strangers. A party-line vote is a safe vote in the Congress we have today. It means nothing. It implies no thought or debate (that doesn’t mean there was no thouyght or debate, just that when the vote is along party lines, thought and debate are not necessarily involved); they could’ve phoned it in.

    Dan, I note that comments on the substance of your post are still mighty thin on the ground. However, Iraq has made the obligatory appearance, so all’s well amongst the one-trick ponies.

    Comment by Jamie — May 21, 2006 @ 7:54 am - May 21, 2006

  21. The criticism I see of those who fault Mary Cheney for not being a champion of gay rights is justified to a degree.

    However, can’t she be faulted for not being a champion of conservatism and the GOP? Or even just her father? If she had spoken up during the campaign, many, including myself, would probably have a much different picture of the GOP, VP Cheney, and even Bush, than we do today. Why couldn’t she have campaigned for her father in the same way that the wives and children of political candidates often do? She was already a salaried campaign worker, why couldn’t she have just gone one extra step on the behalf of the GOP and her Dad?

    Wouldn’t that have dramatically changed the tenor and image of what is now viewed as one of the most gay-baiting, hateful political campaigns in history? Once again, where was Mary Cheney and why wasn’t she standing up for the GOP and her Dad?

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — May 21, 2006 @ 11:44 am - May 21, 2006

  22. Perhaps Mary Cheney didn’t want Bush to win. Perhaps she didn’t want her father to be VP, but did want to be somewhat supportive. Perhaps she thought she would do more harm than good. Perhaps she didn’t want to be in the spotlight. There are a lot of possibilities. Does the book say?

    Comment by mrsizer — May 21, 2006 @ 12:02 pm - May 21, 2006

  23. Gryph–I don’t see that criticism of those who fault Mary for not being a champion of gay rights to be justified in the least. (And may post on this later in the week.) Those critics fault Mary for not being what they want her to be.

    That criticism demands Mary be an activist, assuming her to be something she may well not be. From reading her book — and what I’ve learned about her life — it seems Mary is not, like yours truly, someone who delights in public discourse and debate. She helped her father’s campaigns because she is truly devoted to her Dad. At Coors, she had a task which, as far as I can tell, is more administrative than activist, working behind the scenes to promote good relations between that company and the gay community.

    What more could she have done? She made her concerns clear to her father. The president was aware of her opposition to the FMA. Her father spoke out against it.

    You use the passive well in your last paragraph. Of course, the campaign was “viewed as one of the most gay-bating, hateful campaigns.” That’s because narrow-minded gay leftists were doing the viewing. It was in fact no such thing. Go check the speeches of the candidates, read the literature, even check the remarks of the surrogates. There are references, not all that many, to the president’s position on marriage, but instead of baiting gays, nearly all of those statements merely reaffirm his support for the institution of marriage as it has long existed — one man to one woman.

    There’s a distinction — and if we want a serious debate on marriage, then we have to acknowledge that people are going to disagree with us — and that when they do they do not (necessarily) do so out of hate.

    Finally, you ask, where was Mary? She was close to her Dad, the Vice President of the United States, making him aware of her concerns. And given that that good man has the ear of the President of the United States, she’s able to do a lot more behind the scenes than so many of us can do in the middle of the public square.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — May 21, 2006 @ 12:21 pm - May 21, 2006

  24. “Of course, the campaign was ‘viewed as one of the most gay-bating, hateful campaigns.’ That’s because narrow-minded gay leftists were doing the viewing.”

    affirmative LOL 🙂

    Call on line 3 for (or from?) A-n-d-r-e-w-…..

    Comment by Calarato — May 21, 2006 @ 1:34 pm - May 21, 2006

  25. “viewed as one of the most gay-bating, hateful campaigns.”

    The gay baiting I saw was done by Kerry and Edwards during their debates. They raised the subject of Mary’s homosexuality in the most thuggish of ways, Kerry’s being the most klutzy. They played on homophobia, by making sure everyone knew that Vice President Cheney’s daughter was a lesbian queer who prefers the company of woman, and is, did they mention, also homosexual and gay? They implied that there is something noteworthy about Mary Cheney (wink, nudge) that was important enough to bring up in two debates, in the slimiest of ways. People who are not comfortable with all sorts of people are the ones who will find it worth mentioning as they did. How would Kerry have reacted to President Bush mentioning that Kerry’s daughter is an exhibitionist, who shows up in large crowds naked under a see-through dress? He didn’t, because he is a human being. Kerry and Edwards are reptiles. They were the face of the Democrat party. How could any self-respecting gay person be a democrat, when their leaders have such thinly disguised contempt for gays?

    Mr. and Mrs. Cheney are humans, and love their daughter, and their love for her is obvious. If, as one commenter stated, Mrs. Cheney was less comfortable with the news that her daughter is gay, she was just being a mom. What mother wants her child to be the recipient of hate and bigotry? Give the woman a break!

    Comment by Naturalized Texan — May 21, 2006 @ 3:15 pm - May 21, 2006

  26. If she had spoken up during the campaign, many, including myself, would probably have a much different picture of the GOP, VP Cheney, and even Bush, than we do today.

    Question to all those who participate in chats regularly: What is the next level of emphasis above ROFLMAO?

    Because that’s what I’m doing right now in response to Gryph’s statement.

    Simple reason: People who are quick to condemn when you say nothing are not likely to stop when you say something.

    GPW’s recent post is an excellent example. Based on my own experience as well, I think it is safe to say that, when it comes to being a gay conservative, it’s not what you say, but the fact that you’re a gay conservative, that colors peoples’ opinion towards it.

    In short, there is nothing Mary Cheney could have done, said, or carried out that would have NOT brought the wrath of the gay left down on her. They hate her because she is a) conservative and b) a Cheney.

    Nothing else matters.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 21, 2006 @ 3:16 pm - May 21, 2006

  27. Since when does hate have to show itself off as a Reich-sounding Hitler speech?

    Rove deliberately used us as a wedge issue. That was his intention, and he announced it ahead of time and did exactly that. And if you want proof of the tenor of the campaign, start with your party’s platform that was adopted at your national convention. Also compare the campaign to the one of “Compassionate Conservatism” waged in 2000. Remember when Bush actually met with 11 gay republicans? Could you imagine that happening in the last campaign? Not unless you were delirious.

    While it is true that the argument about gay marriage is not all about anti-gay prejudice, it is disingenuous to pretend that it has no bearing at all on the subject. Anti-gay prejudice IS a part of the cultural landscape of the USA. While I don’t think the majority of Americans are homophobic or bigots, I do think the majority of them harbor anti-gay prejudices to varying degrees. Do not confuse the American tradition of live and let live for true acceptance. Hell, gays and lesbians themselves often still harbor many anti-gay prejudices, you can’t seriously expect everyone else to be free of it.

    But back to the subject at hand, Bruce I think you just trying to canonize Mary Cheney into something she is not; yet another savior of the GOP in the eyes of gay and lesbian people. She isn’t. And no matter how accepting her father is of her and of gay and lesbian people in general, it hasn’t produced any change in attitude in the GOP toward gay people. In fact its gotten worse. It certainly hasn’t translated into any votes in Congress either to block the marriage amendment or to knock down DADT.

    And for the record, I never thought her father was anti-gay, I remember when he worked for Bush I and called the anti-gay policies of the Pentagon a “bit of an old chestnut”. I would in fact have preferred a Cheney Presidency rather than the current Bush.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — May 21, 2006 @ 3:45 pm - May 21, 2006

  28. Remember when Bush actually met with 11 gay republicans? Could you imagine that happening in the last campaign? Not unless you were delirious.

    If one reads Mary Cheney’s book, Bush met with gay Republicans, including her, on a regular basis during the campaign — to set policy, to determine direction, and to get input.

    What Bush DIDN’T do was hold token public meetings with them as did Democrats for the purpose of saying, “Look at me! Look! I’m meeting with gay people! Aren’t I tolerant and friendly?”

    Rove deliberately used us as a wedge issue. That was his intention, and he announced it ahead of time and did exactly that.

    Sour grapes.

    The reason gays are in the state we are in is because moonbats have commingled gay rights with unlimited abortion, antireligious bigotry, support of Palestinian terrorists, hate for the US military, and being anti-Republican.

    Karl Rove told Americans the truth — that “gay rights” organizations and gays are in fact primarily concerned with being anti-Republican, anti-religious, and pro-leftist. That was further reinforced by the fact that the “gay community” overwhelmingly supported political candidates who ALSO wanted to strip gays of legal rights — and called that “pro-gay” and “gay-supportive”. The icing on the cake was the hate rhetoric flung at Republican gays like Mary Cheney by said groups, who said that these folks were “Jewish Nazis”, “self-loathing”, and other pleasant statements.

    Karl Rove’s brilliance, Gryph, is that he knows how to manipulate leftists into public displays of their hypocrisy and irrationality. Instead of whining about HIM, why not fix the problem that makes you vulnerable — the stupid leftists that have attached themselves, lamprey-style, to the movement?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 21, 2006 @ 4:28 pm - May 21, 2006

  29. Gryph, this is Dan. You have suggested that Rove tried to use this as a “wedge issue,” but not showed how the campaign engaged in gay-baiting and hate. Indeed, you used the superlative in so describing it — as if it the president — or his surrogates — regularly attacked gay people.

    Please note that, even without Karl Rove, citizens would have organized petition drives to get these referenda on the ballot. They’re still doing it.

    The only way to stop such referenda is to stop gay activists from using the courts to get gay marriage. Instead of making clever legal arguments to sway left-leaning judges, these activists should try to make compelling moral arguments for gay marriage framed in terms that the average American can understand. In the 2000 Vice Presidential debate, Dick Cheney already provided one positive way to do so. I suggest they follow his lead and acknowledge his courage on this issue.

    To be sure, I don’t like the way certain Republicans exploited the issue, but that hardly amounts to gay-baiting and hate. (Though in a few cases it did.) Clinton actually produced radio ads (which he later pulled) highlighting his support of DOMA.

    That the Vice President has differed from the President on this one issue is a sign that Mary had already done a lot for gay people. Our critics may scream and moan that the FMA is being brought up for a vote, but when it fails to muster the two-thirds vote it needs to clear the Senate, will they acknowledge those Republicans who helped vote it down? And wonder if maybe the Vice President’s outspoken opposition made it easier for them to vote their conscience on this issue?

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — May 21, 2006 @ 4:51 pm - May 21, 2006

  30. It’s taken me years to understand that it is not gays I have a problem with; it is lefty activist (offensive) gays. Most of the gay-baiting that I have witnessed in politics has been done by Democrats, ditto race- and gender-baiting. Keeping various groups’ victim status alive is the Dems’ raison d’etre (French intended). I had to leave the Democrat party after 28 years to figure this out…

    I will definitely read Mary’s book. I have long admired both her parents and she seems to have inherited the best of both of them. Those who dismiss her will be poorer for it.

    Comment by Peg C. — May 21, 2006 @ 5:22 pm - May 21, 2006

  31. I apoligize for the somewhat rude and strident tenor of my initial post…

    But I get upset when I see the GOP trot out the marraige amendment thing one more time..

    I’ll submit this for thought… from post # 30
    “……Most of the gay-baiting that I have witnessed in politics has been done by Democrats, ditto race- and gender-baiting. ….”

    Wouldn’t an analysis of GOP tactics not reveal “baiting” of the similar sort? Only the “bait” is “values’ “family”, the decline of morality, the “War on Christmas”, etc. I have many GOP friends tell me they voted “values’…(this from some who disapproved of Bush entirely) And remember how the Fundementalist Christians boasted of giving Bush the presidency? Think any of those guys are accepting of gays? Most that I know believe gays are an abomination.

    One last note…. remember 2004… and the. 11 or 12 states that had anti-gay marraige amendments… Were ANY of these Democrat initiated? I think not…They were crafted by Republicans… calculated to bring the faithful to the polls.

    Who is baiting whom here…

    Oh and this quote
    “….Keeping various groups’ victim status alive is the Dems’ raison d’etre …”
    I’ll submit that there is little difference between this and the GOP strategy of making the Christian right feel as if it, and everything it believes in, is under constant attack by demonic, godless liberals…

    In closing…. Both parties do these things… What I really dont understand is how some can annoint one party as the champion of all holiness and good, and the other as the embodiment of all evil. It just aint like that folks..

    Comment by rick — May 21, 2006 @ 6:09 pm - May 21, 2006

  32. Wouldn’t an analysis of GOP tactics not reveal “baiting” of the similar sort? Only the “bait” is “values’ “family”, the decline of morality, the “War on Christmas”, etc.

    Have you ever wondered why gays are so easily placed on the other side of that?

    Perhaps it’s because “gay rights” organizations like HRC and NGLTF regularly mock religion, sexual responsibility, and limits on abortion, support organizations like the ACLU trying to free pedophiles and pornographers while attacking Nativity scenes and the Pledge of Allegiance, and turn around and give millions of dollars to people who want to strip gays of rights.

    I hardly can blame the Republicans for pointing out what gays themselves have said. How exactly is that “baiting”?

    Perhaps if there were more gays like Mary Cheney, GPW, and others, who are conservative, religious, and do reflect more mainstream values, people would be less prone to think of gays as idiot radical leftists.

    Then again, rick and reilly, that would require you to give up Republican-bashing and antireligious speech. Think you can handle that?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 21, 2006 @ 7:12 pm - May 21, 2006

  33. hey…. what makes you think Im anti-religious? where did that come from.. You wouldn’t be stereotyping me, would you?

    Besides… When it comes to gays, I dont think that the fundamentalist Christians really care what their politics are… If you think they dont like gays because they are “leftists” you are just kidding yourself. Remember.. to some, gays are simply an abomination..

    Meanwhile, I may disagree with you… but for you to infer that I am “anti religious” merely because I perhaps disagree with your point of view sort of proves my point doesnt it?

    Comment by rick — May 21, 2006 @ 7:53 pm - May 21, 2006

  34. Actually, the nearest thing I’ve heard to those complaining because Mary Cheney has some sort of obligation due to her gayness to be an activist is fundy Christians and musicians. See… any other person can have a secular job and no foul, but a *musician* has to sing Christian music or they are apostate.

    Mary Cheney has to be an activist. Everyone else on the face of the earth has a choice, but not her.

    It’s exactly the same religiously held standard.

    Comment by Synova — May 21, 2006 @ 8:31 pm - May 21, 2006

  35. Synova: Agreed. Just because her father is famous does not mean she enjoys the spotlight. She has that right and isn’t obligated by her birthname to activism. Besides, it isn’t an easy thing to come out against one’s father publically. It would have to be something very serious, more so than this, for me do so. Dick Cheney hasn’t been a Phelps or even a Falwell and I’m sure Mary Cheney was satisfied with how tolerant he is in private and the few times he has said something in public. Politics does not trump blood no matter what any nutjob activist may think from either side.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — May 21, 2006 @ 9:12 pm - May 21, 2006

  36. I now love Mary and Dick Cheney. (Will it end now?)

    Comment by jimmy — May 21, 2006 @ 11:22 pm - May 21, 2006

  37. Gryph (#27) — If you can’t even read our posts close enough to know WHO wrote them, why would I think you would read them closely at all to make cogent points?

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — May 21, 2006 @ 11:23 pm - May 21, 2006

  38. hey…. what makes you think Im anti-religious? where did that come from.. You wouldn’t be stereotyping me, would you?

    Based on your posts, no. I feel quite comfortable saying that you’re antireligious.

    Besides… When it comes to gays, I dont think that the fundamentalist Christians really care what their politics are… If you think they dont like gays because they are “leftists” you are just kidding yourself. Remember.. to some, gays are simply an abomination..

    Mhm. And that’s why Howard Dean sold you out on national TV, trying to argue that antireligious gays didn’t represent the Democratic Party’s views on things.

    Think of what could happen if you actually focused on gay rights, instead of merely using them as a means of bashing Christians and Republicans.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 22, 2006 @ 12:56 am - May 22, 2006

  39. As an ex-fundamentalist Christian (a folly of my youth) I can attest that I’ve NEVER known a fundie to think that “gays are an abomination.” There are gays in all large fundamentalist churches; I have known some. Most of those gays believe like most other fundies believe, that homosexual behavior is just another Biblically prohibited sexual sin. That’s it, and no more. You may disagree but their position is traditional and tenable. As someone else said, that they disagree with you doesn’t mean they hate you.

    As others have pointed out, DOMA and similar enactments in (now) 40 states are directly related to a lawyer-driven campaign (I say this as a West Coast top school law student and know of whom I speak) to use the courts to ram gay marriage through the objections of most citizens. Consider this an example of the law of unintended consequences and stop blaming the GOP for enjoying the advantage of being on the same side of an issue as many Democrats, most swing voters, and the GOP faithful. That’s politics, friends. Rather than blame the GOP, it might behoove Democrats to support the positions of their grassroots more than than their netroots and elite opinion shapers in media, law, and leftist groups.

    As for Christians and swing voters thinking ill of gays, it would be wothwhile to reflect upon a community whose spokespeople continue to tout ‘transgressive sexual lifestyles” and that marches in obscene Gay Pride parades. It may be unfortunate but people judge you by 1) the clothes you wear or don’t wear, 2) the friends you keep, and 3) the radicalism you espouse.

    You go, Gay Patriot. This is my first visit to your blog and it is now in my Favorites.

    Comment by Centrist in Seattle — May 22, 2006 @ 1:04 am - May 22, 2006

  40. #39. “Rather than blame the GOP, it might behoove Democrats to support the positions of their grassroots more than than their netroots and elite opinion shapers in media, law, and leftist groups.”

    Whatever happened to doing what is right and just?

    Comment by jimmy — May 22, 2006 @ 2:27 am - May 22, 2006

  41. Dan #29, Bruce #37 on GrampaGryph at #27… when did you start thinking that relevant facts made a difference to Gramps? Clearly, he’s here to bait and taunt –when that doesn’t work, to scream and rant– when that’s ignored, to engage in a style of religious bigotry that makes me want to snack with the Iranians before Gramps anyday…

    Why did you even presume that he would let facts get in the way of voicing his opinion?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — May 22, 2006 @ 11:41 am - May 22, 2006

  42. You don’t have to answer, it was rhetorical.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — May 22, 2006 @ 11:42 am - May 22, 2006

  43. Sidebar for Matt – what do you think the deal is, with Gryph’s mood swings between keeping an unemotional serious tone and going into his curse-style rantings?

    If it’s to keep us (the regulars) guessing, then it might work slightly, because it is probably the one thing about him that I might still find a little bit interesting.

    Comment by Calarato — May 22, 2006 @ 12:37 pm - May 22, 2006

  44. Whatever happened to doing what is right and just?

    Democrats demanding that gays be stripped of rights IS “right and just”, in your opinion. Heck, you’ve made it clear that doing so is “pro-gay” and “gay-supportive” — just look at the endorsements and money that you and other leftist gays gave Clinton, Kerry, and Dean for doing it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 22, 2006 @ 12:40 pm - May 22, 2006

  45. Not exactly sure what is more troubling one that people assumed that because Dick and Lynne are staunch conservatives they despise their daughter because she is gay or two for political reasons people hold their tongues so as not to give the appearance of dissent.

    I would hope that in civilized socities we can have disagreement with hating.

    Also, I liked the one posters clarification about simply being a good parent. I would also like to add I hate the word tolerance. “Oh look, the negro is coming to dinner, I suppose we should make room for him,” versus, “Ralph is coming to dinner.”

    Comment by ralph — May 22, 2006 @ 2:22 pm - May 22, 2006

  46. I read the interview with Mary Cheney and that was enough for me. She’s a “queen bee”. She sits with the protection of her father and has the same snobbish, priviliged attitude that I sense from other gay conservative republicans: We sit on a higher plateau and are superior to those liberal gays. Puh-lease.

    39 “to use the courts to ram gay marriage through the objections of most citizens:” Funny, the supreme court ordered desegration. Do you think that was something that was ‘rammed’ through the courts that was a mistake? I would really like to see a challenge to one of these laws hit the supreme court one day – maybe then people will realize that there’s something called “equal protection under the law” in this nation.

    Comment by Kevin — May 22, 2006 @ 11:14 pm - May 22, 2006

  47. I would also like to add I hate the word tolerance. “Oh look, the negro is coming to dinner, I suppose we should make room for him,” versus, “Ralph is coming to dinner.”

    Ralph,
    You are confusing the definition of tolerate with tolerance. To tolerate someone is just “holding your nose” and putting up with it. Tolerance has somehow morphed into a larger meaning of complete social acceptance. It is interesting to see how the words we use and how we use them can so innocently change.

    Comment by John in IL — May 23, 2006 @ 12:58 am - May 23, 2006

  48. my dictionary doesn’t seem to include these morphed definitions…

    Kevin, I suppose the court could push gay marriage on the citizens of the US and require it be done with all deliberate speed

    Comment by ralph — May 23, 2006 @ 2:37 am - May 23, 2006

  49. On the ground…

    There were a bunch of books I’d wanted to pick up in the City–yes, you can order on Amazon, and I do, but it’s not the same as the delicious feeling of wandering through a bookstore with loads of shelves of books you can touch–but the books got cro…

    Trackback by The White Peril ?? — May 23, 2006 @ 10:40 am - May 23, 2006

  50. I wouldn’t waste ONE penny on Mary Cheney’s book….I wouldn’t take it – if someone brought it for me. She has NOTHING to say that I want or need to hear. No THANK YOU! Now if it was Miya Keyes’s book – that’s a different story I’d wanna read.

    Comment by JRC — May 23, 2006 @ 11:35 am - May 23, 2006

  51. Gryph (#27) — If you can’t even read our posts close enough to know WHO wrote them, why would I think you would read them closely at all to make cogent points?

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — May 21, 2006 @ 11:23 pm – May 21, 2006

    SOME of us have real jobs that do not permit us the luxury of dilly-dallying away the hours of the workday reading blogs. As such, a lot of the times I visit here its with very little time to read and write. So I sometimes make mistakes. Consider it the blogging equivilant of an accidental drive-by shooting. Sometimes I hit the wrong target, so I do apologize for my sins of the past and those I will commit in the future.

    But you might consider that my experience is probably not unique among your readers. Especially those like myself that at least glance at 6-10 blogs a day. And thats in addition to 4-5 regular news sites.

    As for the commenters, asking ANYONE to keep up with the sheer massive volume of Caralato’s entries is unreasonable. So I skim, and maybe hit something or not. Most of Michiganmatts I ignore, but then he makes it easy. I skip anything where he starts off with an insult, either of myself or others. Thats the majority of his posts. If he were smart, he would leave off the personal invective until the end of his. Then I might sometimes see at least a paragraph or two of whatever point he is mangling.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — May 23, 2006 @ 12:58 pm - May 23, 2006

  52. #51 – Well Gryph, at least time, you admit the possibility you can make a mistake.

    Next step, if/when you’re ready: Apologizing when you trash someone on a mistaken basis. (Bitterly trashing someone as a chocolate lover, say, when they posted their love of vanilla – I have seen you do that surprisingly often.)

    Advanced step – but I know you will never get to this – Self-awareness. For example, just in #51, you complain about Matt’s alleged personal invective in a paragraph of your making personal invective on him. Weakens your case, no?

    A smaller step, more manageable for you, I hope: Understanding that skipping commentors you don’t like is part of Web life, and Bruce’s comment system is not in danger of running out of numbers. LOL 🙂

    Comment by Calarato — May 23, 2006 @ 1:56 pm - May 23, 2006

  53. P.S. But of course, if Bruce/Dan ever ask me to change what I do, I’d comply instantly.

    Comment by Calarato — May 23, 2006 @ 2:08 pm - May 23, 2006

  54. Well, I’m not a single issue voter… so I don’t much care what Cheney or Bush or Kerry or Lieberman’s positions are on gay issues. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. Sounds like a the person who wrote this is a one-note johnny.

    Dan

    Comment by Dan cobb — May 23, 2006 @ 6:09 pm - May 23, 2006

  55. my dictionary doesn’t seem to include these morphed definitions…

    But yet, by your example, you agree with my definition of tolerate . You should talk to this group regarding your hatred of the word tolerance.

    Comment by John in IL — May 23, 2006 @ 11:44 pm - May 23, 2006

  56. Yawn. I have better things to waste my money and time on than to buy and read a book by a professional public relations nut-case like Mlle. Cheney.

    Since she is a professional public relations nut-case, it is quite evident that she could–with the help of her editors, of course–strike just the right tone in the book (what a 30-some-odd year old virtual nobody has to tell us in a “memoir” is beyond me), nod the right way in interviews pushing the book, and so forth. Her performances pushing the book were noted here in Germany in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Hilarious.

    Let’s get something–um–straight. She has used her public relations skills to further the fortunes of the Coors family, which has sponsored virulently anti-gay initiatives. And she has used her public relations skills to further the Bushies’ malAdministration elections. You know, the malAdministration that is pushing to get anti-gay discrimination enshrined in the federal constitution. And her faux “vapors” regarding Kerry’s and Edwards “outing” her–after she having been a professional lesbian shilling for the Coors family–are hilarious.

    But why should she care? She’s going to become very wealthy from her daddy’s shares in Halliburton. She’s substantially insulated from the anti-gay clap-trap that comes from her father’s party. Actually, one might seriously ask her why she hasn’t volunteered to serve in her daddy’s war against Iraq. She’s a perfect example of what I’ve been saying for years–people are “gay” second, third, fourth or fifth, and something else first. And that is one significant reason why gay people will, for the forseeable future in the Untied States of America, have such a difficult time achieving equal rights.

    Comment by raj — May 24, 2006 @ 2:13 am - May 24, 2006

  57. #55 John in IL — May 23, 2006 @ 11:44 pm – May 23, 2006

    ….my dictionary doesn’t seem to include these morphed definitions…

    But yet, by your example, you agree with my definition of tolerate . You should talk to this group regarding your hatred of the word tolerance.

    This is a joke, right? Relying on a possibly-deluded web site as a basis for the definition of a word? That is about as dumb as relying on the web site that was supposedly directed toward “transgendered” people, which defined “transgendered” so broadly as to be unrecognizable. This actually came up on the NYTimes gay rights board a few years ago.

    “Tolerance” is a noun that has a number of definitions, but the one that is of interest here is the one that is associated with the verb “tolerate.” Tolerate:

    2 a : to suffer to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction b : to put up with”

    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/tolerate

    Comment by raj — May 24, 2006 @ 2:13 am - May 24, 2006

  58. Again, Raj, with your criticism of Mary Cheney…..we consider the source.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2006 @ 2:45 pm - May 24, 2006

  59. Who the hell is Miya Keyes?

    Comment by rightwingprof — May 24, 2006 @ 5:41 pm - May 24, 2006

  60. #58 North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2006 @ 2:45 pm – May 24, 2006

    AFAIC, Mlle. Cheney can do whatever she and her publicists want. I subscribe to the “greater fool” theory: she as a public relations artiste is separating you (not me, you) from your money.

    Fauning over her and her relationship with her daddy (and the Coors family, of course) is, to me, a bit beyond the pale, but it’s your dime, not mine.

    What I found interesting is that the Sueddeutscher report of her publicity tour indicated that she considered herself “married” to her partner. It’s nice that she “considers” herself “married” to her partner. But that “considered” would be fairly meaningless if push comes to shove in the legal arena. Ah, well, to channel Robin Cook, the Lives of the Rich and Famous are not the lives of we more mundane people.

    Comment by raj — May 25, 2006 @ 12:20 am - May 25, 2006

  61. raj baby, you giving lessons on what constitutes “tolerate” is like the young boy who kills his parents and then asks the Court for mercy because he’s an orphan.

    We know what tolerate means. You test us on the outer bounds of that concept with every single comment you offer.

    Tolerate: putting up with raj’s pedantic, uber-Germanic, pseudo-intellectual rants and observations.

    Tolerate.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — May 25, 2006 @ 5:48 pm - May 25, 2006

  62. #61 Michigan-Matt — May 25, 2006 @ 5:48 pm – May 25, 2006

    We know what tolerate means.

    You do? Explain it to John from IL.

    Comment by raj — May 27, 2006 @ 1:35 am - May 27, 2006

  63. Do Calarato and the Dallas guy have their own blogs?

    Comment by jimmy — May 28, 2006 @ 12:48 pm - May 28, 2006

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