Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Cheney's Battle- Not

(Sarcasm Alert)

Wow! Did she really say that?

On the video clip played on Sunday's Up with Steve Kornacki, GOP TV's Chris Wallace is seen telling/asking Liz Cheney, candidate for the Republican nomination for senator in Wyoming "You talk about your position against same sex marriage.  Your sister Mary who is married to a woman, put out this post. The response:   "For the record, I love my sister, you, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage." Hatred spewing from every pore, Cheney responded "Yeah. And, listen, I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree."

Joan Walsh and Steve Kornacki himself were fairly restrained in their outrage. Not so the others. Representative John Yarmuth brought up the Matthew Shephard case, arguably implying some connection between Cheney's remark and the torture and murder of a gay young man in Wyoming in 1998. Particularly disingenuous was Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo, who asserted "You know, she`s thrown her sister under the bus. And I would say this is not simply an issue where siblings disagree. I disagree with my sister plenty, but I`ve never argued that she should be treated unequally under the law."

Respectively: no, she hasn't; yes, it is; and neither has she.

Liz Cheney did not argue that, in the presence of a law authorizing same-sex marriage, her sister Mary "should be treated unequally under the law."  Rather, she suggests that same-sex marriage should not be the law (legal; government-authorized).  Aspiring to be a United States Senator, Liz clearly does not favor the concept of gay marriage nor does not want it to be the law of the land.

And yes, it is "simply an issue where siblings disagree." Cheney prefaced none of her responses to Wallace as "and one more thing, Chris, about the gay marriage thing." She was asked specifically about a prior remark and, instead of dodging the question or pretending she had never made the statement, contended her sibling "is dead wrong on the issue of marriage."   Perhaps Mary's feelings were hurt, though it's hard to believe she had no inkling of her sister's position on the issue.

One would think a veteran Republican operative such as Mary Cheney would be able to handle the alleged affront.  Naively, another member of the panel, buzzfeed.com Washington bureau chief John Stanton, seemed to be unaware when he maintained "this notion of sort of a pattern of attacking people that have relied on you and you have- you should have some sort of loyalty to..."

So, too, was Bill Maher, who on Friday's Real Time acknowledged "I’m sure there are a lot of Wyoming people who find gay marriage icky.  But what they found even ickier was throwing your sister under the bus.”  (Three days-plus later, there is no media report of Mary Cheney being crushed by a bus, or of even suffering a scratch; apparently it was a light bus.)  Dan Savage, author, columnist, and gay advocate, told Maher (video below) "Mary does a pretty good approximation of evil" and stated, as reported by Raw Story

Unlike her sister, Liz, who’s saying ‘it’s a state issue,’ Romney wanted to rewrite the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage in every state, even overturning gay marriages in states where it had already been legalized. Romney was 1,000 times worse than Liz, and Mary wrote that f*cker a check.  

This is the individual some (obviously not Savage) supporters of same-sex marriage see as a victim. A little over four years ago, open secrets.org explained

Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, recently contributed $1,000 to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rob Portman, who as an Ohio congressman voted to ban same-sex marriage and to prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting children in the District of Columbia, reports the left-leaning investigative news website Raw Story.

This donation was just Cheney's third federal campaign contribution of her life that met the Federal Election Commission's disclosure threshold, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis, and is her largest to date.

In September of 2003, she contributed $850 to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. And in the closing months of the 2008 election, she gave Virginia Republican congressional candidate Keith Fimian $500.

Cheney has long advocated equal rights for gays, sometimes more forcefully than others. 

She almost quit the Bush-Cheney reelection team when President George W. Bush endorsed a federal constitutional amendment that would provide marriage benefits to only heterosexual couples. She expressed further opposition to the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment in her 2006 autobiography. And in 2007, she criticized evangelical Christian minister James Dobson after he condemned her plan to raise a child with her partner.

Yet these views haven't kept her from financially supporting Republican politicians whose social views are far more conservative than her own. She has previously stated that she doesn't always have the "luxury of being a single-issue voter on same-sex marriage."

Cheney's contribution to Portman is notable given Portman voted for the 2004 Federal Marriage Amendment and also voted in favor of a measure to ban adoption by same-sex couples in the District of Columbia. Portman was ultimately tapped to serve as the U.S. Trade Representative and later head of the White House Office of Management and Budget during Bush's second term.

Fimian, meanwhile, attracted the ire of liberals during the 2008 campaign for his opposition to abortion rights and involvement with the conservative Catholic business association, Legatus, which was established by Domino's Pizza founder and abortion rights opponent activist Tom Monaghan. 

Fimian lost to Democrat Gerry Connolly in the race to fill the seat vacated by retiring Republican Tom Davis, and Fimian has already vowed a rematch.

Legatus, for which Fimian serves on the board of directors, is headquarters in the Florida town of Ave Maria, which was developed with Monaghan's financial support to cater to a new Catholic university and law school. During the area's construction, Monaghan made national headlines in 2006 when he announced the town would ban condoms and other contraceptives -- a comment he later retracted.

Cheney, the younger of Cheney's two daughters, boasts more than 15 years of political, corporate, public affairs and strategic communications experience, including outreach to the gay community for Coors Brewing Company and directing vice presidential operations for her father during the 2004 reelection campaign.

That would be the notoriously anti-gay (and anti-union) Coors Brewing Company, for which Mary Cheney worked as a p.r. flack when it was convenient. Though the rights of gay men and women are not a high priority for M. Cheney, they appear to be so for M. Cheney because it affects her personally. For Mary Cheney, supporting same-sex marriage is as it is for many Republicans- a worthy cause because it personally affects them.   Liz Cheney's position can be criticized.  But as Savage seemunderstands, doing so in the context of a perceived slight to her sister is a case of misplaced outrage.

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