RESPECT - find out what it means to me. I need to be shown some respect. Respect from both the Cheneys and news outlets.
Although it has been some time past now, I'm still vexted about the news media failure to encapsulate the facts of a situation and resorting to misleading and sensationalized headlines. The particular situation that I'm referring to is Dick Cheney stating that he believed that states should have the right to decide who gets married, but, hey, the President, who is a really nice guy and all, has a slightly different idea. And, after all, he is The Boss, so we gotta do what he says.
Every headline I saw about this event, which occurred just slightly before the National Republican Convention, blared that Cheney opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment. Didn't matter where the article was written, regardless of the author's sexual orientation or publishing house affiliation, "Cheney opposes FMA" was the headline de jour.
Well, actually, no.
Cheney never said he opposed the FMA. Not once. At best his statement suggests that he might, just might, oppose it. He said he believed that states should have the right to decide about marriage. But he never said he was going to fight for that right. He never said he thought the FMA was a bad idea. In the end, all he said was he was going to support the president. The president who is waging a war against gays and lesbians, including Cheney's own daughter, Mary, and her partner (neither of whom made it to the platform with the rest of the Cheney family during the RNC).
And so goes the whole chain-chain-Cheney of Fools. There is plenty to be said about how Cheney's ties to Haliburton is routinely ignored by America at large and news watchhounds. However, old Tricky Dick (where have we heard that before?) has made people believe that he opposes the FMA. That, hey, maybe that Presidential ticket isn't so right-sided after all. Sure, the President might be a nutjob after queers, but his running mate compassionately believes differently. He's not doing anything about it, but he's sincere. Not only Dick fool the media into publishing the headline he wanted, he conveniently had the opportunity to do it right before the convention. He's never voiced this particular opinion prior, but somebody just happened to ask him this question so he could speak from his heart right before national television coverage of him and the nu..I mean President. How fortunate for Mr. Cheney.
Down the chain we go with Mary. I've stood up for old Mare before. I have felt like she was unmercifully hounded by websites such as Dear Mary, and I greatly respect her right to not have to speak out. Still, it's impossible to discern the cause of her absence with the rest of the Cheney family on the RNC on the platform (as she was with the family while in the audience the night prior). Was this a silent protest? Was she asked not to appear for fear of offending the delicate sensibilities of the religious right? Was she just in the bathroom, unable to stomach all the crap her dad and the rest of the Republican leaders throw out? I've finally come to the point that I feel Mary needs to make a stand. Since her dad is now on the record as opposing the FMA, then she doesn't have to worry about saying anything he disagrees with or sounding non-supportive of him. Give the gay community a little respect, Mary.
I have been suckered briefly in the chain myself. I was wowed by Lynne Cheney speaking against the FMA openly back in July. Even though her words were not dissimilar from the Veep's current reiteration of his stance, she did talk more in-depth about not needing federal intervention. Also, she seemed more like a maverick at the time, with Dick silent on the issue since 2000. However, Lynne has a controversial past as perhaps the most right-wing ideologue of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) during the Reagan-Bush presidencies (a positon she now re-occupies). She vigorously opposed feminist thought and teaching or any teaching that presented a view of the world she disagreed with. According to Salon.com, "During her chairmanship of the agency from 1986 through 1992, Cheney was known for killing research projects deemed offensive to conservative orthodoxy, scribbling "not for me!" on proposals dealing with race, gender discrimination or the legacy of slavery. She considered the endowment so irredeemably left-wing that she campaigned to abolish it." No "Spanish Harlem" for Lynne, apparently. So much for my unequivocal praise.
And the chain of fools grows: the fools who think that Bush actually stands for family values, that he cares about anybody not in the top 2% of the American income stratus, the fools who think that the Cheneys show the moderate and compassionate voice of the Dubya ticket. The Cheneys try to come off as a Do-Right Woman and a Do-Right Man. Rather, I wonder who's zoomin who.
Think, America, think.