Saturday, February 03, 2007

You Can't Always Have it Both Ways

In a recent NY Times article, Mary Cheney, the daughter of VP Dick Cheney defends her position, as a lesbian, to not only have a baby but to have it in peace and quiet. Remember, Mary's dad and the Christian Right have often cited gay people and gay families as a challenge to the very foundation of America's traditional family values. Mary has supported her dad and the Republican Party while keeping silent when they went on their rants against LGBT folks.

This is Mary's defense as written in that NY Times article,

“When Heather and I decided to have a baby, I knew it wasn’t going to be the most popular decision,” Ms. Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe. She then gestured to her middle—any bulge disguised by a boxy jacket—and asserted: “This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child.”

No one can deny that she is carrying a gift from God: a child. And surely the child is not a political statement. And that child, like any other child, needs and will probably receive, the love that comes with raising a child. And, surely Mary and Heather will be good parents, doting on their boy or girl as any good, financially well-off parents would do. Mary wants what many Americans want (and feel entitled to have). And yet, the very same people that Mary works and stumps for, don't want that to be given to everyone else. Even Mary herself, working with her dad's campaign, has condoned such a mindset: 'I might be entitled to it, but you're not' is the implication from her support of her dad and his politics.

But now Mary is going to be a proud parent and, the time has come, she feels, to be left alone to raise and begin her new family. Dan Savage has written, in response to Mary's article and to her dad's condescension on Wolf Blitzer's news show, Dan writes a scathing piece directed at Mary and her hypocrisy. For whatever reason, Dan explains, Mary doesn't seem to "get it" that she is a part of the LGBT community and the child she will birth, will be rebuked and scandalized as any other LGBT couples and families have been, by her and her dad's political party. And she wants a free ride. She wants her life to be hidden from the public (more entitlement, right?) and to live her life, as if it's not anyone else's business. Interestingly enough, that is the same argument used by other LGBT families--now she's claiming it for herself amidst and to the very party she has so dogmatically supported all these years.

I agree with Dan that Mary can't or shouldn't have it both ways. And, few are or should let her do it, without reminding her that, until she admits to her role in the Republican scapegoating of LGBT folks, she is as much to blame as they are. Because of her silence during the Presidential race, many LGBT folks maintain a kind of, 'Who the heck does she think she is' mentality.

Whether or not you are as angry as Dan is or if you're somewhere between accepting alternate families and wanting to accept them with reservations, you must admit that Mary sure has a lot of balls, right? I mean, seriously, can the daughter of one of the most powerful (or as some would contend, THE most powerful) men be allowed to do in private that which others have been fighting for in the open square?

Again, Mary can't have it both ways. Even if she wants too- few are going to let her do it. Even Jon Stewart can't stomach the hypocrisy. And he points that out in a very funny and matter-of-fact way.

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