Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mary "Silent but Deadly" Cheney

Watched Diane Sawyer’s interview with Mary Cheney last night, the first time she’s spoken publicly about herself as a gay person.

Mary felt it was important to note that she hasn’t been muzzled all this time, just silent until it was her turn. Her turn?! If being the daughter of the second most powerful man in the free world doesn’t qualify as “your turn” what on God’s green (for the next 50 years or so) earth does? Is she waiting until she’s president?

I can’t decide if Mary Cheney’s silence (she didn’t even really say much during the interview) is enormously selfish, spineless or self-loathing. Let’s see which I can make the strongest case for?

I’ll start with self-loathing. Remember when Mary said she mouthed silent obscene insults (can’t even say those out loud) at John Kerry for mentioning the vice-president’s gay daughter during the 2005 debates? Why did that make her and her family so angry? (Thanks Diane Sawyer for letting THAT question pass by.) If Mary truly believed being gay is just the way she is, Kerry’s mention of the fact that she is gay would be like Cheney mentioning Kerry’s daughters were female or brunette. It is simply a trait of some humans. I suppose she could be trying to cover the real source of her anger-- that her own father supported an administration that worked to FURTHER limit her freedoms! Choosing not to confront her father on this issue also would make her, in my mind, self-loathing.

Or is she just spineless? When Sawyer asked if Mary ever talked to the president about his attempts to further limit gay people from being able to protect their families, all she could say was that she wasn’t sure that was the most effective way to get her message across. Got to give her that. What could possibly be more effective than saying absolutely nothing?

Sawyer asks “What would your dad say if you asked him to change “don’t ask don’t tell”?” Mary’s response? “I would never ask him to do that.” Why the heck not? Good Lord! She’s an American citizen and his daughter. Even if she knew he would say “no,” isn’t there value in forcing someone who holds a bigoted position to actually hear themselves say it out loud? Sometimes that is enough to help them change their mind.

In response to Sawyer’s question about whether or not one can be too respectful, Mary asked, “Can you be too respectful of the leader of the free world?” To which John dryly said to the television, “When he’s making the free world less free, yes!”

Whatever else she might be I think I can safely say that Mary Cheney is selfish. When asked about her perspective on Bush’s call to ban gay marriage, Mary said that in her view she and her partner are already married. They’re just waiting for state and federal law to catch up. Well, that’s fine, Mary. You just go ahead and wait. Even though you have resources and a level of access most people can only dream of, don’t put yourself out. Even though people still die alone in ICU units because their partners are denied access, even though a foster child is ripped away from the gay couple that has been their parents for 15 years, even though committed gay couples are denied over 1000 tax-related benefits enjoyed by legally married folks, don’t bother getting up. You have yours. That’s all that matters.

Let's contrast Mary "I've got mine" Cheney with a real patriot, Laurel Hester, the New Jersey police officer who spent her last lung cancer-strained dying breaths pleading with Ocean County authorities to allow her partner to receive her pension benefits just as other spouses do. Hester's last appearance (of several--she was dying of cancer the entire time) was via video because she was too sick to move. But, you're right Mary. There's absolutely no reason why cancer-riddled souls shouldn't spend their last days doing the work for you.

What a waste. As far as I’m concerned, Mary Cheney sounded better when she said nothing.


Anonymous David said...

I agree Troy. Amen, and Amen. I sat there thinking, "Why is she even on television? What's the point? What was her pay-off for doing the interview?"

11:22 AM  

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