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October 18, 2004
Now The WaPo Uses Mary Cheney For Its Own Purposes

Despite its own reporting on the debacle of John Kerry's debate reference to Mary Cheney, the Washington Post apparently missed the entire point of the outrage. In an essay for tomorrow's edition, Hank Steuver uses Dick Cheney's daughter to push his own political agenda:

Mary Cheney: Somewhere out there she exists, the actual Mary Cheney, child of the nondisclosed location, the one who's the luh-luh-lesbian. She's become this eternal and complicated mystery for people who are gay, and without ever really knowing her or hearing from her, they've spent four years writing poems, articles and protest songs about her. They've implored her with open letters in forums she may or may not ever read. They've waved signs with her name, started Web sites and put her on a milk carton as though she were a missing child. Oh, Mary Cheney, speak to us.

Then, after last week's final presidential debate, the subject of Mary went surprisingly national, and she became her very own polling question: Is it okay to drag Mary into this, as the Kerry-Edwards ticket has done?

In the Oct. 14 Washington Post tracking poll, 64 percent of likely voters said no, it was "inappropriate," and you get the feeling that something like this makes most Americans feel kinda ooky. People don't like to say the word lesbian, especially some mothers and fathers of lesbians. The word summons up some outdated, maternal plea -- Couldn't you wear a skirt just this once? Your father is running for office.

Steuver writes an arrogant and incredibly tacky essay which does exactly what John Kerry did -- presume to speak for Mary Cheney. More specifically, he uses Mary Cheney as a strawwoman onto which he projects his own agenda, without ever taking into account that Mary Cheney may not agree with his characterization of her, her family, or her wardrobe aesthetic.

Politicians have to be prepared for such self-important critiques coming from people who consider themselves to be part of the intelligentsia, but Mary Cheney isn't a politician, and she's not running for office. Steuver treats Cheney as an object for his own amusement, writing "lesbian" over and over again in order to show how hip he is (and by comparison, how square he presumes the Cheneys to be). He pretends to care about Mary, but the only impact she has on Steuver is the one he presumes that her family can't get over -- her sexuality.

Steuver inadvertently demonstrates the same cluelessness that Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards showed in the debate and its aftermath. Without having had the benefit of actually meeting and speaking with Mary Cheney about her sexuality, they pontificated about what she thinks and feels. Elizabeth Edwards never spoke with Lynne Cheney to even attempt to understand her feelings about her daughter but didn't let that stop her from condemning her as being ashamed of her daughter. Just like so many on the left, they presume they know better than family members about their relationships and issues.

If Steuver had set out to write a parody of John Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards, he couldn't have done a better job. Unfortunately, Steuver means every word he writes.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 18, 2004 10:11 PM

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Captain Ed at Captain’s Quarters has nailed the Washington Post on joining the slimy Kerry-Edwards campaign’s use of Dick & Lynne Cheney’s daughter. (The Post’s article, of course, requires registration so I’m not going t... [Read More]

Tracked on October 18, 2004 11:29 PM

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