Saturday, October 16


This is the first and last time I will comment on the flack about Kerry mentioning Mary Cheney during the last debate. I knew at the time it would kindle a firestorm and was not happy about it. But not because I believed it was "out of bounds." I winced because I knew it would cause the same kind of distracting hullaballoo that it has. If Kerry was "over the line," why haven't gay activists spoken out about it? The answer is, because they agree that "outed" gays are people fundamentally like you and me; ironically, that's just the point Kerry was trying to make. Andrew Sullivan, an openly gay conservative writer and pundit, has written some of the best stuff about this issue. His latest offering:

Gary Bauer has long denied he's anti-gay, or catering to anti-gay prejudice. But this morning he came clean, in referring to Kerry's mentioning Mary Cheney's lesbianism:

"I think it is part of a strategy to suppress traditional-values voters, to knock 1 or 2 percent off in some rural areas by causing people to turn on the president."

Think about that for a minute. Bauer believes that his core supporters would be likely to "turn" on the president just because the vice-president's daughter is a lesbian. Notice that there's no indication of homosexual "acts", just a revulsion at Mary Cheney's simple identity as a lesbian. This is their base. This is why they're worried. Some of the subtler arguments I've heard overnight say the following: it's not that homosexuality is wrong; it's just that many people believe that and Kerry therefore exploited their homophobia to gain a point. I don't buy it, but let's assume the worst in Kerry's motives for the sake of argument. What these emailers are saying is that Kerry should hedge what he says in order to cater to the homophobia of Bush's base. Why on earth should he? The truth here is obvious: Bush and Cheney are closet tolerants. They have no problem with gay people personally; but they use hostility to gay people for political purposes, even if it means attacking members of their own families. What they are currently objecting to is the fact that their hypocrisy has been exposed. To which the only answer is: if you don't want to be exposed as a hypocrite, don't be one.


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