Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Selling out his own daughter. Business is business, but even Vito Corleone was good to his kids. Which is why I'm so appalled, if not surprised, that Dick Cheney would sell out his own daughter on gay marriage. Says the vice-president: "The president's taken the clear position that he supports a constitutional amendment. I support him."

Now, I suppose it's possible that you could have a child who's gay or lesbian, that you could oppose marriage rights on religious or philosophical grounds or whatever, and you could still love that child. But Cheney, as we know, has actually changed his position in order to get on the right side of George W. Bush's panderfest. Have he and his daughter, Mary Cheney, talked about this? For that matter, do they still talk?

Here's what Cheney said in his debate with Joe Lieberman in 2000:

The fact of the matter is we live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody. We don't get to choose, and shouldn't be able to choose and say, "You get to live free, but you don't." And I think that means that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It's really no one else's business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.

The next step, then, of course, is the question you ask of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship, or if these relationships should be treated the same way a conventional marriage is. That's a tougher problem. That's not a slam dunk.

I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.

I try to be open-minded about it as much as I can, and tolerant of those relationships. And like Joe, I also wrestle with the extent to which there ought to be legal sanction of those relationships. I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.

From let-the-states-decide (which implies federal recognition) to a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. What a long, strange, ugly trip it's been.

Andrew Sullivan, for some reason, tries to throw Cheney a lifeline, arguing that Cheney said he supports the president, not the amendment. To which I say, if Cheney is parsing his words as carefully as Sullivan thinks he is, then his performance is all the more shameful.

And do check out

A Corleone line that Cheney won't be using: "Why do you come to me on the day of my daughter's wedding?"

Quote of the day. "Just last week he [George W. Bush] proposed to amend the Constitution of the United States for political purposes. He has no right to misuse the most precious document in our history in an effort to divide this nation and to distract us from our goals." - John Kerry during his victory speech last night.

Strong stuff. Too bad Kerry fails to show the same reverence for the Massachusetts Constitution, which he favors amending for the sole purpose of getting an election-year monkey off his back.

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