The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Exploiting Mary Cheney

 Exploiting Mary Cheney
Exploiting Mary Cheney

Exploiting Mary Cheney

With only 13 days left until the election, a great deal hashappened in the last few weeks that deserves commentary.

For example, the fact that Lt. General Ricardo Sánchez,the Bush Administration’s top commander in Iraq last year,complained that the “supply situation was so poor that itthreatened Army troops’ ability to fight.”

Or that 18 soldiers in the 343rd Quartermaster Company in Iraqrefused to drive supply trucks because the trucks had not beenproperly outfitted with armor, nor were they receiving sufficientair and ground cover to protect them while driving.

Or that Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to the elderBush and mentor to current national security adviser CondaleezaRice, referred to the war in Iraq as a “failingventure.”

Or even that Brigadier General John Eisenhower, son of formerRepublican President and World War II Allied Commander Dwight D.Eisenhower, broke from his party after 50 years and endorsed Sen.John Kerry, stating, “Recent developments indicate that thecurrent Republican Party leadership has confused confidentleadership with hubris and arrogance.”

Instead conscience dictates that I comment on the non-story thathas come to be known as Marygate.

Like me, the Kerry campaign — instead of being able todiscuss major news topics — has been forced to answer chargesthat he outed the vice president’s daughter on nationalTV.

As a result, major news items were relegated to back pages whilea non-event became an instant front-page story when the vicepresident, his wife, and the entire Republican machine expressedoutrage over Sen. Kerry’s earnest response to a questionabout the nature of homosexuality, stating, “We’re allGod’s children, and I think if you were to talk to DickCheney’s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you thatshe’s being who she was, she’s being who she was bornas.”

I say non-event because I don’t think there was anyone,except perhaps in the remote jungles of Borneo, who didn’talready know that the vice president’s daughter was alesbian.

Maybe the Cheneys are really upset that Bush didn’t thinkfast enough on his feet to use the example himself.

Regardless, both of Mary Cheney’s parents have spokenopenly about their daughter’s sexuality during the course ofthe campaign. So the charge that Mary Cheney was outed is simplyridiculous.

The truth is, there are many stories here, the fact that MaryCheney is a lesbian, or the fact that Kerry mentioned it, is notone.

One of the stories is that this is being treated as a”dirty little secret” that still causes many familiesto recoil and hide.

Another story is that a majority of the vice president’sbase considers his daughter to be sinner, many of whom believe thatshe will burn in hell.

Another story is the suggestion that Kerry intentionallyreferred to the Cheney’s daughter in an attempt to dilute thesupport of that very base.

The logic goes something like this: Our daughter’s alesbian. Our base hates lesbians. Kerry outed our daughter sowe’ll lose votes from our base.

Their argument, if it weren’t so pathetic, might actuallybe funny.

A bigger story is that Cheney herself has used her sexualityduring this campaign to lobby the Log Cabin Republicans, a nationalorganization consisting of thousands of gays and lesbians, in anattempt to win their endorsement, which they refused to give.

Conservative commentator and dean of American English WilliamSafire, in his Sunday New York Times Op-Ed piece, referredto the outing as “the lowest blow,” claiming that itwas “gratuitous.”

The only thing gratuitous about the matter is Safire’s useof a superlative to describe the non-issue. He went on to refer toKerry’s reference as “sleazy.” The only thingsleazy about the non-issue is that some people still considerhomosexuality to be taboo.

Apparently the L word-which once stood for liberal, but nowstands for lesbian-is also taboo, akin to discussing thepresident’s niece’s drug abuse or his daughters’under-age drinking.

Senator Kerry was asked a direct question about homosexuality,and he used a clear and timely example to illustrate his point.

Outraged (read homophobic) pundits, strategists, parents andvoters have argued that Mary Cheney’s sexuality is a privatematter. What they mean, of course, is that gays should never remindanyone that they are gay.

In their argument, they fail to acknowledge that each time Mrs.Cheney joins her husband on a public stage she is making astatement about her sexuality. Likewise, each time MaryCheney’s partner joins her on the national stage she ismaking a public statement about her sexuality.

The difference is the Cheneys want to be able to wheel theirdaughter in and out of the closet only when it’s beneficialto them.

So, in reality, who’s really exploiting Mary Cheney?


George Henson is a lecturer of Spanish. He may be contactedat [email protected].

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