"This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement."
February 3, 2007 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Tell, but don't ask. Dick's lesbian daughter is pregnant. Mary Cheney and her partner Heather Poe are having a baby. But she'd rather not talk about it. The future grandparents think any mention of their daughter's sexual preference is out of line. Dan Savage thinks otherwise.
posted by Toekneesan (60 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Because I am the daughter of a VP, a multimillionarie, while you just are a nobody.
“This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child.
It is so good to be rich and powerful enough to not bother and sidestep laws if necessary. Ahhh soo good.
In the book, she wrote that she came “pretty close” to quitting when President Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Ohhh pretty close ! That means she was mad, mad livid, mad angry ! I bet she held her breath till she turned metafilter blue. Oh my god she really was over the top and it would have made some difference !

But..she isn't but a lost lesbian sheep..let the lost sheep come back to her father, it's pardon day ! Rejoyce ! Blessed the mother***ing lord ! Celebrate ! Who's going to keep track of my flipflopping anyway ?

What, a gay couple at the door ? Fuck you miscreants , she is BORN AGAIN ! You are BORN POOR !
posted by elpapacito at 9:05 AM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's funny* how uberconservative hyperevangelical extremist right wing blowhard James Dobson's personal attack on Mary Cheney is being blamed on the left.

* or absurd. or sad. or something.
posted by Flunkie at 9:20 AM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think it's true that she can support the Republican party without agreeing 100% with the goals of the party.

And overall I think she's doing a good thing by putting onto the table the ideas that gay couples are just as valid parents (and lovers, cohabitators, etc.) as straight couples. Keep saying it, Mary -- maybe more of your fellow Republican-conservatives will catch on.

Anyway. So, fine. She said her thing. But if she wants to be treated as something more than a hypocrite, she's got to make explicit the connection that just as it is okay for her to raise a child in a gay household, it is also okay for the many other Americans that want the same. It's such a great position from which to really push the topic into the fore-front -- why not take it?

I am glad she's being more public about her life, though.
posted by chasing at 9:26 AM on February 3, 2007


what Flunkie said.

I've known a few super-"Christians"* who think all gays are evil perverts who are going to hell... except my little Tommy, he's such an angel, and his boyfriend is such a nice guy, too! I love that double standard. You hate gays, unless it's your son or daughter, that's different.

*(Christians in the sense of going to church a lot and telling others what to do, not in the sense of following the teachings of Christ, which should be the only true definition)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:28 AM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


The daily show did a good bit about this, Unfortunately viacom is trying to remove all their stuff from youtube again
posted by delmoi at 9:35 AM on February 3, 2007


Incidentally, I know a gay Republican.

And I don't mean just plain "Republican". I mean balls to the wall, drank the Kool Aid, Limbaugh is God, Alec Baldwin should be hanged, and the Dixie Chicks made us lose the Iraq War (which we're winning) Republican.

It's... odd.
posted by Flunkie at 9:36 AM on February 3, 2007


she is BORN AGAIN ! You are BORN POOR !

Uh, ok hypocritical self-serving politicians, right - check.

Meanwhile the complaint is what, that she's born again, that she's born rich, or that she was born the daughter of Dick Cheney?

Or: that she fails to honorably represent her "team", that one's sexual orientation defines who one is really is and she should therefor behave like a lesbian - not like a Christian, a rich person, or a daughter?
posted by scheptech at 9:37 AM on February 3, 2007


Christians in the sense of going to church a lot and telling others what to do

In other words, Christianists.
posted by ericb at 9:37 AM on February 3, 2007


That said, it's hilarious to watch Wolf Blitzer cower under Cheney's evil eye.
posted by delmoi at 9:38 AM on February 3, 2007


The future grandparents think any mention of their daughter's sexual preference is out of line.

I'd love to discuss sexual preference with Dick Cheney. I'd prefer he fuck himself.
posted by jonmc at 9:39 AM on February 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


Green Eyed Monster: Actually, I find it much worse when the parents still believe their little baby is an evil pervert and they are going to hell.

I "expect" the behavior you describe.

I am still, even now, surprised when people would disown a familiar member for the sake of their allegiance to a pretend man in the sky.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:39 AM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


And I don't mean just plain "Republican". I mean balls to the wall, drank the Kool Aid, Limbaugh is God, Alec Baldwin should be hanged, and the Dixie Chicks made us lose the Iraq War (which we're winning) Republican.

It's... odd.


On one hand, yeah, since the Republican party leadership dosen't like his sexual preference. On the other hand, maybe not, who you have sex with dosen't necessarily determine how you feel about every other issue, for better or for worse.
posted by jonmc at 9:41 AM on February 3, 2007


jonmc, of course it doesn't. But given his personal level of extremism, it makes for a very strange juxtaposition.
posted by Flunkie at 9:42 AM on February 3, 2007


You hate gays, unless it's your son or daughter, that's different.

Yeah -- the far-right wingers with gays in their families are many. Among them -- Newt Gingrich (his half-sister Candice), Phyllis Schlafly (her son John) and Allan Keyes (his daughter Maya.)
posted by ericb at 9:47 AM on February 3, 2007


Didn't Schafly and Keyes disown their gay kids. Assholes, but at least their consistent assholes. Plus it's nice to see a woman and a black guy break into the psycho zealot business, which has generally been a white male dominated field.
posted by jonmc at 9:49 AM on February 3, 2007


Dan Savage has it exactly right. You reap what you fucking sow. Period. Welcome to the Thunderdome, Mary.

PS -- Cully Stimson resigned. Yay Blogs!
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:50 AM on February 3, 2007


Daily Show: Was Wolfie Out of Line?
posted by homunculus at 9:52 AM on February 3, 2007


That said, it's hilarious to watch Wolf Blitzer cower under Cheney's evil eye.

Conservative pundits love to point to liberal writers and their willingness to compare Cheney to a vampire, a CHUD who willingly feasts on the flesh of new borns, etc. as an example of un-Americanism that borders on treason. But here we have a case in point moment where it's clear that had the studio power gone out for two minutes there would have been a thud in the dark followed by horrid tearing and slurping sounds over top a man's gurgling screams. When the lights came on Wolf would have been lying dead with his throat torn out and a set of bloody paw prints would have lead back to Cheney's dressing room.

FACT.
posted by The Straightener at 10:11 AM on February 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


The problem isn't that Mary Cheney is Republican. If she thinks the Republican party is generally more in line with her positions, even with one glaring contrast, fine. It would be silly to think that all gay people must be Democrats or something is wrong with them.

The problem is that the Cheneys think the rest of us aren't allowed to ask why the values in their own family run counter to the positions of the party that Dick virtually runs. Why shouldn't Mary's orientation and pregnancy be part of the debate? It's not like we're outing her, and she's a very public figure.

I wish Wolf had stuck by his guns on this one. "Of course all your grandkids are blessings from God. You know that and I know that. But a pretty large percentage of your party, certainly the majority, believe differently. How do you reconcile that?"
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:20 AM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Didn't Schafly and Keyes disown their gay kids?

Keyes definitely disowned his daughter; it was a fairly big story before the electrion.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:22 AM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've already decided that when the kid is born, I'm sending Grandpa Dick a congratulations card.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:33 AM on February 3, 2007


It'd be great to see a journalist ask a prominent politican about his daughter's upcoming 'traditional' wedding (ie, church, bride, groom) and have the politician say "shut the hell up that's none of your damn business, it's my family's personal life!" cause a pretty usual response would be "thanks for asking, it's going to be beautiful" or something along those lines.

also...slurping noise...paw prints....HAHAHA! that's great!
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 10:36 AM on February 3, 2007


I've already decided that when the kid is born, I'm sending Grandpa Dick a congratulations card.

Which will be joyfull accepted because, you know, if my homosexual daughter has a son with another woman that is perfectly natural and GodWill , but not if other gays want to "marry" it is not, because somehow that would sent world upside down, infringe on the sanctity of marriage and whatnot.

There is nothing unnatural with homosexual having offspring in artificial ways, while the sun would explode if the same homosexual underwrote a mutual help contract ! Abominion ! The Horror !

Plus my personal life is mine and mine only, how dare you fucking homos point finger at me ? You aren't but homos anyway ! You will burn in HELL , except my daughter because she is born again , George told me so he speaks with Jesus.
posted by elpapacito at 10:50 AM on February 3, 2007


I've already decided that when the kid is born, I'm sending Grandpa Dick a congratulations card.
Keeping Mr. Cheney specifically in mind, perhaps this should be "Congratulations on your new emergency organ supply".
posted by Flunkie at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2007


The problem is that the Cheneys think the rest of us aren't allowed to ask why the values in their own family run counter to the positions of the party that Dick virtually runs. Why shouldn't Mary's orientation and pregnancy be part of the debate? It's not like we're outing her, and she's a very public figure.

Exactly. She's a very very public figure and worked on the campaign and in the administration, which used gaybashing, and the threat of an amendment which would make her own relationship illegal.

and Savage is absolutely right--100%.
posted by amberglow at 11:14 AM on February 3, 2007


A card would be nice. Maybe it could read something like, "Congratulations on your new grandbastard. Maybe some day her parents can get married."
posted by subtle_squid at 11:32 AM on February 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Being neither gay nor ever planning on having kids, I have no dog in this fight. But I see two different hypocrisies here. First you have Mary, who rightly wants to have a child with her significant other. That's great. I have no problem with that, and I wish them well, but as Savage pointed out, she helped put into power an administration who actively sought to remove those rights in others. I'm sure she was OK with this because she knew that these rules would never apply to her. The other hypocrisy is Dick's. He's been allowed to steamroll the rights of others because he also knew these restrictions would never apply to his household. And yet, when called on this obvious cognitive dissonance he bullies the questioner and claims the question is out of line.

Sorry Dick. It's not. The moment you agreed that people's relationships were a viable form of political capital, you opened yourself to scrutiny. Now answer the damn questions. Oh, you can't, because there is no possible way that you can both answer the question and maintain your position. Either you side with your daughter and let your party down, or you side with your party and let your daughter down.

Maybe you should take a moment and examine how exactly, you got in this position.
posted by quin at 11:40 AM on February 3, 2007 [7 favorites]


I think its funny that Dick Cheney thinks he can tell people what is and what is not out of line. Apparently shooting your hunting partner in the face while (allegedly) drunk is totally cool but discussing the fact that he and his boss hate gay people and his daughter is gay crosses the line.

I think the line is between his irrational hatred of gay people and his desire to still like his daughter. And he doesn't want to be forced to examine that particular cognitive dissonance too deeply or he might just asplode.
posted by fenriq at 11:44 AM on February 3, 2007


More important is the issue of the closeted Republicans. We know they're out there, as Mark Foley demonstrated. How is their sexual repression affecting their policy decisions? Maybe if the Republicans would just relax and come out of the closet, they'd be less uptight, and their policies would be less mean-spirited.
posted by univac at 11:50 AM on February 3, 2007


Savage has it right: "You’re a Republican, Mary, you worked on both of your father’s campaigns, and you kept your mouth clamped shut while Karl Rove and George Bush ran around the country attacking gay people, gay parents, and our children in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. It’s a little late to declare the private choices of gays and lesbians unfit for public debate, Mary."
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:52 AM on February 3, 2007


The problem is that the Cheneys think the rest of us aren't allowed to ask

The post refers to a classic example of elitism on the part of Dick (he needs to know about us, but we don't need to know about him), but to suggest his attitude comes particularly from Republicanism or Christianity is just naive, it's all about wealth and worldly power. I don't think he could care less about anything but these two inter-related pursuits. And hunting. Although he's not as good at the latter.
posted by scheptech at 11:53 AM on February 3, 2007


How is their sexual repression affecting their policy decisions? Maybe if the Republicans would just relax and come out of the closet, they'd be less uptight, and their policies would be less mean-spirited.
The problem is that they've locked themselves in--their base is more and more against any sort of even a base-level of tolerance, and they themselves made it that way. By moving further to the right, and kneeling before the Christian right, especially in local, state and primary elections, they've ensured their own contined unhappiness--and hypocrisy.

I wonder how IVF is in any way a "blessing from God"? It seems that it's clearly an action people do. Or is it that just getting pregnant successfully is a blessing? What does Dobson think of Mary's phrasing? The rest of the GOP base?
posted by amberglow at 12:09 PM on February 3, 2007


I wonder how IVF is in any way a "blessing from God"?

Some people think that anything involving getting pregnant is controlled by the Big Guy Upstairs.
posted by oaf at 12:26 PM on February 3, 2007


Another point to take into consideration is this: Mary Cheney has politicized her own sexuality. She used to do outreach to gays and lesbians for Coors, a notoriously right-wing company.

It might be one thing if she were, shall we say, a don't-ask-don't-tell lesbian in the Republican party who didn't make an issue of her own sexuality. Then she might be able to make a case that the public shouldn't make an issue of it. Having made an issue of it herself, she's lost any such opportunity.
posted by adamrice at 12:27 PM on February 3, 2007


If only Dick Cheney had raped his daughter and made her pregnant. Then this would be a holy baby instead of this test-tube lesbian-spawn freak!
posted by telstar at 12:49 PM on February 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I was reading this terrific article in the Washington Post today, about a lesbian couple in a horrific custody battle over their daghter. The couple was married in Vermont, where civil unions are legal, but upon the split the biological parent took the child to Virginia, where her partner's parenting rights are not acknowleged. I thought of the Cheney-Poe baby, as I believe they reside in Virginia.
posted by lalex at 1:12 PM on February 3, 2007


Mary Cheney is a cunt.
posted by dhartung at 1:21 PM on February 3, 2007


So's her father.
posted by dhartung at 1:22 PM on February 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Idea for baby name: Hypocrit(o,a), depending on gender.
posted by telstar at 1:26 PM on February 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


They do live in VA, lalex, but their wealth and connections make their status very very different from all the other disenfranchised gay and lesbian families. Nor is she using her wealth and connections to do anything to alleviate that for anyone. She got hers, and no one else matters (which seems to be a very common GOP attitude, seen in all sorts of policies and legislation). Mary has leveraged her sexual orientation when it's suited her, and done so in public--it's absurd to even suggest that it's a private thing. If we had media that wasn't cowardly, everyone would already know that.
posted by amberglow at 1:32 PM on February 3, 2007


If you're at a panel discussion sponsored by Glamour magazine and bring up the pregnancy and same-sex partner, how could your dad possibly think that questions about the subject are out of line?

From the FOX link: Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, said the question was fair but it was designed to draw an angry reaction from Cheney.

"I think Cheney clearly understood this was a trouble-making question," Graham said. "It's a fair question but not a kind question."


And we all know that journalists should only ask kind questions.

Ya gotta love that Media Research Center , though, when they come up with doozies like this: A new MRC study comparing the Fox News Channel's coverage of the war in Iraq with that of CNN and MSNBC finds that Fox had the most balanced approach while its competitors emphasized a bad news agenda. CNN, in particular, went out of its way to emphasize alleged U.S. misdeeds like the killing of civilians in Haditha while providing less airtime to U.S. achievements like the killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Looks like a whole lotta strokin' going on between FOX and MRC.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:47 PM on February 3, 2007


Apparently FOX's and MRC's definition of balance is a balance between Republican and Democratic points of view, while the rest of us define balance as more a truth vs. fiction issue.
posted by mrnutty at 1:56 PM on February 3, 2007


Amberlow, I completely agree with the points you're making. I think it struck me more as something that reflected negatively on Mary Cheney, in the sense that she is choosing to live in a state that, in effect, does not recognize her partner as a parent to their child - not to mention that she actively participates in the political party responsible for those types of laws.

On the other hand, I suppose that's partially Heather Poe's choice too.
posted by lalex at 1:57 PM on February 3, 2007


it doesn't surprise me that the cheney's harbour double standards about homosexuality. it simply means that they care more about power and money than they do about ideological consistency. i think that most of the attention that the mary cheney saga gets is about how it looks so killer when dick gets his anger on when somebody forces into a corner over it.

what does concern me is the amount of cognitive dissonance that the american public is being asked to process. i imagine that we will soon see a marked increase in spontaneous human combustion, 'scanners'-like head explosions, cystic acne, that kinda stuff. gout, also.
posted by psychoticreaction at 2:07 PM on February 3, 2007


Mary Cheney: the only lesbian who likes Dick.

I'm so going to hell for that...oh wait...I'm already living under the Bush administration. Death, where is thy sting?
posted by uosuaq at 3:32 PM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Related Links
posted by Toekneesan at 4:32 PM on February 3, 2007


Mary clearly has chosen which side of the Wonderbread to butter. I pity po' Heather -- imagine having to attend fry-ups with those in-laws.
posted by rob511 at 4:49 PM on February 3, 2007


sideshow has it exactly right: I don't know why anyone is talking about whether Wolf Blitzer was out of line when he asked Cheney for a response to Dobson's attack on his daughter. I think people should be talking about what an appalling man Dick Cheney is for refusing to stand up for his daughter against reprehensible scum like James Dobson. If it were my daughter, you can be sure I'd be having a few things to say about Dobson.

It's weird that the story is not Cheney's cowardice and his fear of Dobson and the GOP base. We all know about Mary, and Mary making a statement like she did at Glamour removes the heat from Dick even more.

She's covering for him, but he won't cover for her--it's pathetic.
posted by amberglow at 9:21 PM on February 3, 2007


It's actually worse than pathetic--it's pathological.
posted by amberglow at 9:24 PM on February 3, 2007


Just to re-emphasize what others have said -- as a former resident, Virginia is a very conservative state. While I'd never wish anything bad on a child, I hope Mary Cheney and Heather Poe never split up, because the state would be happy to step in and take the child from their wicked homo lifestyles.

Also, I used to wonder when Dick Cheney would cave-in and realize that with most Americans against him, his president, and this war now, he'd begin realizing that he'd have to do more than just glare at the camera.

But he's not going to stop. They're going to bomb Iran and dare Congress and the American people to impeach him (and when gasoline hits 6$/gallon here, it'll happen).
posted by bardic at 10:28 PM on February 3, 2007


They're not going to impeach either of them...there's no time, and they're almost all afraid. They don't even have the courage to do a binding statement on Iraq, let alone take away funding or anything real. The most we'll see is administration people resigning in disgrace, and maybe a few little convictions (like Iran-Contra).
posted by amberglow at 10:53 PM on February 3, 2007


Sometimes I think this whole Mary Cheney thing could have cost Kerry the 2004 election. During the third debate he made a clumsy reference to Mary Cheney, and it became big news because her lesbian-novel-writing mom claimed to be outraged and offended, even though Mr. Cheney had made a somewhat gracious (OK, for Cheney) reply to John Edwards' bringing up Mary Cheney during the vice-presidential debate the previous week. Kerry kicked Bush's ass in all three of the debates, and if this whole lesbian brouhaha hadn't come up, the news going into the election would have been that Kerry swept the debates.

(Then sometimes I think I've had one beer too many and should maybe just go to bed.)
posted by kirkaracha at 12:08 AM on February 4, 2007


During the third debate he made a clumsy reference to Mary Cheney, and it became big news because her lesbian-novel-writing mom claimed to be outraged and offended,

At which point Kerry should have said "Hey, it's not my fault, I didn't make her a lesbian. God did that. Or do you disagree Mrs. Cheney?"

Of course if he did something like that, he probably would have been elected president, and where would our country be today?
posted by quin at 1:00 AM on February 4, 2007


There's obviously a double standard, to some extent that's about the GOP's relentless whoring-out of the religious right, who never quite get their Anti-Abortion Amendment or whatnot.

But the 2004 events were, as I said at the time, a perfect example of how the GOP gets Lakoffian framing. They acted as though Mary's lesbianism was a family tragedy, like cancer, or rape -- and by acting protectively, made even buttery-soft gestures like Edwards bringing her up in the Veep debate seem cruel. To fundies, probably most conservatives, having the ghey in the fambly can only be a tragedy, so they understood. The centrists and libertarians were a bit perplexed, perhaps, but had already thrown themselves in with this lot.

In other words, the clumsy Kerry-Edwards feints absolutely failed to split off any moderate votes, and certainly didn't win over any diehards. I'm not sure it added up to an effective loss of stature by either Dem, but it probably helped shore up the GOP's wobbly evangelicals.

Next time, the attack should be directly on the hypocrisy. None of this softball shit. Savage is right.
posted by dhartung at 2:24 AM on February 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


dhartung writes They acted as though Mary's lesbianism was a family tragedy, like cancer, or rape -- and by acting protectively, made even buttery-soft gestures like Edwards bringing her up in the Veep debate seem cruel.

Excellent analysis. People make fun of lefties for claiming IOKIYAR, but there's a reason they get away with lesbianism and/or figureative murder.

(IMO, there's nothing wrong with lesbians, gays, non-traditional lifestyles, what have you. But it just flummoxes me that after Foley et al., people still think of the Republicans as the party of "values.")
posted by bardic at 3:05 AM on February 4, 2007


I think the best response would be a huge online baby shower for Ms. Mary.

The punchline of the Savage article:
Take it from me, Mary: Explaining to your child, after he heard something hateful on the radio, that his family is very much “real,” that it’s not an attack on anyone else’s family, and that his parents are, in fact, fit to be his parents is as distressing and emotionally exhausting as it is unnecessary. And I blame you.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:24 AM on February 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


The future grandparents think any mention of their daughter's sexual preference is out of line.

I'd love to discuss sexual preference with Dick Cheney. I'd prefer he fuck himself.
posted by jonmc at 12:39 PM EST on February 3


Well said. Cheney saying that was out of line is astounding obviously because his party's bigotry is of course, out of line in an off the scale sort of way. This is why his daughter is being talked about, again obviously. His differing reactions to FOX News staff and everyone else are additionally, out of line.

Cue Johnny Cash like parody song about being out of line.
posted by juiceCake at 6:00 AM on February 4, 2007


I really get such pleasure from Dick and Lynn's discomfort about this issue--they so don't ever want to talk about it.
posted by amberglow at 7:08 AM on February 4, 2007


"It is none of our concern what he chooses to do to us behind closed doors."

Brilliant summation of the issue by John Oliver. Oh the Daily Show, you're why I miss having a teevee.

Some people think that anything involving getting pregnant is controlled by the Big Guy Upstairs.

Yeah, G-d for the most part stays out of human affairs. He won't help us run the country, win baseball games (or the lottery), or feed starving children in Whereveristan, but he's keeping track of each and every embryo! No egg gets fertilized without the hand of G-d himself shoving a sperm into it!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:57 PM on February 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hear in the echo of my mind a seemingly unrelated quote from the movie Jurassic Park.

"Life will find a way."

I'm also reminded of a moment in the movie Serenity, when The Operative explains to Malcolm Reynolds that he can't win.

"Got no need to beat you. I just want to go my way."

Despite religion and politics and other obstacles that cross our path, the search for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will continue. If you want to make a family with your lesbian lover, you will. Life will find a way.

Unfortunately that's idealistic. The reality is of course that someone like Dick Cheney's daughter will be able to do whatever she wants. Advantages of birth, I suppose. Others will have to find their own way around the obstacles that closed minded bastards put in our way.

Mary Cheney is in a position to make a difference, and she chooses instead to stick her head in the sand. That is her choice. We all have freedom of choice. However, we don't have the freedom of choosing our choices. We all get different choices.

Let her choose to stick her head in the sand. Life will find a way. Conservative religious zealots do not corner the market on faith.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:12 PM on February 4, 2007


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