Friday, October 15, 2004

Psst! There's Something About Mary!

There has been heated reaction to Kerry's slipping into his answer to a question on homosexuality mention of the fact that Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian. Much of the reaction, both that of support and that of criticism, has focused on motives. Mary Cheney's mother, Lynne Cheney, called Kerry's remark a "cheap and tawdry political trick." The Kerry-Edwards campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill quickly defended Kerry's right to use the Cheney daughter in cheap and tawdry political tricks, declaring that she was "fair game." The Kerry people regrouped the next day, deciding to trot out Lynne Cheney's counterpart, Elizabeth Edwards. The wife of Kerry's running mate John Edwards (who had also made a point to mention Mary Cheney's sexual orientation in his debate with her father), went on the offensive, attacking Mrs. Cheney's protestations: "I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences."

Fortunately, the question of Kerry's motives can be settled here on headland. Right before the debate, I had just finished hooking up a new SONY soul-a-scope with "real time" text captioning technology. The soul-a-scope was able to print out a caption of what Kerry was really thinking while he was listening to Bush. Here's the relevant portion of the debate transcript, with Kerry's inner thoughts side-by-side with Bush's spoken words.

BUSH: I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I think it's very important that we protect marriage as an institution, between a man and a woman.

I proposed a constitutional amendment. The reason I did so was because I was worried that activist judges are actually defining the definition of marriage, and the surest way to protect marriage between a man and woman is to amend the Constitution.

Uh oh. He seems sharper tonight. He just may be able to utter something coherent here.
BUSH: It has also the benefit of allowing citizens to participate in the process. After all, when you amend the Constitution, state legislatures must participate in the ratification of the Constitution.Yikes. He's going directly after my "let the states decide" ruse.
BUSH: I'm deeply concerned that judges are making those decisions and not the citizenry of the United States. You know, Congress passed a law called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.

My opponent was against it.

This blows! Wish I had a lifeline here. I'd ask Bob to let me call Jesse Jackson. Jesse would tell Black Americans to ignore Bush's diversionary tactic of talking about something they agree with him about. Somehow, I just can't tell people they are homophobic yahoos without looking like an effete snob.
BUSH: It basically protected states from the action of one state to another. It also defined marriage as between a man and woman.O.K. he's asking for it. I'm not buying this sincerity act. Oh yeah, he really cares about states' rights. And frat-boy is religious now? Please! So, I've got to hit him over his dumb head with a 2x4 on this. Hey, I saw how Cheney squirmed when Breck Girl brought up his daughter!
BUSH: But I'm concerned that that will get overturned. And if it gets overturned, then we'll end up with marriage being defined by courts,...The veep can't even pretend to agree with Bush on this. And Bush can't help but be loyal to his guy. I mean, why else is Cheney on the ticket? OK, so I'll let Bush know that whenever he brings up gay marriage, I'll bemoan the fact that he's driving a wedge right through the family of his own running mate!
BUSH: ...and I don't think that's in our nation's interests.

SCHIEFFER: Senator Kerry?

OK. My turn. Here goes. First, a little piety, and then I go in for the kill.
KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.

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