Meanwhile, of that realm known as contradictions, John Byrne tells us that,
Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and onetime gay outreach director for Coors Brewing Company, gave $1,000 to a Republican Senate hopeful who voted against same-sex marriage and allowing gay couples to adopt children in the District of Columbia.
Cheney, 40, has a two-year old son with her partner of 17 years, Heather Poe. The donation to former Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH) was made in May. Portman is seeking the Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) when he retires in 2011.
Cheney’s donation is remarkable considering her public comments on same-sex marriage and gay adoption. In 2004, she reportedly considered quitting her father’s re-election campaign after President Bush endorsed a federal marriage banning gay marriage. In 2007, she rebuked televangelist James Dobson for comments criticizing gay couples’ adoption.
The story, breaking today, is a curious non-story. Yes, I am very much inclined toward the political left, so, yes I see the obvious contradiction. But so, likely, does Mary Cheney, whose sexual-orientation infidelity is enough to earn her a nomination as The Worst Person In The World.
So let us just stop and think for a moment. Okay, we all chuckle from time to time that conservatives aren’t too bright, or some variation thereupon. But usually we’re talking about something else entirely. This contradiction is so blatantly facial that presuming stereotypical conservative clodhopping verges into insult.
What, then, explains the decision? The easiest and most obvious point to mind is political compromise. Identity issues, held in any hand, are uniquely expressed to each person. Is it such an indictment of Mary Cheney to say that it just wasn’t so high a priority this time?
What if we presume her smart instead of stupid? Could it be that she sees the writing on the wall; it is over for the heterosupremacists, and the only thing dragging out this awful, agonizing death is the afflicted bigots themselves. Poor souls.
But given that context, to what extent is giving a thousand dollars to Portman, who seeks to retain for the GOP a seat currently held by retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich really setting back the cause? Portman is a Tea Partying homophobe former U.S. congressman who served the Bush White House’s Office of Management and Budget. He is running against a “controversial” Democratic Secretary of State (who replaced a controversial Republican Sec. of State) in Ohio, and at the most Cheney is contributing to the status quo. Which, ante is that it is over.
Now, lecture that I am missing some moral point, and I will concede at least its absence from the projection. However, I am of the left, and it is not to any relatively vicious degree that I might speculate at such latitude among some of my more conservative neighbors. I have seen these devices at work before, and know well others have too. Possibility, then. Good enough?
Because right now the GOP’s first priority should be regrouping, counting its numbers, and figuring out how best to approach that chorus demanding center stage. Part of that, and a very important part, indeed, is keeping its numbers in Congress. Republicans are absolutely reeling into the Obama years, and their saving grace is the very nature of the Democratic Party itself. Any competent organization would have buried the broken GOP and squared up for whatever came in its place.
When the status quo is a kinder sight than the looming spectres dominating the near horizon, certain compromises become essential for any politician.
And that includes the voter. Does not the central message from the right argue a danger in the Obama administration and Democratic-controlled Congress?
Some will vote for Republicans that are too conservative for them; the Democrats must be contained. Some will vote for Republicans who are too liberal for them; the Democrats must be contained.
Maybe Rob Portman is a golden boy. He certainly has a résumé.
Yes, I see the contradiction. But is it really that big a deal? Is it really unexpected, for that matter? This is a Republican.
This is a Cheney.
Worst person in the world? Pfft. If she was not already, this is not the clincher.
And, frankly, she simply is not the worst person in the world.