Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mary Cheney speaks

The NY Times has an article up about some questions Mary Cheney took about her pregnancy at Bernard College. Cheney said:
"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, on either side of a political issue. It is my child.[...] Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years has shown there is no difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents; what matters is being raised in a stable, loving environment." She said Mr. Dobson was entitled to his opinion, "but he’s not someone whose endorsement I have ever drastically sought."

Why, if she actually believes this, was she the chief of staff of her father's reelection campaign? Didn't she know that he was flatly against this sort of situation? Or maybe she knew that his opinion was that he and his family can do pretty much whatever they want, and us peasants out here have to play by the rules that His Lordship sets up? She doesn't seek out Mr. Dobson's approval, but didn't she work (albeit indirectly, but knowingly) to pass a constitutional amendment so that the rest of us would have to get his endorsement?

Ugh, but I'm more interested in what she said about her baby not being a political prop. Absolutely. It's really easy to forget when discussing these issues that these are real people and real people's lives that we are discussing. Wait, maybe a better way to put that is that when you're against marriage equality, etc., you have to force yourself to forget that these are real people and real people's lives that you're dealing with.

It grates me the wrong way when she says "on either side of a political issue" because she must know that on one side of the issue people know that the baby isn't a prop, that's why they're on that side of the issue. On the other side, they say silly things like she's having the baby for the "express purpose of denying it a father", making the baby into a political prop in a way that pointing out the contradiction between her public persona and her private life never could. It's just painting a fuller picture to show what kind of people we're dealing with.

But she's probably just making that old conservative argument that they've made about race and class and gender and sexuality for ages, the kill-the-messenger idea that the person who fights an inequality is just as responsible for it as the people committing it because, well, if either of them stopped then I wouldn't have to hear about it.

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