Much has been made the last two days of John Kerry’s decision to mention Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, and point out the fact that she is a homosexual.
Many people were outraged, and rightfully so. John Kerry had no business using such a non sequitur to score points and hurt the Bush/Cheney campaign at the expense of an opponent’s child, regardless of her age. I thought Lynn Cheney put it best when she stated, “Now, you know, I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more and now the only thing I could conclude: This is not a good man. Of course, I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick.”
Some of my friends — friends who pay attention to politics — agreed that Kerry’s remark was inappropriate, particularly because a candidate shouldn’t use an opponent’s child to make a political point and that Ms. Cheney’s sexuality should be a private matter, but they don’t understand why so many Bush-backers see this as a type of “outing” since “everybody” knows Dick Cheney has a gay daughter.
Problem is that many, perhaps most, people probably didn’t know about Mary Cheney. And Kerry, Edwards, and the DNC knew that.
That may sound like a foreign, nonsensical notion to many of you reading this, but consider that you likely are more in-touch with political news than the average voter. Being so, you’ve heard about the Cheney’s daughter before. However, most Americans don’t pay that much attention to politics until just before the election.
Doubtful? Consider this — During the final fight against the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance “Reform” Bill, one of the many great arguments against it was its unfair limitation on “electioneering” and “targeted” communications (read: commercials) 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election. The assumption was (correctly so, I believe) that most voters don’t pay much attention to elections until shortly before they vote — say, within 30 or 60 days before a primary or general election. This was a major reason the bill was labeled the “incumbent protection act.”
So, how did Democrats respond to this obvious dirty trick? They said that since VP Cheney has talked about Mary’s homosexuality before and since she’s a grown woman, she’s “fair game.”
Kerry’s campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said the following on Fox News: “She seems to be very proud and open about her sexuality, her parents seem to be very proud of her. It comes up, there are a lot of questions here about gay marriage, and she is someone who is a major figure in the campaign. I think it’s fair game and I think she has been treated very respectfully.”
Oh, is that so?
John Kerry seems to be very proud and open about his Vietnam days. It comes up, there are a lot of questions about his service (during and after Vietnam), and he is someone who is a major figure in the campaign. I think it’s fair game.
I wonder how Kerry and rest of the Democratic Party would have reacted if President Bush had mentioned:
The list goes on and on.
Do you suppose the Democrats would have gone ballistic or just shrugged it off? It’s “fair game,” right?