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Wayne Bessen

Cowed Mary speaks


Too little, too late: Mary Cheney turned her back on the LGBT community and now tries to sell a book about the experience.
For six long years, Mary Cheney backpedaled from speaking out against Republican attempts to write her out of the Constitution, yet emerged from the musty closet just in time to peddle her new book, which hits stores the second week of May. Cowed Mary now wants to be Proud Mary, but it’s too late, for she has already sold us down the river.
From the comfortable confines of the VP mansion, Mary watched the LGBT community get bashed a million times. Yet, she remained a veritable pet rock until she received a $1 million dollar advance to pry open her mouth.

Cheney unveiled a major public relations blitz for “Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life,” but the PR should stand for Pitiful Rationalizations. Instead of garnering sympathy, she has gathered contempt for her meek attempt to justify her silence. She and her family had a unique opportunity to use the bully pulpit to educate Americans, and they failed miserably.

For example, in the 2000 campaign, Lynne Cheney bitterly replied to a question about her daughter’s sexual orientation with a sneering denial, “Mary has never declared such a thing.”

Of course, maybe it was technically true that Mary had not “declared” she was gay, as few people actually stand on a mountain top and make such a decree. But Mary had come out to her parents and worked for Coors as a gay liaison, which included traveling with Mr. Leather.

Interestingly, Mr. Leather was omitted from her book. I’m sure he was crushed when his index search came up blank. I can picture him standing in Borders wearing assless chaps franticly flipping though the end pages: “Milosevic…Missing WMD…Morning After Pill…Hmm, maybe it’s under ‘L?’” I guess there is no need to mention the S&M king when the White House bound, gagged and harnessed Mary better than he ever could.
Vice President Dick Cheney was as disloyal as Lynne. During a Bush State of the Union address, he clapped as the president expressed support for a constitutional amendment barring same-sex unions. Talk about family values!

The ultimate slap in the face, however, came during the vice presidential debate when the democratic nominee John Edwards mentioned that Mary Cheney was a lesbian. According to Mary, she mouthed an expletive at Edwards from the front row of the audience seating, while her mother and sister maturely stuck out their tongues at him.
Soon after, in a presidential debate, John Kerry also said that Mary was a lesbian. The response was swift and vociferous, with Lynne Cheney accusing Kerry of a “tawdry” political trick.

Apparently, Lynne thinks her daughter is “tawdry” simply for being a lesbian. The shame, disgust and embarrassment were evident by her choice of words and in the disdainful manner in which she uttered them.

The appropriate response to a candidate calling an open lesbian a lesbian is to yawn as if it is no big deal. Why exactly were the Cheney’s so hot and bothered over the truth?
Most reprehensible was Mary’s bafflingly defiant reaction, accusing the Democrats of using the issue for political gain. Perhaps, she was correct, but Kerry and Edwards were actually trying to offer Mary and her partner relative equality under the law.

Was it not for the sake of political gain when her father and Bush cynically pushed for a federal Constitutional Amendment and also spearheaded 11 divisive anti-marriage state Amendments to bolster their reelection bid in 2004? Did Mary mouth expletives at Dick and George when they won reelection on the backs of her and her life partner?

To the contrary, the dutiful daughter worked tirelessly to reelect the terrible twosome and now we face another vote on a federal Constitutional amendment this summer.

Thanks Mary!
Predictably, sycophants are coming out of the woodwork to cheer her on and snag her for fundraisers, as if Mary is a hero instead of a zero.

“Log Cabin Republicans applaud Mary Cheney for sharing her personal and family story,” groveled Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero.

The most gripping part of Mary’s story is when she admits that she was so distraught over a break-up with her girlfriend that she crashed her car and came out to her parents. Unfortunately, many young adults are not as lucky when they engage in self-destructive behavior often associated with coming out in a homophobic society. Mary knew from experience that she could have helped put the breaks on such suicidal conduct. Instead, she let today’s youth crash and burn.

I never thought I’d say this, but I agree with Alan Keyes when he said Mary Cheney is a “selfish hedonist.” It took a big fat book advance before she stepped out to ostensibly advance gay rights. While I can understand family loyalty, she also had an obligation to defend her LGBT family — and she let us down.

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