Vice President Dick Cheney
Yes, Dick Cheney. The Dark Prince of the liberal establishment’s nightmares. The Puppet Master. The Architect of Doom. Pharaoh of the NeoCons. That Dick Cheney.
Speaking in Iowa, Cheney veered sharply from the Administration’s position, as well as a key plank in the GOP platform, stating that he felt the issue of gay marriage was a matter to be decided by the states, not the federal government. “My general view,” Cheney said, in a quote that is likely to be remembered, “is freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to. “
Predictably, Conservative Talk Nation was outraged, regarding Cheney’s comments as disloyal to President Bush (who supports a federal ban on gay marriage) and traditional conservative values. And it may well be that the spectacle of a politician actually standing up for principle in defiance of the party line is so shocking that some can’t handle it. But Cheney’s statement is courageous for someone in his position, responsible, and caring. Admired as he is in conservative circles, it may even provoke some re-evaluation of the gay marriage issue. Cheney has a daughter who is gay, and thus to him gay Americans are not abstractions, but living, breathing people one can admire and love.
He could have kept his feelings on the subject to himself, but he chose to speak out. Hardly an impulsive man, he did so knowing that it would lend support to the cause of respect and empathy for gay Americans. For this, he deserves applause from conservatives and liberals alike.
“Freedom means freedom for everyone.” If conservatives are offended by that, then they are in deep trouble.
Additional Comment: CNN’s Aaron Brown displayed inexcusable cynicism and palpable bias by opining on the air that Cheney’s comments may have been orchestrated by the Bush campaign to launch a “kinder, gentler” image of the GOP as it headed into its convention.
Undoubtedly there are partisan opponents of Cheney who dislike him so much that they would view any action or statement by him, no matter how benign, as some kind of sinister trick. But for a journalist to display that attitude without any proof whatsoever, essentially implying that the Vice President’s support for his own daughter is a vote-seeking sham, is unprofessional, unethical, and disgraceful. Brown owes Cheney an apology, and CNN viewers a resignation.