Saturday, October 16, 2004
First, John Kerry and John Edwards intentionally brought up the "Vice President's daughter, who is a lesbian," to rattle the conservative base. How can there be any doubt that it was deliberate snarking and not in the least bit compassionate? But is the statement in and of itself the giant outrage that Republicans claim it is? C'mon. Of course it isn't.
Second, the conservative eruption over this, including the Cheneys' personal rage, is partly genuine and partly calculated to fire up the base. It is getting less genuine and more calculated as the hours tick by.
Third, Elizabeth Edwards' suggestion that the reaction of the Cheneys may reflect their "shame" over their daughter is the single most offensive statement in the whole controversy. John Kerry's mild reference pales in comparison to Elizabeth Edwards' implicit assertion that the Cheneys don't love their daughter with their whole heart, which is manifestly a slander. There is absolutely no evidence that the Cheneys are "ashamed" by their daughter's sexuality. Elizabeth Edwards needs to apologize now. Is there any doubt that she should?
Fourth, if you don't think there was something at least a little bit wrong with Kerry's original reference (that would be you, Andrew), take this thought experiment: Suppose that in a discussion of health care the topic of obesity had come up, and George Bush had said "We need to have compassion for people who struggle with their weight, even if they burden the health care system. I'm sure Elizabeth Edwards believes that her weight is very much a part of her nature." Is there any doubt that the Democrats and the mainstream media would be outraged? And then suppose that Lynn Cheney had said that that outrage might reflect "shame" over Elizabeth Edwards' obesity. How would the Democrats have reacted?
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