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U.S. Vice president Dick Cheney (L) takes the oath for his second term in office from House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) at inaugural ceremonies in Washington D.C. on January 20, 2005. Cheney's daughters Mary (2nd L) and Liz (2nd R) watched. REUTERS/Jason R
Dick, Mary, and Liz in 2005.
No, not that Cheney. (Points to Liz, on the right.)

Nor that one. (Points to Dick, on the left.)

That one. (Points to Mary, on the middle.) She's right:

Mary Cheney has kept up her advocacy on her Facebook page, responding sharply to one commenter on the page who urged her to be “lovingly tolerant” of her sister’s position on same-sex marriage.

“This isn’t like a disagreement over grazing fees or what to do about Iran,” Mary Cheney wrote. “There isn’t a lot of gray here. Either you think all families should be treated equally or you don’t. Liz’s position is to treat my family as second class citizens. That’s not a position I can be ’lovingly tolerant’ towards.”

I'll admit that when I saw this "spat" take center stage, my first reaction was that Liz, Mary, and their families were engaged in an epic act of trolling on the issue in order to shore up Liz's support among social conservatives, because of things like this:
In Wyoming, a conservative super PAC called American Principles Fund ran a television ad for three weeks this fall noting that Cheney is opposed to a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

“This is a huge issue for Republican primary voters and it will carry over to the general election,” said the group's executive director, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. “Jobs and economy and spending are still the most important, but a candidate's position on social issues such a life and marriage sends an extremely strong message about their values. That's why taking the wrong side could be fatal.”

Obviously, it would take a breathtaking act of cynicism to fake this fight just to highlight Liz's archaic point of view, but if there's any family capable of such cynicism, clearly it would be the Cheneys. But at this point, it seems like any benefit Liz might get from having her her anti-equality stance amplified is being outweighed by the nastiness of the intrafamily feud, which makes me lean back to the simpler explanation: That this is a genuine disagreement, and that Liz Cheney sincerely believes her sister should not be treated equally under the law.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Talking about values is important to GOP voters... (19+ / 0-)

    Especially if you value your gay sister less than you value heterosexuals.

    •  Liz Cheney's biggest problem (5+ / 0-)

      is that she's running in a jerkbite party full of loons and douchebags, each with his own idea of "ideological purity".  You simply can't hold a set of convictions and expect to keep while running in any GOP primary.  Some nutbag is going to attack you from the right, and of course you will have to cave in and rejigger your philosophy to meet the attack.  By the time the primary rolls around you may be too dizzy to stand up.

      Serves her right though.  She's been forced to stab her own people (LGBT) in the back to try to get elected to office.  The truest of all Republican "virtues".

      “When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” —Abraham Lincoln

      by Pragmatus on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:03:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't trust Mary Cheney one bit. (4+ / 0-)

    I'll be happy to be proven wrong, but I think this whole thing has been staged, and Mary is part of it.

    •  I'm not going to love her just because she is gay (7+ / 0-)

      and outpoken, but I can't imagine her faking this.  Kudos for doing what her father refuses to--stand up to bullies she disagrees with.

      Einstein’s Theory of Relative Stupidity: Anyone who attempts to make George Bush look like a frigging genius, will end up looking like George Bush.

      by quiet in NC on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:50:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here are the reasons why I don't think that... (8+ / 0-)

      First, the whole thing is bad politics. Liz Cheney would have been better off not to even bring it up. Wyoming conservatives are more libertarian than anything else. They are motivated by their hate for the Department of Interior far more than their hate of gays. That group American Principles Fund? The woman running that is Huckabee's daughter, a fundie idiot from Arkansas and hardly representative of conservatives in Wyoming. Liz Cheney probably thinks it helps her to publicly stand strong for inequality, but with only 17% approval, she's proven not to be a very good political strategist.

      Liz Cheney is clearly the sort of person who would sell her sister out for a job. It's transparently opportunistic. Even if marriage inequality is what gets some conservative energized in the morning, what Liz is doing still feels wrong.

      True equality means accepting that LGBT persons can be anywhere on the full spectrum from human kindness to abject nastiness, and that they can be right on some issues and wrong on others. It's completely possible that Mary Cheney is an advocate for marriage equality in part of her life, and an asshole in other ways. I don't know her well enough to say one way or another.  But it does seem that the most likely explanation is simply that Mary said to herself "I have enough respect for myself and my wife that I'm not going to put up with this bullshit from Liz any longer".  

      Anyway, Liz has sold her sister out for a losing political campaign. I've always thought she was as bad as her father, and now she's gone ahead and proved it.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:04:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  name (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scioto, commonmass, wishingwell

    It would be prudent for Mary to take her wife's name--the Cheney name has way too much baggage.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:46:16 AM PST

  •  Dick Cheney is "right" about gay marriage? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Well, if one's notion of right is "not being totally, outrageously wrong," I guess he must be "right." If, on the other hand, one is looking for clear vision and explanation, ...  Well, Mr. Cheney's tepid, "I don't have any problem with it" (or whatever he said) falls far short of "right."  How "right" would we think he was to say, "I don't have any problem with allowing women to vote, allowing free speech, or any other of a myriad of similar human rights issues?  "Right" indeed!  When he insists that legalizing gay marriage is the right thing to do and explains why it is right, then I'll say that Mr. Cheney is "right."

  •  I'm just not feeling the Schadenfreude (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, bythesea, Aquarius40

    I should as her campaign is apparently in a death spiral.

    I must be tired.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:48:35 AM PST

  •  Not agreeing (5+ / 0-)

    I would completely agree if it were not for Mary helping out with dads election in 2004.

    Rehuligans : again lets go down the list.

    anti immigration  check
    anti choice           check
    anti science          check
    anti government    check
    anti women           check
    anti healthcare      check
    anti peace             check
    anti freedom of religion check

    yeah she's pretty much a one trick pony.

    "help police" Catch-22 Joseph Heller 1961

    by rageagnstmach on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:48:56 AM PST

  •  Liz Cheney is a coward (8+ / 0-)

    Pure and simple. She may be a bigot but she's certainly a cynical careerist coward. She could be showing genuine leadership on this issue, telling homophobic bigots opposed to marriage equality that they're simply wrong on the facts - legalized same-gender marriage won't have any negative effects on so-called "traditional" marriage, and she knows this beyond a doubt because of her sister's lesbian marriage. She could be working to defuse the whole issue from having any further impact or influence.

    But no, she's repeating Hillary Clinton's cowardly error of 2002 (refusing to oppose the Iraq War out of a cynical calculation combined with fear of being red-baited on the issue), and it will similarly cost her.

    Perhaps being courageous and showing real leadership on the issue would cause Liz Cheney to lose her primary battle, but at least she would deserve to win. Now, she's probably going to lose anyway and at what immense cost - the love of a sister to whom she's been very close her entire life. Was it really worth all that, Liz? You stupid chickensh*t coward.

  •  So when will May=ry and wife become Democrats? (9+ / 0-)

    I applaud Mary for defending this position, but cannot for the life of me understand how she could support a party and its platform that obviously thinks she should remain 2nd class.

    So, I'll be much more impressed when she switches parties.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:53:42 AM PST

  •  All this demostrates to me is that the Cheneys (5+ / 0-)

    are a nasty, nasty family, like many families who have disowned members for being LGBT. But these people are particularly nasty because they are so powerful.

    I can understand people in states like Wyoming and Montana are skeptical of the Federal Government. It's kind of part of their history from the very beginning, when people began to go out west and settle, far from central authority. I get this. What I don't get is why people with a historically libertarian and locally-focused bent would feel that government at any level should have the right to legislate morality or to treat one class of people differently than another. That doesn't jive. Because it's not political, it's bigotry plain and simple.

    It's also highly disgusting. I say a pox on all of them.

    •  Did you know that ENDA (4+ / 0-)

      polls at 50% favorable in Utah? ... Utah!?

      The mountain states trend libertarian.  They tend to skew young, and this particular civil rights struggle is winning even Republican youth, even a decent share of young Mormon Republican youth.  I'll bet Dick Cheney is more representative of Wyoming public opinion than Liz Cheney. As conservative as Wyoming is, it ranks 29 on a ranking of state opinion in favor of marriage equality in 2012.  A majority still opposes, but Wyoming is not like the fundie deep south. I doubt those who oppose do so with the same fervor as fundies in Louisiana, for example.

      Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote. There's still a tendency in the mountain states to leave people to enjoy their lives as they see fit, and I am sure Wyoming will not be the last state in the union to legalize marriage equality.  

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:21:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not at all surprised to hear that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694, ivorybill

        One of my dearest friends who used to work for the Forest Service lived in Wyoming for decades. She used to be very active in GOP politics there (she'll tell you that if you want to get anything done there, you have to "Have an 'R' after your name") and while she has since become a Dem-leaning independent, she paints a picture of the GOP in Wyoming as being very different from the GOP in the Rust Belt and in the South. She has never been anti-gay and supports marriage equality. She has some strong opinions on things that effect people--ranchers, especially--in places like Wyoming and is a serious environmentalist. I mean, after all, she worked for the Forest Service.

        I can't wait to talk to her and ask her what she thinks about this. I do know that she has worked closely with Enzi on environmental issues and doesn't like the Cheneys.

      •  not exactly the bible belt, is it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, ivorybill

        I got a feeling that enzi is loving the nutbags from Arkansas come in.  It's solidifying his support.  Always felt, given its heritage, that the mike huckabees and rick santorums of the world are tolerated by Wyoming publicans because they aren't Democrats rather than being actively supported because of their social policies.

        A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

        by dougymi on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:31:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  On second thought, I agree. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Forest Deva, Penny GC, Matt Z

    At first, I thought Liz evaluated the situation - and determined that her only chance of knocking off a popular incumbent was to be consistently as far right on every issue as possible.

    But sticking it to a family member like that takes a real ideologue.  And I believe Liz would sell out anyone -friend or family - in pursuit of ideological purity.  

    Ideologues are the most hateful and hurtful type of human being one will ever encounter. They will cut your throat to make a point.  They will cut their sister's throat, to make a point.  And once they have descended as far down that road as Liz Cheney, they would probably cut their own throat to make her point.

    Tea-baggers look at Liz, and recognize a "pure" conservative.  

    The rest of us would probably go with the label "bat-shit crazy."

    I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

    by mHainds on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:01:21 AM PST

    •  Yep, it's like the old Soviet joke: (6+ / 0-)

      Ivan meets his neighbor Sascha, who has just joined the Party, in the elevator of their building one day. "Sascha, I hear you've joined the Party! I was rather surprised, because you were always so opinionated! "Well", says Sascha, "I still have many of my own opinions, of course. Only now, I disagree with them."

      Who knows what Liz Cheney's real opinions are. She's running to the right of an incumbent in a GOP primary.

      By the way, that joke is funny on another level: in Soviet apartment blocs, the elevators rarely worked.

    •  The Cheney's shooting family and freinds (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      and never never apologizing. I saw a lead on an article that went something like this: "Dick Cheney pained by the feud between his two daughters"

      After seeing what a psychopath he is, the kind of man who throw anybody under the bus if they were standing in the way, like Mike Enzio who was rather perplexed by the whole primary challenge as he is about as far right as one could go and still be considered mentally balanced. Enzio said he had been a close friend with Dick Cheney. I heard Cheney being interviewed on how the friendship was holding up. The famous  sneering response? "Never was friends with Enzio. Total lie"  Under the bus Enzio went. How far will Dick go?

      I think anybody who has seen him in action , the man who will look straight in TV Camera and lie, is gonna throw Mary under the bus. After all Liz is him. She is just as ruthless . Craves power and getting her in the Senate would still give Dick a smaller somewhat vicarious role in the power center of the world. He doesn't like getting older which means the loss of relevance. Someone who wielded the power he did just a few short years ago, is going to ultimately do whatever it takes  to get Liz in the Senate.

      If Liz loses, so what? There is always the next cycle. He'll want to see the Cheney name live on in the power circles of the most corrupt govt that we have ever seen.

      “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

      by Dburn on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:32:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is Liz Cheney actually trying to win Enzi's seat? (6+ / 0-)

    Or is she merely using a race she can't win as a way to position herself as a tea party darling to win another seat somewhere else in the future?

  •  Not like grazing fees or Iran (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, ivorybill

    Mary Cheney raises an interesting point, which is that a lot of issues are super-important to some people and not important to others.  "What to do about Iran" is, one presumes, vitally important to some people (Iranians, for starters) who'll live or die depending on how it's resolved.  Grazing rights presumably matter a whole lot to some people.  Likewise, the asymmetrical reality of marriage equality is that people whose access to marriage is totally unchallenged have to be reminded that the question really is important.  There's no future in trying to convince active bigots; the future of marriage equality, insofar as it will be decided democratically rather than in the courts (and I don't have any problem with the courts deciding it, so long as they make the right decision!), resides in convincing passive, "default" opponents, for whom it matters only a little, that it's a painless concession to accept it for people for whom it matters a whole lot.  

    My comments are coming from a place of love.

    by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:11:45 AM PST

  •  Gay Marriage at 62% Positive in Twitter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In today's 50.1% to 49.9% world not many issues stand out like Gay Marriage which indexes at 62% positive in Twitter.  62%.  Don't Liz and Dick realize that at 62% positive "I love my sister / daughter" is patronizing and just doesn't work.

  •  Mary is coming off like Marilyn Munster here (4+ / 0-)

    the only 'normal' person in her family. Which, come to think of it more resembles the HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES than the mild mannered denizens of Mockingbird Lane.

  •  I think I'd feel more (5+ / 0-)

    something...can't find the word satisfied?...if Mary hadn't enabled the GOP so much in the past. AFAIK, other than on the issue of LGBT issues which are very much at the forefront of my own political issues, she is just fine with their other idiocy.

    So while I'm happy she's standing up publicly for her rights and the rights of others to be equal before the law, I can't quite rally to full shero support of her.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:29:03 AM PST

  •  Liz and her father probably thought Wyoming (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Aquarius40

    would be a cakewalk for Liz because it's a small population state with a long serving senator who might quake in his boots at the thought of running against a Cheney.  They may have thought Enzi would fold up his tent and leave.  Maybe they thought they had something on Enzi that would silence him and make him decline to run again.  So far that's been wrong.  But now Liz is stuck with Wyoming, a place that seems uninterested in being stuck with her.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:35:38 AM PST

  •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

    They are trolling like no troll has trolled before.

    •  I can't see anyone, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, ivorybill

      not even Mary Cheney, put a spouse through this hell without really meaning it. I don't know Cheney's wife, but she obviously saw something that she liked, and still likes enough to stay with her.

      I may not like Mary Cheney's political leanings, but as a human being I can support her efforts to stand up to the rest of her family and demand to be treated as an equal under the law.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:51:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good on Mary for being genuine (0+ / 0-)

    It would actually be more offensive if Liz condescendingly told her "You know I love you Mary, but I've got to win this seat."

  •  Jeesh (3+ / 0-)

    Cheney spawn, Huckabee spawn - continuing the grift and the hatred for another generation.  These are despicable people.

  •  "I find your lack of cynicism disturbing" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obviously, it would take a breathtaking act of cynicism to fake this fight just to highlight Liz's archaic point of view, but if there's any family capable of such cynicism, clearly it would be the Cheneys.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:52:42 AM PST

  •  To be fair, it's Liz's position you voted to (0+ / 0-)

    support in 2008.  And, judging by your many posts here, almost certainly would have voted for again in 2012 had it not changed.

    So there's that.

    "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:10:49 AM PST

  •  The Cheneys are all the same. Mary Cheney kept (0+ / 0-)

    silent when her father had power and could do something about marriage equality. Now that Dick Cheney is out of office they both now 'support' gay marriage.  They are all hypocrites and shouldn't be given any credit. If Mary Cheney was running for office her position would be identical to her sister.

  •  What is Liz's views of Mary having a son ... (0+ / 0-)

    out of wedlock? Does the Cheney family recognize Heather's parental claims to the care and custody of Samuel since Mary and Heather got married?

    I'm not lost. The rest of the world has yet to realize I've been missing.

    by glb3 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:18:12 AM PST

  •  I hate saying this. (0+ / 0-)

    But I agree with Dick Cheney.  He said, "Freedom means freedom for everyone." No truer statement were ever made, certainly not by Dick.  He has also been out front in lobbying Republicans in NH and one other state that I forget to vote in favor of marriage equality.  Looks to me like Liz is the one outside looking in.  And, given that Wyoming is a mountain state with a huge streak of libertarianism, I'm guessing she might be hurting herself in the primary.

  •  A "breathtaking act of cynicism" indeed. (0+ / 0-)

    And just what one can expect from Daddy's Little Draft Deferment.

  •  Actually Dick was (0+ / 0-)

    ahead of most major politicians on this issue.

  •  Liz Cheney is a Political Animal (0+ / 0-)

    Folks - Liz is simply trying to get elected in uber-conservative Wyoming at an uber-conservative time in the history of the modern Republican party. She HAS TO say these things about traditional marriage if she wants to stand a hope in hell of getting elected. The fact that it is totally rude, obnoxious and offensive to her sister's family is completely irrelevant. This is about getting elected, that's all. There's no real conviction there, there's no real depth to Liz the carpetbagger from Virginia, hell there's no real there there. She's just a political animal who wishes her gay sister and her wife (I love writing that) would just "shut up!" and let her get on with the campaign, just like they told Alan Simpson to do.  This is a no-brainer for Liz, and in Liz's mind it's damned annoying that sister Mary and spouse don't see it that way too.

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