Day 4 of the Mary Cheney hostage crisis

By Joan Walsh
Published October 17, 2004 12:43AM (UTC)
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We woke up this morning to a CNN anchor interviewing an ethics expert on whether John Kerry was right to bring up Mary Cheney's sexuality in Wednesday night's debate -- answer: Heavens, no! -- and hoped it was just a bad dream. But it wasn't. It's Day 4 of the Mary Cheney hostage crisis. At War Room, we don't like to say we told you so, but our in-the-moment misgivings about Kerry's Cheney mention turned out to be justified. Kerry may well have used Mary Cheney with the best of intentions -- to highlight the way the Cheneys have embraced their gay daughter despite their politics, as he says, as well as to point to the GOP's hypocrisy on the gay marriage issue. But it was risky to bring someone's child on stage in a debate where many Americans are likely to conclude she didn't belong. Tim Grieve said so in a second-day War Room post and got beaten up by readers, but liberals saying the Mary Cheney flap shouldn't be an issue for Kerry-Edwards doesn't make it so.

Dave Cullen is right, the real disgrace in this mess is Lynne Cheney, who is boldly standing up for her daughter now, though she couldn't bear to admit she was gay four years ago. Still, any move that turns the cold-blooded Cheneys into victims is a bad move, and we can only hope Democrats can move beyond it in the days to come.

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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