Friday, October 15, 2004

Why are we outraged?

The Kerry campaign seems mystified that so many people on the left and on the right are irate over the remarks made Wednesday night about Mary Cheney.

I'm a let me explain it to them. My child is not "fair game" in anyone's political debate unless she is a candidate. Had Mary Cheney been at the other podium, then John Kerry's remark about her personal life would have been acceptable.

Mary Cheney is working on her father's campaign. She is his child and I think it's admirable that she is supporting him despite what must be political differences. Ultimately, the relationship between parent and child should supercede the political debate of the day.

Recently, our nine year old has taken an interest in the Congressional race for the 9th District of Virginia where we live (primarily because the candidate Kevin Triplett is a family friend). She has attended rallies, marched in parades, and helped with the distribution of campaign fliers. Does this make her "fair game" for Triplett's opponent?

I am reminded of the 1983 movie The Dead Zone in which a shady politician's career came to an end when he used a baby as a human shield during a blast of gunfire. (I won't make any further commentary on the fact that the politician was portrayed by Martin Sheen.) Kerry was taking fire on the issue of gay marriage, so he "picked up" Dick Cheney's child to deflect attention away from himself.

His hope was that he would use her to hurt her father among the conservative base of the Republican party; instead, he left parents across America and both parties with their mouths agape. The fallout from his very deliberate remark will be significant. Many from his own party will, I imagine, find it difficult to pull the lever or punch the chad for a man who doesn't understand basic decency.

As for Elizabeth Edwards, don't even get me started! One mother who would take on another mother's relationship with her child for political gain doesn't deserve to be a heartbeat away from becoming our First Lady.