Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Smell of Desperation

William Safliar joins the desperate Republican attempt to smear Kerry for his remarks on Mary Cheney during the final presidential debate.

In an attempt to make Kerry look bad, Safliar acknowledges that Dick Cheney has openly spoken of his daughter's sexuality, but claims "the press - respecting family privacy - had properly not made it a big deal."

Well, the New York Times, for one, has printed 18 articles during the period from 2000 to immediately before the recent debates which include the words Mary + Cheney + lesbian, including one from January 2001 which starts like this:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 -- It was a first for gay Republicans. Last week's inaugural events included a breakfast honoring the Republican Unity Coalition, a new political group that includes gay members of the party. The master of ceremonies at Friday's celebration was a respected Republican elder, former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a close friend of both the Bush and Cheney families.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Simpson noted, "Not one of us doesn't have someone close to us who is gay or lesbian." Then he invoked Mary Cheney, the daughter of the vice president, who attended the inauguration with her partner. Mr. Simpson said that after Ms. Cheney said she was a lesbian, her father, Dick Cheney, "protected and loved her as his very special, special daughter."

So Safliar, like the Cheneys, wants it both ways. Ms. Cheney's sexual orientation is "no secret or anything [to be] ... ashamed of," but it's private and shouldn't be mentioned in the press. It's okay for "political junkies" to know, but it certainly should be mentioned in front of the great American unwashed - Lord knows what mischief they'll get up to if they're let in on such delicate matters. It's The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Except At G.O.P. Fundraisers For Wealthy Gays.

And, of course, when Kerry mentions it at the same time he's telling those 50 million viewers that he's more progressive on gay rights than Bush, it's a trick to get people to vote against Bush. That's even less credible than Safliar's claim that he knows what the unnamed (of course) Democratic strategists who "concocted this base-surpressing dirty trick" are now advising Kerry.

All of Safliar's recent columns reek of desperation -- he sees his boy going down. This one even invokes Tailgunner Joe. Your old pal, Roy Cohn, would be very proud, Bill. For so very many reasons.

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