The Reactionary Utopian December 11, 2006 YES, IT'S A CHENEY -- OR SOMETHING by Joe Sobran If Rip Van Winkle were to awaken today, one would hardly know where to start. Explaining rap music and "ultimate fighting" would be the easy part. This week's big news in the Republican Party is that Mary Cheney, usually described as "Vice President Dick Cheney's openly lesbian daughter," is going to have a baby. Maybe we should think of it as "ultimate motherhood." Just when we were getting used to surrogate motherhood. What will next week bring? Everyone's trying to be terribly open-minded about it, of course, because this is, after all, the twenty-first century and nobody wants to sound like some old twentieth-century fuddy-duddy. I think it was Charles Peguy who observed, before World War I, that we will never know how many acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of being insufficiently "progressive." So here goes. I'm such an old coot that I can still remember when unmarried women were sometimes embarrassed when they found out they were pregnant. Yes, it could happen in the best families, but, well, it really wasn't supposed to. When it did, it was an accident. You didn't expect to find out about it if it should happen to the daughter of the vice president of the United States. Think Alben Barkley. Heck, think Dan Quayle, or even Al Gore. That was then, this is now. It wasn't an accident. Mary Cheney and her, er, spouse have chosen to have a child. Like, on purpose. It's a deeply personal decision, between a woman, her partner, and her turkey baster. You got a problem with that? Actually, I do. Now I hate to sound like one of those stuffy old Druids of eld, and I'll be the first to agree that a "normal" person is probably someone you just don't know very well yet, but I still think we are all better off when we make a reasonable effort to be, or at least appear, more or less normal. And darn it, lesbians having babies just isn't normal!!! One proof of this is that even Democrats can't help snickering about it. A liberal columnist in the WASHINGTON POST, the ever-progressive Ruth Marcus, wrote of it under the inspired headline "It's a Cheney!" She let on that it's funny only because it shows up the reactionary vice president and the rest of his "family values" party. Yeah, sure. That does make it funnier, but it would be funny anyway, because weird things are funny. Let's not try to pin this on the Republicans. Gay marriage wasn't their idea. Before we discuss what to name the baby, or whether Mary Cheney should exercise her constitutional right to have it snuffed right up to the moment of birth, let's talk about the forgotten man in all this: the father, or as he would now be called, the "biological" father. What kind of man supplies his own seed to help create a child who will never know him as its father, and who is bound to be tormented by wondering about what other children can take for granted? How will that child feel upon learning, or figuring out, the bizarre origins of his or her existence? Does one send a turkey baster a card on Father's Day? This is not like begetting a child in a moment of passion and putting it up for adoption later in the hope it will have the normal family life you couldn't provide. It's the opposite: cold-bloodedly begetting a child, most unnaturally, in the full knowledge that its family life will be abnormal. If it manages to be happy anyway, that will be no fault of the biological father's. We've all known some deadbeat dads who have failed their children through simple lack of character, but this guy, whoever he may be, takes the cake. Most men -- let's call them normal men -- couldn't bear the knowledge that they had a son or daughter somewhere out there who was always secretly asking itself not just who the actual "biological" father was, but what sort of emotional freak he was. Who wouldn't rather be an orphan than a child thus abandoned, as it were, by nature itself? Well, it's a Cheney, I guess. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Read this column on-line at "http://www.sobran.com/columns/2006/061211.shtml". Copyright (c) 2006 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate, www.griffnews.com. This column may not be published in print or Internet publications without express permission of Griffin Internet Syndicate. You may forward it to interested individuals if you use this entire page, including the following disclaimer: "SOBRAN'S and Joe Sobran's columns are available by subscription. For details and samples, see http://www.sobran.com/e-mail.shtml, write PR@griffnews.com, or call 800-513-5053."