Yes, Its a Cheney
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.
the Republican Party is that Mary
Cheney, usually described as Vice President Dick Cheneys
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?
Everyones 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.
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 wasnt supposed to. When it
did, it was an accident. You didnt 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 wasnt an accident. Mary Cheney and her, er, spouse
have chosen to have a child. Like, on purpose. Its 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 Ill
be the first to agree that a normal person is probably
someone you just dont 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 isnt normal!!!
One proof of this is
that even Democrats cant help snickering about it. A liberal columnist
in the Washington Post, the ever-progressive Ruth Marcus,
wrote of it under the inspired headline Its a Cheney!
She let on that its funny only because it shows up the reactionary
vice president and the rest of his family values party.
That does make it funnier, but it would be funny anyway, because weird
things are funny. Lets not try to pin this on the Republicans. Gay
marriage wasnt their idea.
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,
lets 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 Fathers 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 couldnt provide.
Its 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 fathers.
Weve all known some deadbeat dads who have failed their children
through simple lack of character, but this guy, whoever he may be, takes the
lets call them normal men couldnt 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 wouldnt
rather be an orphan than a child thus abandoned, as it were, by nature itself?
a Cheney, I guess.