UPDATE: The New York Times has a statement from the Cheney parents – Dick and Lynne – trying to defend candidate Liz without further offending sister Mary in the Cheney family feud. I’m thinking it doesn’t help.
Read for yourself:
“This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public. Since it has, one thing should be clear: Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister’s family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz’s many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position.”
The feuding is not just intra-family, but also intra-Republicans-in-Wyoming family. According to former Sen. Alan Simpson, he was told to shut up – repeatedly — by Lynne Cheney at a Republican dinner. She denied it. He called her a “bald-faced” liar.
Our political lesson for today: It’s getting harder and harder to oppose same-sex marriage. And it’s harder still when your sister is a lesbian with a wife and two kids and when your famous rightwing father, who’s famously against nearly everything, says he supports gay marriage.
This is the story of the Cheney family, of course. Liz Cheney would like to take what was once seen as a semi-reasonable position on same-sex marriage. Opposes it personally, but leaves it up to the states to decide, while agreeing that the State Department – among others — should grant benefits to same-sex couples.
The problem is, that position is so 2011.
In 2013, as she’s running to unseat a fellow Republican in a Wyoming senatorial primary, she’s basically called a liberal by a PAC supporting Sen. Mike Enzi and basically called a bigot by her sister and sister-in-law. In Wyoming, you could argue which is worse.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Liz Cheney said she loved her sister but same-sex marriage was just an area in which they disagreed.
Mary Cheney took to Facebook to say it was a little more than a disagreement.
“Liz – this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong – and on the wrong side of history,” Mary Cheney wrote.
Heather Poe, Mary Cheney’s wife, took matters a little further and made them a lot more personal. In her Facebook post, she wrote:
“I was watching my sister-in-law on Fox News Sunday (yes Liz, in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law) and was very disappointed to hear her say ‘I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage.’
“Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 – she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us.
“To have her now say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least.
“I can’t help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other.
“I always thought freedom meant freedom for EVERYONE.”
For those who may not follow Wyoming politics religiously, the line about moving from one state to another was a shot at Liz Cheney’s recent return to Wyoming in order to run for Senate against Enzi, a three-term incumbent.
That was a subtle jab. The rest was an unsubtle warning that Mary Cheney and Heather Poe — just like the issues surrounding same-sex marriage — aren’t going anywhere.