Italy Willing To Open Tehran Embassy To Protesters

Posted by Alex On June - 21st - 2009

Italy is willing to open its embassy in Tehran to wounded protesters in coordination with other European nations, the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Quick Guide To Twittering The Iran Revolution

Posted by Alex On June - 21st - 2009

A how to guide to twittering about the Iranian election crisis.

Iran-50 Cities Had More Votes Than Voters

Posted by Alex On June - 22nd - 2009

In 50 Iranian cities the number of votes cast in this month presidential election exceeded the number of eligible voters, the state's election watchdog admitted today. The surprising admission by the Guardian Council was, however, designed to undermine the claims of the defeated candidates that the vote was rigged.

Iran-Faces Of The Basij

Posted by Alex On June - 20th - 2009

Images of the Iranian Basij

Next Stop - Civil Disobedience

Posted by Jaime On June - 19th - 2009

On Tuesday, Savage Love columnist and podcaster Dan Savage wrote an interesting article addressing how queer Americans should approach the Obama administration's repugnant avoidance of campaign-trail promises.

Public Gay Book Burning

Posted by Alex On June - 17th - 2009

A Christian group called the CCLU is trying to have a gay book publicly burned.

List of Journalist and Politicians Detained in Iran

Posted by Alex On June - 21st - 2009

An unconfirmed list of the reporters, bloggers and politicians being detained in Iran.

Focus On The Family Lies

Posted by Alex On June - 18th - 2009

Truth Wins Out Catches Focus On The Family In A Lie

Cheney's Permafrost Heart Melting?

Posted by Jaime Ravenet On 12:08 AM
Further Evidence of Global Warming?

So apparently former VP-in-perpetual-hiding Dick Cheney had a meds vacation last week, because a heretofore unknown substance (truth?) seemed to spill from his lips almost by accident. He acknowledged that 1) he supports gay marriage, and 2) Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Leaving, for the purposes of decorum, the 9/11 one aside, the quotes were:

"I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone," Cheney said in a speech at the National Press Club. "I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

and then:

"And I think that's the way it ought to be handled today, that is, on a state-by-state basis. Different states will make different decisions. But I don't have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that,"

Well done, Dick! Err, sort of. You see, there's something strange going on here, and I can't quite wrap my head around it. It starts at "freedom means freedom for everyone," which is, in classic Bush administration style, grandiose-cum-propaganda. He probably means something akin to the idea that "freedom" (pardon the glittering generality) is something applied equally by the law to all citizens (Cheney has never really offered any evidence to suggest he thinks that human rights extend beyond American citizens, but it's a fair enough starting point). But he follows this with a stereotypical conservative call for the rights of states to recognize such a freedom.

And therein is the problem: if freedom means freedom for everyone, then how the hell can this be parsed in terms of state's rights? Maybe he is suggesting that the Constitution of the United States is insufficient to enforce this freedom. If that's so, then it would be reasonable to assume that Cheney is actually stating his own opinion about how the law *should* be, but noting dutifully that his will must defer to the Constitutionally guaranteed right of states to be self-governing. But...if that's the case, then he is relying on the supremacy of the Constitution, and now we've gone right round like a record!

Another possibility is that "freedom for everyone" includes freedom for those who don't support "freedom" to marry, divided up by the states. But if that's what he means, the "freedom for everyone" has dissipated from something everyone has a right to, to something some people in some places have, but others don't, and that's just fine by Dick. Squirrely, no? What we have here is an uncharacteristic moral relativism on the part of a characteristically morally unambiguous politician. Remember, this is a man who helped carved the world into the "no grey areas" stark contrast of "those who stand with us" and "those who oppose us." The problem here is that this reasoning easily go to support the kind of moral relativism abhorred by his beloved Partei, and was weaponized and perveted and lobbed like clumps of mud to attack those who didn't agree with their preemptive war strategy as some kind of support of the Taliban and al Qaeda.

In the end, there is no good way to justify this position. Either this "freedom" is a right of all (citizens, in this case), or it isn't. If it is, then there is no state's rights issue in the question of gay marriage rights. If it is not, then what Cheney said was meaningless baiting by the neo-cons to shore up support among the younger citizens of the country, who overwhelmingly favor acknowledging the legal right of gay couples to marry. So, dear reader, don't get your hopes up that the mean ol' Cheney grew a heart and brought presents to Whoville. Thanks but no thanks, Dick. Here's some advice: do us all a favor and say what you mean. At least Rush is honest. And while you're at it licking your wounds, make sure to get out of the way, because either or, you know your party is on the losing end of this fight.

(P.S. Yes, this does make him "The Dick Who Stole Marriage")

1 Response to "Cheney's Permafrost Heart Melting?"

  1. Alex Said,

    I hope you didn't mind that I had to edit your title to make it fit. I e-mailed you about it.