Cheney’s radical liberal reasoning in favor of homosexual “marriage”

The other day, Meghan McCain, daughter of John, used the quintessentially liberal “equal freedom” argument in favor of homosexual “marriage.” And now guess what famous “conservative” is joining her?

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

“Freedom means (equal) freedom for everyone,” and therefore the institution of marriage should be redefined to mean the union of two male homosexuals or two female homosexuals … or whatever.

While Cheney’s language is more forthright than in the past, he has been a public supporter of homosexual “marriage” since the 2000 campaign, at which point I turned against him. I also pointed out that he as vice president could not taken the unprecedented step of publicly differing from the president on an important policy question without the president’s ok, which revealed Bush’s supposed support for the federal marriage amendment to be a lie. No mainstream conservatives, no “social conservatives,” ever criticized Bush over the fact that he allowed his VP to subvert his own supposed policy in this crucial area.

Cheney’s vileness on this issue is shown in this VFR entry from October 2004:

Cheney disses the defense—and the defenders—of marriage

As usual, I’m out of step with the Republican cheerleading squad. While Frum, Morris, the bloggers, and the L-dotters are besides themselves with joy this morning over what they see as Cheney’s trouncing of Edwards on the Iraq issue in last night’s debate, I felt that Cheney on several occasions unaccountably failed to respond to Edwards’s false attacks, as Andrew McCarthy discusses at The Corner. Even more importantly,—and it led me to turn my tv off in disgust—Cheney declined to reply to Edwards’s vicious assertion that the Federal Marriage Amendment is being advanced solely to “divide” America for partisan purposes. Underscoring his total lack of support for the amendment and the fundamental principle it represents, Cheney, astonishingly, made a deliberate point of not using his available time—almost 90 seconds—to answer Edwards’s demagogic charge against the most important traditionalist initiative in America today.

Several hours after posting the above paragraph, I came upon this quote in the New York Sun by James Bundy, Dean of Yale School of Drama, which confirms my impression that Cheney handed a victory to the left:

In terms of political theater, the single most extraordinary event was the moment in which Cheney, by not responding, essentially conceded Senator Edwards’s point about how gay marriage was being used by the Bush administration as a tool for dividing the country. It was actually a moment of enormous personal courage and morality on the part of both the vice president and Senator Edwards.

Let no one diminish or forget the significance of what Cheney has done here. For years, the left has repeatedly charged that any attempt to prevent the institutionalization of homosexual “marriage” in this country was either an expression of animus, or a cynical political move. It has been central to the left’s purpose to deny that there could be any rational, good-faith disagreement with them on this issue: either you supported what amounted to the most radical social innovation in history, or you were a vicious and dishonest human being. And Cheney, by his pointed, stunning refusal to reply to Edwards’s attack on the FMA’s backers, gave to that leftist campaign of intimidation his seal of approval. The hell with him.

[end of 2004 entry]

- end of initial entry -

Charles T. writes:

Yesterday, Fred Thompson discussed homosexual marriage during one of his radio monologues. Initially it sounded promising. He stated that for thousands of years humans recognized marital unions as between men and women and that the state had a strong interest in regulating the concept of marriage. He then shifted into the argument that allowing the individual states to decide the issue was the best way to deal with homosexual marriage. He ended the segment by stating that he gets cross-ways with his conservative friends and argues that they should be willing to accept that some people are going to do things different than they do even if they do not agree with it.

As I see it, Thompson essentially came out in favor of gay marriage without explicitly stating he is for gay marriage. If he gets cross-ways with people who are opposed to gay marriage, then he needs to just come out and support gay marriage openly.

Although he started the monologue with an appeal to tradition, he demonstrated to me, at least at this point and on this issue, that he thinks more like a libertarian rather than a traditionalist conservative. So I believe Thompson’s appeal to tradition is dishonest. I would prefer that he state that he is not really a conservative when it comes to marriage.

Clark Coleman writes:

Your reader misunderstands Fred Thompson. He is a strong supporter of federalism. We can disagree over whether a certain issue is so important as to preclude each state deciding for itself, and I disagree with Fred over that. But, when he talks about how he gets cross-ways with fellow Republicans about the fact that some people will do things they don’t like, the “people” are the people of states who will do differently than we want them to do. Fred has taken one principled federalist stand after another over the years, and “big government conservatives” have attacked him because of it. I have generally agreed with him, and have even been chastened by his words on past issues when I found myself unthinkingly ignoring federalist principles.

On this issue, I think the redefinition of marriage in the public mind is the biggest issue, and it is furthered by the federalist approach so that the cultural problems will spill over into all fifty states, regardless of whether a state has to recognize such marriages from other states. So, I disagree with Fred over whether the federalist principle is paramount here. But he is certainly not endorsing homosexual “marriage.”

LA replies:

He may not be formally endorsing homosexual “marriage,” but he is, for all intents and purposes, supporting homosexual marriage. Certain things are simply fundamental to a society. If the only way to defend them is through a federal constitutional amendment, an utterly simply amendment which simply states the common sense of all humanity, that a marriage is a union of a man and a woman, an amendment that would threaten absolutely nothing, but simply bar the absurdity of homosexual “marriage” with all the social divisions it will cause, and if a person, out of some notion that we should keep all matters on the state level, opposes that amendment, thus letting homosexual marriage spread, then I say he is on the side of homosexual marriage.

Besides which, the federalism issue which is so important for Thompson is specious here. This is not a constitutional issue, i.e., it doesn’t concern the interpretation of the Constitution. We’re not discussing misuse of existing federal powers. We’re discussing a constitutional amendment.

The federalism issue is also specious because the federal government and courts are at this moment exercising massively unconstitutional powers that our entire political system, including Thompson, accepts. Yet when it comes to a necessary and legitimate and non-harmful constitutional amendment, then, suddenly, maintaining some abstract ideological purity becomes more important to Thompson than stopping the most radical social innovation in history.

To repeat: in the absence of a federal marriage amendment, homosexual marriage, even if enacted only in some states, will inevitably affect the entire country. To oppose the amendment is to say yes to the spread of homosexual marriage.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 03, 2009 04:07 PM | Send

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