Like her father Dick, Liz Cheney supports repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Also like her father Dick, Liz Cheney is a raging zealot whose opinions we aren’t gungho about suddenly respecting.
“It’s time for it to end,” the former vice president’s daughter tells TPMDC during a break at CPAC. “The joint chiefs, certainly the chairman of the joint chiefs, has been clear about that and I think that the country really is at a place now where it’s time for it to end.”
It wasn’t even a week ago that Liz’s dad Dick was saying the same thing, repeating his earlier opposition to bans on gays in the military.
It’s very tempting to take these two Cheney soundbites and parade them around to conservatives saying, “Seeeeee! This is why you should support gay equality too!” In fact, in our earlier post, we are guilty of basically doing just that.
The problem with using Dick and Liz’s support for repealing DADT to bolster our own argument to kill the law, however, means lending credence to the other words that come out of these two people’s mouths. That’s a mistake. Dick Cheney is still the guy who believes the Bush administration’s torture methods — which he personally approved — were no big deal. Liz Cheney is still the same power-hungry girl who excuses torture based on the grounds that, hey, it’s necessary.
If we are going to champion either Dick or Liz’s arguments on DADT, it means we actually respect and value their viewpoints enough to quote these individuals. Aside from Cheney’s expert political mastery, and Liz’s ability to spin the media, there’s not a whole lot to respect about either of these two. (Maybe they’re dedicated to their families? Okay, great.) To cherry pick things these two support, and trumpet them as evidence why everyone should go along with one of their beliefs, is foolish.
No, we don’t have to agree with someone on everything to agree with someone on something. And you needn’t agree with us on everything to command our respect on another topic. But Liz and, especially, Dick represent some of the worst things human beings do while in power. To go to an extreme example, just because Hitler loved dogs does not mean we’re going to run around telling everyone they shouldn’t abuse their puppies because Hitler wouldn’t have liked it.
The only way to effectively exploit their support of a DADT repeal, then, is to take their viewpoints to other raging conservatives whom also believe that American authorities can violate somebody’s human rights (or expose a CIA operative’s identity as a political maneuver) and say, “Hey, these terrible people think the same thing as you about this thing, why not see where they’re coming from on that thing?”
Otherwise, we do not accept Dick or Liz as people capable of making reasonable arguments about the human condition, and their support of a DADT repeal, while lovely, doesn’t further influence our support. But hey, score one for bipartisanship, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.