On gay-marriage feud, Liz Cheney might want to heed Joe Stalin

Liz Cheney, left, and her sister Mary at the Republican National Convention in New York in September 2004.
Liz Cheney, left, and her sister Mary at the Republican National Convention in New York in September 2004.
(Jeff Haynes / AFP/Getty Images)

Guess it will be some Thanksgiving at the Cheney household next week; one thing’s for sure — there’ll be more than one turkey at the table.

In their latest bid to remake “Family Feud” as a reality TV show, older daughter Liz Cheney — who’s running for Senate in Wyoming — happily threw her lesbian sister and her sister’s wife under the campaign bus over the weekend. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Liz Cheney touched the third rail of Cheney family politics by restating her firm opposition to same-sex marriage. Then, proving she has her daddy’s gift for talking out of both sides of one’s mouth, she added: “I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue in which we disagree.”

To which Mary, proving that she also got something from daddy — his famous temper — took to Facebook with this retort: “Liz — this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree you’re just wrong — and on the wrong side of history.”


Wow, can’t you just hear mom Lynne saying “Now, girls,” or perhaps Dick resurrecting one of his favorite rejoinders: “Go ….. yourself!”? (Unclear, of course, is exactly which one he would say that to).

And as all of us with siblings and partners and husbands and wives know, it just wouldn’t be a holiday feud without the mouthy sister-in-law jumping in; Mary Cheney’s wife, Heather Poe, took her shot: “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.”

Oh, yes, and could you pass the cranberry, please? Oh no, no more bread for me ... What? No, I did not tell you to stuff it, I said I’m stuffed!

Now, no one ever said politics is anything but a nasty business. Certainly the Cheneys, of all people, understand that. But perhaps they might gain some insight into family dynamics by reading this Op-Ed in Sunday’s Times, “Would you break the law for your family?,” by Robert M. Sapolsky, a professor of neuroscience at Stanford University.

In it, he tells the charming tale of a young boy in the Stalinist-era Soviet Union who ratted out his own father as a black-marketeer; the father was executed. The boy, though, was then killed by irate relatives — only to be cast as hero of the state by Stalin’s propaganda machine. Statues were erected; a movie was made, even an opera.

But what did old Joe Stalin himself think of the boy, when told of his deed? “What a little pig to have done such a thing to his own family.”

Think about it, Liz.


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