Nice Try, Dick

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The San Francisco Chronicle

Nice Try, Dick

Your mumbled, half-assed support of gay marriage, Mr. Cheney? Not a chance

Sorry, Dick. You can't have it. You can't have even a moment of credit, a glimpse of sympathy, any sort of merciful forgiveness just because you sort of, kind of half-assedly came out in support of gay marriage, again, even though you actually didn't.

Here's what you do get: a sidelong look of momentary disbelief, a quick glance in your direction as you sit in your puddle of sour irrelevance on the sidelines of modern culture, as the rest of the thoughtful, open-hearted human race leaves you in the embittered dust. Hey, you made your bed of nails, Dick. You get to impale yourself on it.

What, is that too harsh? Too mean-spirited? Should I be more accepting and tolerant and kind because you supposedly revealed in your recent chat with the National Press Club that you might have an actual glimmer of an extant human heart, even though everyone knows you absolutely don't? Not a chance.

You think liberals and the gay movement should somehow be grateful that you, the right's most shameful hard-line fearmonger, America's most beloved torture fanatic and destroyer of civil liberties and humanitarian rights worldwide, famed wiretapper and Halliburton war profiteer extraordinairre, that you recently reiterated your jumbled, caveat-thick "support" of basic civil rights for homosexuals? Are you joking?

It's sort of silly, isn't it? Of course, it's the same tacit, quasi-support you've muttered under your breath for the last eight years, but never actually stood up and did a single thing about because A) you didn't actually believe a single word of it, and B) were far too busy molesting the integrity of the White House, international law, the U.S. Constitition and human joy itself to really give a damn about such petty matters as the sanctity of the human heart. Hey, I get it. You were busy.

I can't decide what's more incredible, really: You actually saying, with your trademark sneer, "freedom should be for everyone," or that lightning didn't strike you dead on the spot when you said it. And let's not forget your big caveat: Freedom is only sort of for everyone; your kind of freedom is actually selective and highly discriminatory.

According to you, gay rights should be up to the states to decide. Which is a bit like saying, hey, if Alabama or Mississippi wants to hang black folk and beat up women, they should be allowed to because, you know, states have different views on who should be allowed to exist. Hey Dick. Satan called. He wants his worldview back.

Yes, I've read of few of the cute responses to your "surprising" admission. That you're now "more liberal than California." That even President Obama could take note of your profound "change of heart." That there's a small chance that your faltering words might even have an enlightening effect on the hardcore homophobes in your own party, the ones who've worked so aggressively all these years to damn gays to moral and spiritual hell. As if.

Of course, it's all just so much quaint bulls--t, isn't it, Dick? A nice shotgun blast in the face of hypocrisy? Are you snickering at all the attention your little comment earned? I bet you are. Because even a child can see it's just a big charade, a carefully timed sound-bite to keep yourself in the fading spotlight a tiny bit longer.

It's also an obvious attempt to steal a page from the liberal playbook and make Rush Limbaugh's GOP remotely more palatable to moderate America, given how even you know gay marriage is a foregone conclusion. Hey, you may be a monster, but even a monster can see the writing on the wall.

Or maybe it's the other thing, how you're only really saying anything at all about gay marriage because you have a lesbian daughter, a sad, lost woman whose existence you barely acknowledged for eight solid years despite how she herself has so calmly spit in the face of the gay rights movement by actually campaigning for you, and by never once facing down her own party's rampant homophobia, the fact that the GOP has happily discriminated against her for, well, for her entire unfortunate life.

Damn, Dick. You sure taught your daughter Mary well. Swallow your own soul, honey. Stab it to death for the sake of power and profit. Hide your true self. And for God's sake, keep your mouth shut about the civil rights crap until it's politically useful. Nice.

Ah, but maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe we on the progressive left should try to be more tolerant in this case, a bit more open-minded, give you the benefit of the doubt for once. You think?

Maybe you deserve a moment's grace, despite your astonishing list of human right abuses, corruptions, misprisions, war profiteerings and endless criminal activities that, in lesser times and in more barbaric countries, would get you hung up by your toenails and fed to giant leeches.

I know, the Buddha teaches endless kindness and compassion. Jesus teaches forgiveness and turning the other cheek. Then again, neither of them saw the look of savage bliss on your face when you hear the word "waterboarding."

But maybe you really have seen the error of your old ways, and you're moving one tiny, hobbled step toward kindness and enlightenment. Hey, anything's possible. Maybe you really have had a change of heart.

Oh my God. Did I just write that sentence out loud? I'm so sorry. Let's both look to the sky, shall we? Because I'm still waiting for that lightning.

Mark Morford

Mark Morford's new book, 'The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism,' is now available at daringspectacle.com, Amazon, BN.com, and beyond. Join Mark on Facebook and Twitter, or email him. His website is markmorford.com. Mark's column appears every Wednesday on SFGate.

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