I hadn't planned on posting tonight -- in fact, I made a point of not even logging on today. I needed a break from my obsessive poll-watching, and didn't think my blood pressure could take another revelation about Republican efforts at vote suppression. I actually took in a movie today (Primer: so much going for it, but ultimately a mess) and introduced my daughter to the campy pleasures of Land of the Lost now available on DVD.
But I couldn't stay away. I should have just gone to bed, but I decided I wouldn't be able to sleep without checking out the latest developments in the "Ground Game," with less than 48 hours to go before the election. And I found lots to feel optimistic about. We're in very good shape. In fact, if I weren't so superstitious I might even revise my electoral predictions from the other night and add a few to Kerry's column.
But no...there's just one thing I want to talk about tonight. Remember how "outraged" Lynne and "Big Time" Dick Cheney were about Kerry's mention of Mary, their lesbian daughter, during the third debate? Back then (all of two weeks ago) it was all about respecting their family, leaving them out of the campaign, not trotting their progeny out for political gain. Right?
Ah, what a difference a couple of weeks and some alarming poll results make...
(Before I launch in: credit where credit's due. I first heard about this story via Atrios and snagged the picture below from Steve Gilliard's blog. Many thanks to both.)
Mary Cheney is still effectively "back of the bus," despite her prominent role in her father's campaign, but Lynne and Dick are perfectly willing to trot out their grandkids to score a cheap political point. Today, the Cheneys introduced their 7-year old granddaughter Elizabeth at a campaign rally, saying she'd dressed up for Halloween as "John Kerry's health care plan." Here's Elizabeth with her dear-old granddad...
I can't think of a more perfect or more perfectly depressing image to sum up what this administration is all about. Their prime motivating force: fear of death.
And apparently the spectre of Osama bin Laden -- who should have been killed or captured a long time ago -- reappearing over the weekend wasn't enough for them. So Lynne and Dick thought nothing about putting a black robe and skull on their granddaughter, dragging her out on stage, and using her as a political prop.
I have a daughter who's not quite three. She desperately wanted to go as Tigger this year. An unscientific survey of her pre-school classmates on Tuesday revealed that most of the other little girls wanted to be Cinderella, a princess, or some variation on that theme. Even amongst the boys (some of whom are gleefully rude, rough, or both) who voiced their prefered costume, not a one cited the Grim Reaper.
In fact, I don't know too many seven-year olds who even know what the Grim reaper is.
So we're left with one of two possibilities, neither one of which is particularly pleasant:
a) The vice-president and his wife are perfectly willing to place political gain over their grandchild's enjoyment of the Halloween holiday,
b) The Cheney family is so unbelievably fucked-up that, at 7, Elizabeth chose to dress up as a spectre of death.
I for one would like to give poor little Elizabeth the benefit of the doubt. So that leaves us with Option A: Dick Cheney, his wife Lynne -- not to mention Elizabeth's mother -- are the lowest, most loathesome sort of political opportunitists.
These people are (and believe me, I don't use this word lightly) a cancer on the body politic of America. I'd like to think that this is merely a sign of their desperation, but given Dick Cheney's relentless fearmongering throughout the campaign, this is merely a starker-than-usual example of their tactics and their philosophy. Imagining my daughter masquerading as death is just about the most disturbing thing I can think of. Seeing Dick Cheney chuckle at the reality of his granddaughter so dressed -- and encouraging his sheep-like followers to join in the fun -- is one of the most sickening things I have ever seen in my life.
In less than two days, we have the opportunity to run these people out of town on a rail. And who knows...maybe someday Elizabeth will thank us...for giving her the opportunity to dress as Cinderella, or Ariel -- or even Tigger -- next year...
Sleep tight, if you can...
PS. Think the Cheney's morbid exploitation of their granddaughter is an abberation? No...unfortunately, rabid right-wingers have the market cornered on introducing young people to Grand Guinol. See here.