Tag Archives: Liz Cheney

Cheneys learning terrible lesson about fame

The Cheney family is being schooled on the terrible price famous clans must pay at times.

Their family feuds become public spectacles. The exposure goes with the territory.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd brings it all home with her latest essay.

The story has been told and retold many times in recent weeks. Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, wants to be the next U.S. senator from Wyoming. She’s challenging a long-time fellow Republican, incumbent Mike Enzi. She’s trying to outflank Enzi on the right, which is a hard thing to do, given the senator’s impeccable conservative voting record.

But in doing so, Liz has managed to offend her sister, Mary in the deepest way imaginable. Liz says she opposes gay marriage. Mary is gay and is married to Heather Poe. They are the parents of two children.

Daddy Cheney has declared his support for gay marriage. He also supports Liz’s campaign for U.S. senator. The Cheneys also used to be pals with the Enzis. Then we have another prominent Wyoming pol, former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson, who is mortified at what’s transpiring with his friends the Cheneys — and the Enzis.

Why should anyone beyond this tight circle of family and friends care? Because Dick Cheney served for eight years as vice president of the United States. Before that he was secretary of defense during the George H.W. Bush administration. Before that he was a congressman from Wyoming and before that he served as White House chief of staff to President Gerald Ford.

He’s a public man. His business becomes our business, even if it involves his daughters — both of whom have been in the public eye themselves.

Fame at times exacts a terrible price from those who seek it.

Family feud mirrors larger GOP split

Two women from one prominent political family are sparring publicly over one of the nation’s most sensitive social issues.

It involves gay marriage.

One of the women is gay; the other is straight. The gay sister, Mary Cheney, is married to her wife and is the mother of two children. The straight sister, Liz Cheney, is running for the U.S. Senate seat from Wyoming against a long-time incumbent, fellow Republican Mike Enzi.


Liz Cheney has come out strongly against gay marriage. Her sister Mary has challenged Liz’s views, saying she is out of step with history.

Oh, have I mentioned these women come from a prominent political family? Their dad is former Vice President Dick Cheney, who supports gay marriage; their mother is Lynne Cheney, who’s served as top adviser to GOP presidents going back to Ronald Reagan.

The women’s differences over gay marriage — or “marriage equality,” as proponents like to call it — serves as an interesting metaphor for the divisions that exist within the larger political party. The right wingers are unwilling to compromise on this or any issue with the “establishment wing” of their party.

No one can accuse the Cheney family of being squishy on their conservatism. They all come from sturdy right-wing stock.

The sisters’ split reminds me a bit of a similar split within Ronald Reagan’s family, particularly between the two sons — Michael and Ron. Michael Reagan is a star on the conservative talk-radio circuit; Ron tilts considerably to the left and is a frequent guest of liberal TV talk show hosts. The third surviving Reagan child, daughter Patti, is aligned with brother Ron.

Has anyone seen the Reagan brothers in the same room lately?

Back to the Cheneys …

If anyone needs a lesson on the split among Republicans, they can look no further than the strain developing between two strong-willed women.

Politics means ‘lying’ takes on broader context

My American Heritage dictionary defines the term “lie” thusly: “a false statement deliberately presented as true.”

That’s a commonly accepted description of a lie. Someone has to knowingly say something that is false.

Well, in politics, lying takes on a different sort of meaning.

Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick “Prince of Darkness” Cheney, said just the other day that President Barack Obama lied when he made grand promises about the Affordable Care Act.


“No question” that he lied, said Cheney. What’s more, the former VP’s daughter has accused Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming — whose seat Cheney wants to take from the incumbent — of enabling the president to lie about the ACA.

I won’t get into whether Enzi enabled anything.

I am puzzled, though, why we allow politicians to use terms like “liar” and “lie” when the universe could contain all kinds of reasons for untruthful statements.

Yes, the president said anyone could keep their health plans if they wanted to do so once the ACA kicked in. It didn’t happen; millions of Americans had their policies canceled, forcing the president to announce this past week that insurers could keep policies in force for another year.

Pardon the verbal parsing, but for Cheney — who’s an underdog in her campaign to beat Enzi — to suggest that Obama “lied” is to become a mind-reader. She knows without a doubt, she says, that the president lied — which is to say he deliberately stood before the nation and said something he knew to be untrue.

Just maybe the president believed what he said at the time to be true. If someone says something in good faith — believing they are telling the truth — does that make them bad-faced liars?

Here’s an example that might hit Liz Cheney right in the gut.

Her dad told us that the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Those WMD became the basis for us launching a full-scale war against Iraq in March 2003. Our troops stormed into Baghdad, captured Saddam, scoured the country from top to bottom looking for those WMD.

They weren’t there.

Did Daddy Cheney tell a lie? I’m guessing his daughter Liz would say “no.” Some of us likely would beg to differ. Hey, that’s politics.