So I saw this earlier today:
Cheney Supports Gay Marriage
It's not surprising when Vice President Dick Cheney disagrees with President Obama. But it is surprising when he takes a more progressive position than the president.
Said Cheney: "I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay, and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do believe that... historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis... But I don't have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that."
Dick Cheney is much, much better on this issue than Barack Obama.
That hurts. If there are two "values" that matter above all others to me, those would be rule of law and equal rights. In our time, the nexus of issues around national security and government power, most prominently torture, are the focus of rule-of-law questions, and full equality for gays is the key rights question. Cheney couldn't be worse on the first, yet he's very good on the second; Obama is good but not great--this is a new, and very serious, concern--on the first, and bad but not awful (certainly disappointing, in that his words have so far outrun his deeds) on the second.
I suppose it's important to remember context: it's dubious that Cheney would have publicly taken his position while in office, when doing so would have alienated a large chunk of his supporters, while Obama's reticence on gay equity is probably driven in considerable part by memories of how related issues bedeviled the first year of Bill Clinton's presidency. But when one considers these as moral rather than political questions, it's disconcerting to realize that Cheney, whom I regard as a monster in most circumstances, has it right while Obama, a public figure whose worldview and moral outlook seemed closer to mine than anyone in my lifetime who ran for the White House, is at best too timid and at worst deplorable.
As I'm heading out of the country for a couple weeks, this probably will be the last post for awhile.