One of the most disgusting trends in politics over the past few years has been the use of politicians’ children — especially by their opponents. And I, for one, have had enough of it.
This was prompted by the latest column from Boston Globe liberal imbecile Derrick Z. Jackson, who just wanted to make damned sure everyone and their cousin knew that Dick Cheney’s daughter, Mary, is a lesbian, and she and her partner are expecting a child soon.
(In Jackson’s defense, publication of a column in the increasingly-irrelevant Boston Globe isn’t really giving it too much publicity. I only read that section because my doctor told me by blood pressure’s been running a smidgen too low lately.)
Mary Cheney is but the latest “poster child” for this trend. During the 2004 campaign, John Edwards took the opportunity of a debate to rub her sexuality in her father’s face on national television, smarmily saying that he was just offering “support” and “sympathy.” One would think that a highly-successful trial lawyer like Edwards would have been smoother, but I think this is a case of “there’s no polishing a turd.” Wolf Blitzer of CNN tried the same on Cheney.
Other examples of this have been the ever-popular “bash the Bush twins” game. If they’re not being slammed for acting like typical college students, then they’re being called on to volunteer to serve in the military, or even drafted and sent to Iraq to “fight their daddy’s war.” I got into an argument with one “draft the twins” idiot and tried to show just how absurd he was being by countering that perhaps Chelsea Clinton should have been sent to the Balkans or Mogadishu, and — the irony escaping him — he agreed with me.
Another example? Sure. How about when John Roberts was nominated for the Supreme Court? When their son was mentioned, someone noticed that Mrs. Roberts had a brief flash of an expression somewhat like discomfort. From there, it was just a short leap to conclude that young Mr. Roberts was most likely gay, and a source of embarrassment to his parents. That particular theory was going great guns until someone noted that young Jack was all of four years old.
Now, my first impulse would be to counterattack. Yeah, send Chelsea Clinton to the Balkans. And while we’re at it, let’s look at Al Gore III’s criminal record and see what sort of carbon offsets he owes for his speeding and drunk driving incidents. Then, why don’t we…
I’ll tell you why. Because it’s wrong.
The Bible says so. Deuteronomy 24:16 says “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.”
Even the United States Constitution says so. Article III, Section 3 specifically forbids “Corruption Of Blood,” an archaic term meaning “you can’t punish people for the crimes of their relatives.”
Obviously, if the offspring of politicians choose to get involved in politics, that’s an entirely different matter. But the attacks on the Bush twins began long before they made their political debut at the 2004 Republican National Convention — and even then, it wasn’t on matters of major import, simply a “we love and support our dad” moment. (And a cute reference to their own “hamster story,” in response to Kerry’s daughter’s tale of her father rescuing a drowning hamster.)
But for the most part, there’s never a good reason to bring up a politician’s children. Children don’t choose their parents, and (adoption cases technically excepted) parents don’t choose their children.
The same should be extended to other family members. Roger Clinton was a walking car wreck, but the only time he should have been the focus of national attention was when his relationship with his brother Bill became relevant — such as his presidential pardon, issued on Bill’s last day in office.
Likewise, relatives who exploit their politician kin for personal gain should be hounded. For example, Billy Carter got tangled up with Libya and eventually had to register as a foreign agent. Tony Rodham (brother of Hillary) is alleged to have arranged for a presidential pardon in exchange for some serious money. And Neil Bush’s involvement in the Savings and Loan scandals of the late 80’s — while his father was vice president — quite possibly should have landed him in jail.
As I read years ago, “God gives us our relatives. Thank God we can choose our friends.”
(I think Jimmy Carter might have said that in relation to his brother back in the 1970’s.)