Every now and then, Scott Adams performs a little sociological experiment on his blog readers. He’ll post a position, a question, a dilemma, designed to elict certain responses. It’s always done so cunningly that almost no one smells the setup, and he usually ends up proving just what he’d argued for a little while ago — and had been roundly denounced for. Here’s a perfect example.
I’m nowhere near that clever. If I was, then my recent posting on Mary Cheney and other children of politicians would have been a perfect example.
In that, I argued that, pending exceptional circumstances, the children of politicians should be off-limits in discussions about their parents’ political views. There was quite a bit of disagreement.
But the one odd thing I noticed, and should have realized before writing it (so I could pull a Scott Adams-style punking), was that there is an amazing phenomenon behind those who want to make hay out of Mary Cheney.
They are arguing that Mary Cheney is a legitimate, valid political figure and target — and wish to use that right to praise her.
It’s almost Pythonesque. Remember “Life Of Brian?” There were hordes of people convinced that Brian was the Messiah, despite his protests, and demanded the right to worship him — no matter how much he did to discourage them. (“How shall we fuck off, O Lord?”)
What keeps this from being perfectly Pythonesque is that their admiration for Mary Cheney is not sincere. She’s not a role model to them, she’s a cudgel. They’re objectifying this woman, refusing to recognize her as an individual and instead simply as a tool — the only thing that matters is that she’s gay and involved with a partner and they’re expecting a child. Not all that different from a lot of other women around the country — she just happened to poorly choose her father.
And these days, that’s all that’s necessary.