Thursday, October 14, 2004

James Taranto (and others) may be right when they describe Kerry's comments about Mary Cheney as possiblegay baiting.

I think that if there's any negative repercussions to Kerry making that commentary, it will not come from those upset that he brought up Mary's sexual preferences but rather from those who recoil at Kerry due to his blatent violation of the rule: thou shall NOT speak of another's kid in any way that could POSSIBLY be construed as negative. Only unambiguously postive comments, such as "what a nicely behaved child", "your kid is such a good athlete", "your son is so smart" and so on, are allowed.

To see this dynamic in action, just watch the neighborhood mothers react if/when someone makes such a negative comment - not just if it were aimed at their own kid, but even if were aimed at someone elses. Even if the comment reflects the opinion of a number of mothers, the faux pas of actually blurting it out is guaranteed to produced averted eyes and making hasty excuses about having to get home. It just ain't done.

Kerry doesn't even get the pass that occasionally accrues to the childless among us. He has kids, he ought to know better. The fact that he doesn't might make some conclude that he just wasn't that involved in raising his kids - which won't win him any points with the moms of the world (perhaps if he was more involved, his daughter wouldn't have been seen wearing that dress at Cannes).

So, it's possible that Kerry not only doesn't get the security mom vote, but he'll lose the 'you don't talk about my kid' mother vote as well. We'll see.

On another note, I've noticed Kerry didn't catch any flack for his answering a general question "Is homosexuality a choice?" by making a specific reference to one person. Mary Cheney doesn't serve as a proxy for the entire gay community, any more than one Jewish crook on Wall Street or one black quarterback in the NFL serves as a proxy for all jews or blacks.

UPDATE: I've got updates, for anyone who is interested here and here

UPDATE II: and in the first sign that it's not just obsessive nuts who have been following this, ABC has a poll out showing that by a 2-to-1 margin, LIKELY voters think it wrong for Kerry to have said what he said. Here's the post