Vice President Jokes about Incest
Vice President Dick Cheney has once again lived up to his first name. It happened Sunday at the National Press Club on Monday, Jun 2, where Cheney was congratulating the winners of the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prizes for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. When responding to a reporter’s inquiry about his family tree, Cheney noted that he had relatives named “Cheney” in both his father’s and mother’s families. To drive his pointless point home, Cheney made an attempt at “humor” (something a guy like Cheney shouldn’t be trying to do, anyway) which thoroughly pissed-many of the residents of a key state in the ’08 Presidential race. The exact quote: “So I had Cheneys on both sides of the family and we don’t even live in West Virginia!” Quickly, Cheney jovially qualified his statement, saying “You can say these things when you’re not running for re-election.” Really? Thanks for clearing that up, asshole.
Oh, yeah; West Virginia is full of family trees that don’t fork. Everyone knows that’s true, right? I was born in West Virginia and I’m very likely to be the only person you’ll hear of who’s heritage is Turkish, Sephardic Jewish, Italian and Cherokee. The whole time I lived in the Mountain State, I only knew about one incestuous relationship: two cousins who didn’t realize they were related until a well-hid “family secret” (read: “affair”) was revealed. West Virginians’ closely-grouped chromosomes are a misconception that is perpetuated by certain individuals’ desire to be able to look down on some other group of people. Since it’s generally frowned-upon to base such condescension upon race or religion these days, people like Cheney have been able to exploit a loophole that makes it okay to ridicule people who live in a poor, rural, largely-isolated place like West Virginia (or Mississippi or Maine, etc..)
Nevermind the fact that Dickie-Boy carried WV handily in 2000 and 2004. Nevermind the fact that the state will be hotly-contested this election year. Nevermind the fact that Cheney and his Lackey have turned this great nation on its ear and compltetely destroyed the notion of modern Conservatism. The only thing that matters is that The Vice Prez got to make a cheap joke at the expense of some decent people who didn’t deserve it. I hope it was worth it.
Cheney issued a short apology, but I don’t believe in his sincerity any more than I believed Barack Obama was sorry about his remarks about rural people bitterly clinging to racism, guns and religion. In both cases, I believe these guys let their guard down for a moment and let us know exactly what they thought about the “little people” who go to vocational schools, drive Korean cars and wouldn’t know Beluga caviar from Sevruga caviar.
All-in-all, it’s a pretty dismal state of affairs knowing that we mean very little to the people we vote to represent us. When I’m worth several hundred million dollars, I’ll form a PAC to advocate against politicians like Cheney making flippant remarks like that. (“Advocate” reads as “bribe”, by the way.) I just hope he doesn’t invite me to go duck hunting with him.