A number of blogs have been speculating on why Kerry-Edwards brought up Mary Cheney's lesbianism. Some claim that it's attempt to drive a wedge into the Evangelical community, to discredit the Bush-Cheney ticket with them. Others claim that it's an attempt shore up their own base, by reminding them of who really likes gays.
I don't buy either explanation. In the first place, I can't see too many evangelicals deciding that, "hey, Mary Cheney's gay. I think I'll vote Democrat." There are about 14 leaps of login involved in that kind of decision, and the President was nothing if not solid on social issues during that last debate.
As for the flip-side of that coin, the Democrats already have huge percentages of the gay vote that going to vote on that basis. See: the reignited boycott of Coors, and Andrew Sullivan, for starters.
No, I think it was a play for the middle: Republicans are hypocrites. Republicans oppose gay marriage, therefore they hate gays. But Cheney's own daughter is gay! Don't you see? Don't you see how hateful these people are, that they'd even go against the interest of their own family? They're still counting on the idea that Cheney is Darth Vader, that he must oppose gay marriage (even though he's pretty liberal on that subject).
It won't work.
It's argument, if it can be called that, at a symbolic, impressionist level, appealing to people's impressions of Republicans. It was reinforced when Elizabeth Edwards tried to spell it out for people: the Cheneys are ashamed of their daughter, she said.
The Cheneys have responded with dignified fury, which every parent will appreciate. I am always hesitant to demonize potential Presidents. Should they win, they'll have to lead the country. But Kerry really, "isn't a good man."
I have written before that Thomas Dewey lost in 1948 in part because he was an aloof jerk, evidenced by his stiffing a bunch of schoolchildren here in Denver. This was John Kerry's Thomas Dewey moment. We didn't see it in 1948, because there wasn't national television and the polling wasn't as good or as constant. But we see it now.
Welcome Hugh Hewitt Readers! While you're here, check out the posts on vote fraud here in Colorado.