A wedge is a tapered block, thick at one end, thin at the other, used to separate two objects. A “wedge issue” is a politically divisive issue, used to divide the loyalty of constituencies or political parties. In the Liz Cheney campaign we see what liberals have expected; the inevitable collision between wedge issues and Karma.
Richard Nixon perfected the use of wedge issues. In 1968 he was running for president against vice-president Hubert H Humphrey. Nixon won the popular vote by less that one-half of one-percent.
The difference, small as it was, resulted from Nixon’s use of American’s fear of crime and racial integration to develop what we later learned was his “Southern strategy.” Nixon needed to win somewhere where Republicans had always had a difficult time, the South. Nixon conflated crime with the continuing support among Southerners for racial segregation. His TV commercials showed black men rioting and committing crimes.
Democrats had always considered it “the solid South.” But Nixon used crime and race to drive a “wedge” between those who traditionally voted for Democrats and Democratic Party candidates.
Remember the “Willy Horton” ad in George H.W. Bush’s campaign against Michael Dukakis? It was a not-so-subtle strategy, tying Democrats to blacks that commit crimes. Admittedly, Bill Clinton was pretty successful with this tactic as well.
Republicans have successfully driven wedges between Democrats and the voters on abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, terrorism, patriotism, and the social safety net.
But now one of the wedge issues Republicans have been most fond of divides the Cheney family. That’s called “Karma.”
The Law of Karma holds that similar actions lead to similar results. Buddhanet.net explains Karma, “If we plant a mango seed, the plant that springs up will be a mango tree, and eventually it will bear a mango fruit.” This is, of course, not an exclusively Buddhist teaching. The Apostle Paul told the Galatians, “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Karma is a force working in the universe that makes certain we eventually get what we deserve. Although Mike Enzi is no better than Liz Cheney on gay rights, it is Karma that threatens Liz.
There’s no way anyone could grow up with a gay sibling and believe homosexuality is a choice. One cannot witness the painful realization of a sibling that she is wired with a same-sex attraction and not understand.
The only Cheney sister making a “choice” is Liz.
Liz Cheney chose politics over family, the same choice her father made siding with Liz over Mary. Mary is the acorn that fell farthest from the tree.
Give Liz a break? What? The same break Mike Enzi wants for joining Ted Cruz and the tea party in shutting down the government and bringing the United States to the brink of economic catastrophe. It’s a “break” they want for doing what is politically expedient regardless of the harm it does to others.
Liz’s Karma will be more devastating. It’s one thing to drive a wedge between the voters. They are accustomed to being used as backdrops for political campaigns. If voting patterns are any indication, they don’t mind.
But Liz Cheney has used same-sex marriage to drive a wedge between her political ambitions and her own sister. It’s no surprise that Dick Cheney has driven a wedge between his daughters. One wants to be a senator. The other wants to quietly raise a family. Dick always opted for political expedience, trading the lives of some for the political needs of others, especially himself. Torturing often-innocent people, for just one example, was worth the political gain.
But Karma will not be denied. Eventually it catches up with everyone, most publically with those who live their lives on the front-page.
If the family values crowd had any integrity, it would value family over politics. Liz Cheney doesn’t. Plant a mango seed and eventually you’ll have a mango. But if you plant monkshood, you get poison. What Liz soweth so shall she reap. God bless Karma.