By contrast, Mary came out of that whole dust-up with a deep reservoir of good will among non-wingers. Think of it as a familial version of what Liz’s candidacy did for Mike Enzi: Pre-Liz, Enzi was just another conservative lawmaker receiving little love from moderates or liberals or the political media. But once Liz took out after him, Enzi magically morphed into a tragic statesman, winning sympathetic clucks and plaudits even from liberal pundits.
Liz gave Mary an even bigger boost. While Enzi typically sounded sad and befuddled by Liz’s assault, Mary got fired up, ramming her sister’s disapproving remarks straight back down her throat, first on Facebook and later in The New York Times. Things got so ugly that mom and dad felt compelled to step in and try to restore peace. Not that it did Liz a lick of good.
But Mary…Mary came out looking like a total ass-kicker, a proud Republican who nonetheless refused to apologize for expecting—and claiming—the same rights as any hetero American.