Running for a Senate seat in Wyoming is hard enough. First, you have to lay the groundwork with a crazy PAC and crazy talk on Fox. Then you have to actually move to Wyoming, which sucks, because you totally liked DC—except for all the gays, of course. And that just leads you to this other family problem.

The allegedly close-knit Cheney family, headed by recent heart recipient and torture guy Dick and soft-porn novelist Lynne, seemed idyllic in that twisted amoral McLean, Virginia, way: A politically and financially successful nuclear unit that stayed together, ideological differences be damned, because political and financial success demands those kinds of sacrifices. But Jason Zengerle's new Politico magazine profile suggests that not even the Cheneys, the Waltons of moral nihilism, may be able to survive daughter Liz's scorched-earth campaign for senator.

The family had always supported younger daughter Mary Cheney when she came out as gay, and their support kept her on Team Bush-Cheney in 2004, when her dad was running for re-election with a guy who publicly opposed gay marriage. They all agreed among themselves that marriage equality was cool, and then they agreed to keep it to themselves, because hey, election. When, in a vice presidential debate with John Edwards raised the rank hypocrisy of Dick Cheney's vocal stand against a civil right that could benefit his daughter,

Liz and Lynne went so far as to stick their tongues out at him, while Mary glared at the Democrat and, borrowing one of her father's famous expressions, silently mouthed the words "Go fuck yourself."

But all that has been torn asunder by Liz's longshot run for Senate. Liz has had to run as a crazy conservative to generate some daylight between herself and the old family friend she's trying to seat, Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), and that's meant answering some uncomfortable questions about gay marriage, because, you know, Wyoming.

Liz has come out against marriage equality. Her younger sister Mary, who now has two adopted kids and a wife? Not so much.

The sisters have traded barbs on Facebook of late, but as Zengerle notes, shit got real when Mary told him, "I'm not supporting Liz's candidacy":

She later clarified: "By supporting, I mean not working, not contributing, and not voting for (I'm registered in Virginia not Wyoming)." The best she could say of the sister who was once her close friend and confidante was a final postscript: "I am not saying I hope she loses to Enzi."

How does this end? Perhaps Dick Cheney will die of a broken heart, but past history suggests the improbability of this. Mary should do fine, as long as she stays put in the equal-rights colony of Tidewater. But Liz is probably screwed either way, with victory looking ever more remote. And even if she wins, then she'll have to figure out what to do about the Bilderburgers and all these Muslims in Obama's cabinet.

On the plus side, maybe Lynne will write a novel.

[Photo credit: AP]