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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why Does Anyone Care About Meghan McCain

Despite the title, I have nothing against Meghan McCain. I am sure she is a very nice person, and I'm sure she will accomplish plenty before her life is complete. Frankly, I am sure that so far she has accomplished more than me. That said, at this point, her main resume point is a very accomplished dad. That's what I was thinking as I watched her exchange pot shots with several prominent conservative thinkers. Whatever her name, there is no reason why she has any more credibility speaking about the direction and future of the Republican party than any obscure blogger anywhere. As such, there was really no reason for any prominent conservative to respond to her.

The whole affair started with this column by McCain for the Daily Beast.

It is no secret that being a Republican isn’t the most hip political stance a person can take right now. President Obama has successfully established himself as the hippest politician around. You know you’re big when Katy Perry wears a dress with your face on it to host the MTV Europe Music Awards. To my fellow Republicans: I’m sorry, I wish I could be more positive about the current “hipness” of our party. But being a Republican is about as edgy as Donny Osmond. Granted, being “hip” is not a reason to join a political party, or a reason to agree with its ideals. But it is a way to get the
attention of a generation—or, more specifically, my generation.


To make matters worse, certain individuals continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes about Republicans. Especially Republican women. Who do I feel is the biggest culprit? Ann Coulter. I straight up don’t understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time. But no matter how much you or I disagree with her, the cult that follows Coulter cannot be denied. She is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the most notable female members of the Republican Party. She was one of the headliners at the recent CPAC conference (but when your competition is a teenager who has a dream about the Republican Party and Stephen Baldwin, it’s not really saying that much).

Coulter could be the poster woman for the most extreme side of the Republican Party. And in some ways I could be the poster woman for the opposite. I consider myself a progressive Republican, but here is what I don’t get about Coulter: Is she for real or not? Are some of her statements just gimmicks to gain publicity for her
books or does she actually believe the things she says? Does she really believe all Jewish people should be “perfected” and become Christians? And what was she thinking when she said Hillary Clinton was more conservative than my father during the last election? If you truly have the GOP’s best interests at heart, how can you possibly justify telling an audience of millions that a Democrat would be a better leader than the Republican presidential candidate? (I asked Ann for comment on this column, including many of the above questions, but she did not answer my request.)

It seems that for once it is Coulter that acted appropriately. Coulter hasn't even acknowledged the dig and given her history that is no easy feat. Now Ms. McCain has every right to voice her opinion. If the Daily Beast employs her, she even has every right to be paid to speak her mind. That said, she has no right to have her opinion matter. In fact, her opinion only now matters that several prominent conservative thinkers have responded to her.

There was a media back and forth that culminated with Ingraham slamming Ms. McCain's weight. McCain wound up on the View and then Ingraham responded here.

The whole thing seems beneath Ingraham. Instead of mocking McCain, she should have just ignored her. McCain thinks the Republicans should be more moderate. So be it, and if I were to respond (if I had to), I would ask what credibility she has in making any judgement about the party. Instead, folks like Ingraham attacked McCain personally.

All of this does is raise the profile of McCain. McCain doesn't deserve to have her profile raised. She hasn't yet created any sort of body of work to warrant any response. What most of the conservative establishment should have done is ignore what McCain said because she has no credibility, yet, to have her opinions mean something. Instead, this long distance food fight has turned up her profile. As such, all this has done is make her profile higher simply because she said something provocative. It gives everyone license to try and be provocative in hopes of raising their own profiles.


Mia Zagora said...

I think Meghan McCain is a putz. One of the reasons we lost the last election - in my opinion - is because the Republicans we had in office forgot that they were supposed to be "fiscally" conservative as well. Also, we had candidates like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani who are moderate Republicans. (BTW, I voted for McCain in the primaries and general election because I thought he could win, and because of his military experience. The joke's on me.) If we put up a moderate Republican next time the choice won't look much different than Obama - yes, believe it or not, some Democrats are still saying Obama is just left of center - what a joke! We need to get back to our conservative - socially AND fiscally - roots. Meghan can hang with the hip crowd if she wants. I don't give a rats *ss about her or her opinions, and I hope no one else does.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, dudes. You ran your party's John Kerry. For better or worse, the lasting image of the campaign, other than the death of supply side economics, was McCain trying to pacify the lynch mob mentality his party's base exhibited at many of his rallies.

Nepotism in politics is nothing new. So in that respect, I'm sure Megan McCain's opinions really don't matter more than any other rank-and-file Republican. The real question is why do Coulter and Ingram's matter? I've never liked the idea of people getting paid to talk about what they think, and opinion journalism seems to be all cable news is anymore.

Besides, I've seen Coulter on television. There's a reason she publishes once a week, it takes her that long to formulate a coherent thought.

So, in honor of March Madness, I propose a new way of electing a President. What the NCAA Tournament has shown is that every decision becomes easier to make in bracket form. So each party should form a selection committee to seed the primary candidates and have people vote. Whoever wins faces the other party's winner in the general election.