I have no significant sympathy for Meghan McCain or anybody like her, and I wasn't snowed over by her a few months back when she criticized the Republican party and for a short time became Public Enemy #1.
The meme on the left was to suddenly embrace her existence and admire her as one of the misguided good guys. If only more conservatives had a head on them like Meghan McCain did, maybe we could stop bickering and start healing divisive wounds, take care of the people's business, and finally have that ideal country we all dream of.
Frankly that kind of shallow thinking is a good way to get yourself killed someday.
McCain was roundly welcomed to "our side" if the Republicans didn't want her, because we're high-minded and enlightened people. In reality we're just desperate and pathetic enough to take anything we can get.
Bit I didn't buy it, and it took less than a minute for my skepticism to be confirmed. Just because the right is attacking one of their own doesn't really signify anything other than the right's willingness to go after literally anybody they don't like. It doesn't mean their target is inherently intelligent or good, they just have to be there.
Twitter doesn't have a good way to review a person's archive through time so I can't pull out more than an example or two, but trust me, one or two is enough with people like this. Back when Meghan surfaced on the talk shows criticizing her party on policy grounds, the party pundits fought back by attacking her weight, of all things. That's what the right does, they don't debate policy, they just call you a fatty and giggle like adolescent gradeschoolers (which also happens to be how they govern.)
Within a day or two before the right crawled back into the gutter, McCain was leisurely questioning the patriotism of comedians based on their jokes. If you mocked America - regardless of whether we deserved it or if it was funny at all - you're anti-American. This isn't the Bush administration we're talking about, this isn't during fierce debate over the Iraq war in 2004 when you were either "with us" - us being what Republicans wanted - or were "against us" - us being the United States of America.
This was just May 15th of this year. Old habits die hard, I suppose.
While the left was welcoming Meghan McCain to their ranks, she was accusing Russel Brand of "anti-american bashing" for telling jokes. We're talking about a profession that revolves around making fun of people, places, and things. If Brand was in any way serious it wouldn't have been a joke, wouldn't have been funny, and he wouldn't have been a comedian. He would have just been another political hack like Meghan McCain.
And really that hasn't changed since May. Meghan posted a picture of herself on Twitter showing off some gravity defying cleavage (more please) and two very predictable things happened. The right went apeshit and the media, taking their cue from the right, tried their hardest to make it into a story. One can't help but notice the similarity between American conservative prudes and Muslim men in Arab countries in how they view and treat women. The way Meghan is being criticized (both then and now) is frankly not terribly far from demanding she cover her entire body in robes and draw a burka across her face.
"Slut", is what they call her. She's a slut, according to the right, because "alone in my apartment, I wear tank tops and sweat pants."
I could go down that road and never find the end of it. American conservatives don't like women in positions of power. General McChrytsal should Speaker of the House Nanc Pelosi "in her place", the NRCC said (and then stood behind). The sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton from the right have been well documented for two decades. And of course both the right and the Arab world would love nothing more than to stone The Gays to death.
And both justify their bloody wars with a nod and a wink to their God.
I don't feel sorry for McCain because, except in the rarest of circumstances, she lives in that world and perpetuates that behavior. There is no substantive difference calling Meghan McCain fat to blunt her criticism of GOP policy, and attacking comedian Russel Brand as anti-american because he's making jokes about us instead of those dirty Arab terrorists.
In no way is what people are saying about McCain fair, true, or even rare. Calling her a slut serves the same purpose as calling President Obama a secret foreign Muslim. It reveals the mentality of a child that only knows and understands petty personal insults and anger. With Obama it was xenophobia, racism, and fear. With McCain it's misogyny, sexism, hatred and control.
But the goals and invariably the outcome is just the same. Tear someone down personally, destroy their character, reputation, destroy their self esteem so you can control them. And then demand that the media cover it, otherwise you'll call them mean and point to their liberal bias.
Meghan herself pointed this out, noting that CNN did a segment on this "news" yesterday, saying "you guys are #3 in the ratings for a reason" without acknowledging the irony that Fox News - which is #1 in the ratings - makes a living off these kinds of sleazy tabloid stories. They are the most watched cable news network precisely because they are so talented at generating fake news and making us all believe that this garbage -- which belongs on Entertainment Tonight or in the pages of a supermarket tabloid -- is somehow national news.
It's unfortunate that McCain has to put up with this crap but ultimately those are the people she chooses to associate herself with, and she has engaged in these kinds of petty, substanceless personal attacks on people she doesn't like herself.
These personal attacks have been a staple of the right's strategy for winning elections and avoiding substantive debate for over a decade. From Michael Dukakis to John Kerry (french, gay wind surfer), John Edwards (a "faggot" who likes $400 haircuts, ambulance chaser) and Barack Obama (Muslim, born in Kenya, pals around with terrorists), on and on. The latter was on full display at every McCain/Palin campaign event throughout 2008 and who was standing by their side, cheering from the second rank?
Note: Some on the right may be wondering how I've determined that everyone calling Meghan a slut are conservatives or Republicans. Well, which group is constantly accused of trying to control women's lives, and which group is accused of being porn hounds, indulging in and loving smut which would necessarily include encouraging women to let it hang out?
I rest my case.