"Kiss my fat ass." Here's the video.*
She's a chip off the ol' block. Does anyone have the remotest bit of trouble imagining that exact reaction coming from her old man under similar circumstances? Actually, the only problem I have is that Meghan McCain is a little bit less aggressive than her father the Senator would have been. And a glance at the video illustrates that indeed, Ms. McCain is well within the limits of attractiveness for a young lady; she would have no trouble attracting a lot of attention from most of the gentlemen in any singles bar in America even if she weren't as well-known and wealthy as she is. Frankly, I find her more attractive than Laura Inghram.
So I'm kind of happy to see that she's returning the insult in kind. It's now reached the point that all the amusement value has evaporated from this little spat. So it's time to say, "Enough, ladies, let's get back to the main point here."
That main point is that the Republican party suffers from an image problem, that it has been branded as a part of extreme social conservatives and become the catspaw of the religious right. As Republicans, we will continue to lose elections as badly was we did in 2006 and 2008 -- and indeed, we will see it get worse and worse over time -- unless we start emphasizing something other than the James Dobson Agenda. We need to set some priorities, craft a new set of political policies to match them, and identify young and articulate people to expound them. What used to work in the past isn't going to work again in the future.
Whether that point is made by an attractive woman, or an unattractive woman, or an attractive man, or an unattractive man, the point is either valid or it is not.
So if we can get past the hissing and spitting, the fundamental message that hard-core social conservatism has lost its appeal and must be at least augmented, if not replaced, with a different flavor of Republican politics. It's a point that I've been arguing for on these pages for some time. It's one that a lot of people have been arguing for. And it's looking like if the only response from the people who disagree with it is to call the reformers a bunch of names. Doing that will have several possible reactions:
- The reformers will find the GOP an unwelcome place to sell their message of fiscal responsibility, limited government, strong defense, and/or restrained foreign policy. Therefore, they will seek out another viable platform from which their policies can be expounded -- the Jim Webb wing of the Democratic party.
- The GOP will suffer a schism between these wings, and both of the resulting parties will be utterly crushed in all but a handful of local and regional elections, reducing both to semi-irrelevancy.
- The two sides will have a showdown at various party gatherings like state party conventions, with the losing side from each bitter and unwilling to accept any of a variety of implications of loss of control of the party machinery, culminating in another prolonged and bitter Presidential primary between one of Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee on the one hand and one of Mark Sanford or Charlie Crist on the other in 2012, with the loser fading into obscurity and the winner taking the reins of a deeply weakened and divided party and being utterly destroyed in the general election by President Obama, leaving the Republican Party to contemplate the fate of the Whigs and the Federalists.
* You can stop watching it after about three minutes, when the astonishingly annoying Whoopi Goldberg starts to concern-troll for Republicans. Yes, we're in bad political shape, Ms. Goldberg, but that doesn't mean we've been reduced so low that we have to take advice from the likes of you.