Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From "Plus-sized Model" to "Useful Idiot"

Laura Ingraham is still getting her hate-on for Meghan McCain. In a post titled "Useful Idiot Watch," she writes:

Memo to Meghan McCain: Enjoy the media coverage while it lasts, but know you're being used. You are the flavor of the month in left-wing media land because you are a Republican bashing the GOP. Likewise, your dad is most popular among the same people when he is slamming his Republican brethren in full-blown "maverick" fashion. At least he backs up his views with a lifetime of sacrifice and public service. What is Ms. McCain's own political, business, or real-world experience that lends credibility to her argument that the GOP needs to "moderate" (read: abandon its core principles)?

Now the Left is seizing on one satirical line from our show to paint Meghan as the victim of a right-wing hate crime. This comes from the same playbook responsible for the ongoing demonization of Rush Limbaugh -- where his take on President Obama's economic policies are misrepresented as some kind of attack on America. Their goal is to malign outspoken conservatives (specifically in talk radio) as members of a radical fringe movement whose right to free speech is questionable at best.
I read Meghan McCain's comments that started this brouhaha, and I didn't take it as a "bashing" of the GOP. With all the insults flying back and forth, it is easy to forget that this fight began when McCain made the hard-to-dispute observation that in the last two election cycles, the Democratic Party surpassed the GOP in its use of technology to raise money and mobilize its supporters. That gap, she argued, is one factor in the Republican Party's difficulty in attracting young voters.

Unless the GOP evolves as the party that can successfully utilize the Web, we'll continue to lose influence. I think nothing confirms this fact to be more true than this recent election. I don’t claim to be an expert on mobilizing voters, but a significant number of the readers on mccainblogette.com, my blog, were between the ages of 18 and 30, a key demographic that either party would want. Many of the established Republican strategists told me that young people would not visit my web site. I used to categorize many of the advisors in my father's campaign into one of two groups: those that "respected" the Internet and those who didn't. It was a running line between me and my friends who worked on my site.


I wanted to ask some of the people who have been doing online work for the Republican party if they could somehow explain—or even admit—what has gone so wrong. But when I started calling around asking for people to comment, I discovered most did not want to talk to me. Instead, they told me that not having enough money was a huge factor in our loss—not our misuse of the Internet. Others were just plain angry, blaming the liberal media, and not the party's shortcomings online. Of course, there is truth in some of this. But denial only amplifies the stereotypes about Republicans being disconnected.
Also on her Daily Beast blog, McCain leveled some substantive criticism at the Ann Coulter personality cult that exists within the conservative movement.

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.)
Again, it is hard to dispute that Ann Coulter is an incendiary and divisive figure. McCain simply stated a fact, leavened by her own opinions about Coulter.

In response, Laura Ingraham called her fat. And now she's calling her an "idiot."

Way to elevate the discourse there, Laura. Maybe you and Rush "You're a Butt Boy!" Limbaugh can get together on a street corner somewhere and hurl insults at passersby.

Envy is a hell of a drug, Laura. Meghan McCain is young, pretty, and rich. You would sell your mother into prostitution for the chance to be as "plus-sized" as she is. Just admit it, deal with it, and move on.

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