Meghan McCain asks her Out interviewer Jamies Kirchick "Does it sound campy to say I love gay men?" Our answer: no, it just sounds like you're reducing all gay men to a stereotype.
Kirchick, whose studied intolerance of the LGBT rights movement, dislike of liberal gay men and antipathy towards feminism hardly makes him a hard-hitting interviewer, lets that — and, let's face it, quite a bit — pass in his breezy interview of the woman who wants to be the voice of a Republican generation. He apparently rather likes being liked by Meghan McCain for his gayness, as opposed to his actual personality.
What Kirchick doesn't like is how mean everyone is to Meghan McCain.
Not surprisingly, McCain the younger has drawn poisonous quips from the party's moralizers-in-chief, including conservative columnist Laura Ingraham, who dismissed her as a "plus-sized model" ("Kiss my fat ass," McCain retorted on an episode of The View), and Rush Limbaugh, who suggested that she follow Arlen Specter's example and leave the GOP. More surprising has been the scorn of liberal writers such as Judith Warner of The New York Times, who called her Colbert appearance "stupid" and "foolish." Much of this has to do with McCain's slightly girlie, conversational speaking style, which lacks the spit and polish of professional pundits and occasionally strays into gauche phrases and pat formulations.
It also has to do with the fact that she does a lot of fluffy interviews, repeats talking points from her father's campaign ad nauseum and gets on Colbert to tell the world how she likes sex and the GOP should stop being so prudish about it (a position I agree with, but that hardly brands her as the voice of a new Republican generation).
But, hey! She's pro gay marriage! I'm sure that's why so many Republicans dislike her. Kirchick is, naturally, convinced that McCain's pro-gay marriage stance is the source of her power."
But it's her position on gay marriage that has garnered McCain the most attention. In a speech to the Log Cabin Republicans, she said that "old-school Republicans" were "scared shitless" of the future and retreating further and further into an ultraconservative crouch.
No, it might be the fact that she was the official blogger of her father's Presidential campaign (and a damn sight better than Michael Goldfarb, I might add), that she's quite pretty, and a young woman in a political movement that is increasing white, old and male (see also: Michael Steele). That she's opposed to the party's position on gay marriage is hardly the only reason she gets attention, or else her dad's former campaign manager Steve Schmidt would have a Daily Beast column, too.
Kirchick has also decided the conservative pundit class hates her, too, because she's so good at connecting with young people.
It turns out those old-school Republicans are not only scared shitless of the future; they're scared shitless of her. Or, as media writer Michael Wolff put it, Meghan McCain "was a mild diversion during the presidential campaign....But empowered, she's turned into someone who actually wants a seat at the table, apparently unaware of the incongruity and awkwardness of a 24-year-old girl among the guys with their pants pulled up high."
Well, how about the possibility that they don't like having a 24-year-old at the table who doesn't want to run for office, has no campaign or political experience outside of blogging for her father and little in the way of a coherent political philosophy other than "everything my dad thinks, plus gay marriage" and who seemingly is as interested in her own celebrity as policy formation and base-building exercises trying to brand herself as a Republican thought leader? I mean, plenty of people aren't exactly pleased that everyone's kowtowing to Limbaugh like he's Republican royalty either, for many of the same reasons.
Kirchick, again, slips in a gay stereotype as he asks Meghan McCain why she never said a damn thing about same sex marriage the entire time she was blogging for her father.
McCain — a fan of Lucky Cheng's drag club in New York City where she gets her Lady Bunny fix — says that during the campaign no reporter bothered to ask for her views on the matter. Had they, she would have told the truth and not worried about further upsetting conservatives already wary of her father's maverick reputation. "I never would have lied," she says.
I mean, she's obviously all gay friendly, she goes to drag shows! And despite the fact that same sex marriage and Prop 8 came up through the campaign, never once did she think to write or say anything about it, but now it's her big bugaboo? That might be why people think she's using the issue to seek attention, other than professional jealousy, sexism or homophobia.
And in a week when some Republican members of the Senate have quoted Ricky Ricardo at the first Latina Supreme Court nominee, lectured her about racism and the need to show empathy to the poor, beleaguered white man and repeatedly invoked her Wise Latina comment and yet other people have begun talking about how Regina Benjamin might not be the right body type (for a woman) for a Presidential appointment and the Young Republicans elect an unreconstructed racist to lead their organization (and all of this barely a year after Hillary Clinton ended her run for the Presidency which was marred by over sexism, especially among Republicans), this quote rings pretty hollow.
"Homophobia is the last socially accepted prejudice," McCain says, repeating it for emphasis. So it's only natural that she also views the fight for gay equality as "my generation's civil rights movement."
McCain must walk in some pretty rarified Republican circles to have missed all the racism, sexism and sizeism that some seem to find more than just socially acceptable. But I guess since there's only one prejudice Kirchick really cares about, that's what's important.
Related: — [Yale Daily News]
Shorter James Kirchick: I Can't Get Laid Because Of "Liberal Intolerance" [Ezra Klein]
Will Someone Tell Feminists to Get a Sense of Humor? [Commentary]
Surgeon General Post Is A Big Job For A Big Lady [MSNBC]
Young Republican Leader Finds Racism LOL-Worthy [Gawker]
Young Republican Leader Audra Shay Is Crazy, Illiterate, Racist [Gawker]
Audra Shay, Facebook Hate Monger, Elected Leader Of Young Republicans [Gawker]