McCain Takes On Malkin For Soul Of Republican Party

Today, in her latest Daily Beast piece, Meghan McCain blasts the divisiveness of Michelle Malkin, explaining that "[Republicans] will not get anywhere by continuing to sell hate and fear." Outside of hatemongering, is there anything worth saving in the GOP?

This is a question I've been wrestling with since the last election cycle showed an implosion of the Republican party. While a lot of my early mentors leaned a bit right, the Republicans have shown less and less of a desire to be the party of small government and fiscal responsibility, and more of an inclination to embrace as much hatred and bigotry that they can find.

As I laughed watching the GOP blatantly pander by promoting Michael Steele (probably trying to trade on some of that "Barack the Magic Negro" sparkle they thought was falling from Obama), and cheered when Christopher S. Buckley decamped from the GOP, I still felt a twinge of sadness.

I strongly believe that we need at least two viable political parties to have a constructive dialogue about governance in this country, and that has not been the case for a very long time.

Meghan McCain seems to agree. Through her blog and her columns on the Daily Beast, McCain has been trying to steer the party away from the demagogues and back toward relevance. She strongly calls out pundits like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter who trade in intolerance:

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.

McCain is right to express bafflement - the personas that Coulter and Malkin use to promote themselves and their work are inherently sensationalized, valuing sound bytes and screaming over thoughtful, reasoned arguments.

Sometimes, the rhetoric is so ridiculous, I start to think that maybe Ann Coulter is just making all of this up:

Okay, so maybe it didn't happen like that. However, Ann Coulter is so over-the-top it is difficult to find any semblance of argument within her rantings and distortions. If she admitted this was all for publicity, it would be a relief. Examining Michelle Malkin's work doesn't provide much more to work with - after all, someone who wrote a tome defending internment during World War II in order to justify using racial profiling in the wake of 9/11 is obviously ready and willing to overlook inconvenient things (like facts) to make a point.

McCain's columns, by comparison, tend to be a breath of fresh air. In a very basic and personal way, she explains some of the key components of the GOP platform and explains why she embraces (or, in some cases rejects) these planks. Her discussion of the divide between Dems and Repubs focuses mainly on age and religion. But, she did speak out against Audra Shay titling her piece "Do NOT Elect a Racist," noting, "She represents the same old stereotypes about "young Republicans"-apparently racist and more middle-aged than youthful. In short, disconnected from the real youth of this country."

I suppose "the real youth" didn't show up to vote - Audra Shay won the election, putting yet another nail into the Republican coffin.

McCain herself seems to recognize this, often questioning is there room for a moderate in her party of choice. As she ends her latest piece against Michelle Malkin, she notes:

It's true that Democrats make being a member appealing in a much different way than the Republican Party does. The Democrats seem to have mastered inclusiveness-whereas Republicans, like a country club, seem to require a litmus test. But if people like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter think they can bully me into giving up this fight and what I am doing, they are going to be severely disappointed. And I can assure them that unless they start being realistic about the cultural and generational differences between the two sides of the party, there will not be a new generation of Republicans.

Is Meghan going to be the future? Her assertions in her piece are correct. She does represent a clearer vision of the youth in this country than anyone currently ranking in the Republican party. And she does pwn Michelle Malkin on Twitter - Meghan has 53,664 followers on Twitter, versus Michelle's 25,897 (which may, as she states, be a better indicator of demographic clout that the New York Times bestseller list.)

But if we have seen anything over the past eight years, then we know that the Republicans aren't really interested in understanding the times.

As Christopher Buckley wrote in his send off note last fall, "to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven't left the Republican Party. It left me. "

Meghan, your party has left you.

Perhaps it's time stop trying to reform the old and look at creating something new.

My Message for Michelle Malkin [The Daily Beast]

Related: Barack The Magic Negro [Wikipedia]
My Beef With Ann Coulter [The Daily Beast]
Do NOT Elect A Racist [The Daily Beast]
Sorry Dad I Was Fired [The Daily Beast]
Screed: With Treason, Ann Coulter Once Again Defines A New Low In America's Spiritual Debate [Spinsanity]