When Senator John McCain was running for President in 2008, his twentysomething daughter Meghan seemed a welcome nontoxic breeze in an atmosphere poisoned by Palin hot air. She liked sex! She had gay friends! She had a cool iPod playlist! Now, she supports gay marriage and pot legalization and even smokes pot like a kid who might finally be allowed to sit at the cool kids table! But as her inexplicable place in the pantheon of punditry extends further and further beyond her father's defeat at the polls, she's gone from charmingly unorthodox to desperately pandering to boxing-above-her-intellectual-weight-class annoying. And now, it seems that America may be about done with Meghan McCain.
McCain's been around even more than usual lately, as she's promoting a book she co-authored with hilarious and usually not-annoying guy Michael Ian Black called America, You Sexy Bitch. During her whirlwind shilling press tour, she's come out (with much fanfare) as a person who supports gay marriage and marijuana legalization — hey, just like everyone her age! And yesterday, she appeared on Wendy Williams' show to hawk her book and share with the world her political philosophy, which appears to consist of Meghan McCain saying popular, non-controversial things, and then turning to the audience with her palms up smiling expectantly in anticipation of the inevitable TV audience idiot-applause that would follow. Gay marriage, amirite?! Sex, okay?! Pot, amirite?!? It was like watching a manipulative aquatic mammal trying to mug for treats, or a 13-year-old reciting multiplication tables to their delighted but clueless parents.
At one point, Williams asked McCain if she smoked pot, and McCain admitted that she does sometimes, but that it's not a regular thing. Applause! Williams also asked for McCain's views on the legalization of pot, which McCain says she supports. She did some research — her very own research! — and she personally discovered that if marijuana were legalized, the government could make a ton of money taxing it. Great idea, right? Thank goodness we had Meghan McCain around to put on her thinking cap and churn that sucker out. (Wait till Meghan McCain does some research and personally discovers that legalizing pot could help reduce drug-related violence in Mexico, since 50,000 people have died there in drug-related violence since 2006 and that seems like something we should care about more. As soon as the world possesses that knowledge, pot legalization will be a slam-dunk!)
Meghan McCain is not a teenager. She's in her late 20's. Know who else is in their late 20's? Ezra Klein. Alyssa Rosenberg. Alex Pareene. Irin Carmon. For fuck's sake, it's possible (and should be expected) that by the time you're Meghan McCain's age, if you haven't yet realized that it's not edgy to adapt popular viewpoints several years (or decades) after actual thought leaders have posed them, you've at least realized that you're not a thought leader. If you can't provide thoughtful arguments to support your viewpoints, you're not adding anything to the conversation. Meghan McCain has apparently realized none of these things, which has resulted in her current state of blissful ignorance in the face of building annoyance over her uselessness.
It's great that Meghan McCain is, in the words of The Atlantic Wire, "going through a transformation most people experience at an age ten years younger" and that she meets the most basic requirements for participating in society as a non-jerk. But she's taking her rock n' roll electric guitar riff Whitest Girl Alive Goes Wild rebellion on the road to support Mitt Romney, a candidate with social views about as progressive as a makeout session with a sober Marcus Bachmann. She wants young voters to listen to her because she's pro-the things they're pro- and then lead them all the way to Mitt Romney, a guy who is anti- all those things. She shared with Williams a moment of particular debauchery, the story of how she reacted when she found out that Sarah Jessica Parker was hosting a fund raiser for the President at her NYC digs, just blocks from where Meghan McCain lives. "I drove past in a taxi and I told my driver," McCain told Williams, "I was like, 'Roll the window down' and was like 'ROMNEY 2012'! Drive! Drive, drive! Keep driving! Like, okay. But it was annoying." It was annoying ("it" meaning Sarah Jessica Parker's role in politics, not Meghan McCain's story of yelling ROMNEY 2012 out of a New York cab window) because, according to McCain, politicians like the President are not "our guys." They're big important figures who should be inaccessible to the American people. To be overly familiar with a politician is to undermine the democratic process.
She later went on to explain that she thinks her pick for Vice President, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, is "hilarious" because he's direct and unprofessional and that her personal nickname for him is "Tony Soprano."
I'd love to live in Meghan McCain's brain for, like, a day (ok, an hour), and find out how all these competing thoughts can coexist. And then I'd like to get the hell out.