In an interview here with Patrick Gavin of Politico, Meghan McCain was quoted as saying, "We're not all crazy rednecks." While I don't agree with Ms McCain's politics -- most particularly highlighted when she says she supports the far-right, empty-shirted Marco Rubio because he has the pulse of where "the party should be going" -- I don't disagree with all of them, and admire her reasoned stances. And I certainly understand her position here and her desire to make sure that the Republican Party doesn't pigeonhole itself into irrelevance and non-existence..
The problem, of course, is that saying "We're not all crazy Rednecks" doesn't have much meaning, since the issue isn't who are all the passengers in today's GOP, but who is driving the bus. And why they're in control. In fact, later in the interview, even while trying to make the case that all Republicans aren't crazy religious racist zealots, she herself is "frustrated that nobody seems to be listening to reason."
That's the problem. And unfortunately it's also a bit of a contradiction of the point she was trying to make. The concept of "nobody" cuts a pretty wide swath.
To her credit, in noting that "nobody" in the GOP "seems to be listening to reason," Ms. McCain focuses more sharply on what is the biggest problem that comes from all this, saying that "at some point, they will have to listen to facts, to trends in this country. We’re losing young voters, women voters and minority voters. … I just think it’s a recipe for failure. … The extreme right wing of the party is still running everything.”
Indeed, that's the issue. Not whether there are people in the Republican Party who aren't crazy rednecks (people, it must be noted given her attempt to distance the Party from such positions, who are much more likely to support the far-right Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio, who she herself supports), but whether it is a party that will listen. Marco Rubio might be young, but he has few positions that are made to appeal to young voters. As a supporter of the GOP's war on women, he has no appeal for women voters. And he keeps backing away from his semi-sort of-moderate positions for minority Hispanics every time he gets blowback from his far right base -- positions which stop there and offer next to nothing for any other minorities.
And Marco Rubio is the "pulse" of where the Republican Party "should be going"?
The thing is, ultimately, even while Ms. McCain tries to convince the public that the Republican Party actually has plenty enough reasonable people so that women, young people and minorities should come on board, only 10 months ago she herself wrote here for the Daily Beast that she finds the GOP today so irrelevant that, "If I don't see some changes in the next four years, I'm going to consider registering as an Independent in 2016."
While saying that not all the Republican Party is made up of "crazy rednecks" is a strong, important-sounding statement, when you step back and look at it, that's really not much of a soaring endorsement for a major political party in America.
In truth, Meghan McCain is to be admired for speaking out, and right that not all the Republican Party are crazy rednecks. Just enough to make her think about leaving. And more than enough to create a vortex that will suck the country into a Black Hole for the rest of us.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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