Sarah Palin and Meghan McCain Opposite Faces of the Republican Coin

by Yoly Tumangan Tubalinal.

October 1, 2010

“I am not saying we should abandon the core ideals that the Republican Party was built on. I am saying it is time to remember them.”
Meghan McCain on the GOP in her book “Dirty Sexy Politics”.

(Self-Appointed) Poster Girl For Republican Moderates

Last week’s Part I of this article delved on the Sarah Palin phenomenon, her meteoric rise to political prominence and influence and the trend of political extremism she brings to the fore. Recognized by all as a force to reckon with, Sarah Palin has magically swayed today’s Republican Party to the farthest right, something not one of the extreme right spokesmen had done.

Sadly, not one moderate Republican seems to find the courage to rise up against the overwhelming tide of extremism in his or her party. If anything, they even cater to the Tea Partiers as if doing so is the only way to survive this politics gone wild.

Why Meghan McCain?

Indeed, why Meghan McCain in comparison or contrast with Sarah Palin? The girl isn’t even a politician. She just happens to be the daughter of a politician, a presidential candidate that lost not only the presidential election but his core Republican values, diminished in importance not so much by his loss as by his acquiescence to the conservatives.

What has Meghan done to deserve being the “poster girl for Republican moderates?”

She hasn’t really done much. So, she has written one book about her experience and observations during her father’s bid for the presidency. But “Dirty Sexy Politics” will hardly qualify for a bestseller with just a hundred-some young people queuing at her book signing in her home state of Arizona, a far cry from the million dollar hot selling “Going Rogue” of Sarah Palin for which thousands queued at Bookstores for her autograph.

But that’s exactly the point. While they are miles apart in mainstream popularity, party acceptance, age and outlook, they represent the current reality and the ideal future of the GOP- Sarah Palin as the party’s present and Meghan McCain as her father’s party’s future and hopefully, not too distant future.

The New Maverick

She might as well be, i.e. the maverick that her father used to be. If not her interviews, her weekly column in “The Daily Beast” would be enough proof of her genuinely non conformist yet moderate Republican values. In an interview, she argued for example, “I don’t know why it is so shocking that you can believe in, you know, small government, conservative beliefs, but think that your gay friends have the right to get married,” she said. “And for me, it’s just a civil rights issue.” Meghan openly supports gay rights as in their right to get married and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the military. She even got her mom, Cindy McCain, to her side.
Unlike most if not all present Republican leaders, Meghan’s position about current issues besetting our country is crystal clear. It may run contrary to the conservative beliefs of her party but it is a highly principled position and one that comes out of an open mind that sees both the good and evil in both the Republican and the Democratic stand on several issues.
On immigration, for example. Meghan’s piece on the Arizona law was a reasonable and wise argument that understood both the politics and the emotions behind the law. She wrote, “Let me say upfront that I do not support the bill that was signed by Governor Jan Brewer. I believe it gives the state police a license to discriminate, and also, in many ways, violates the civil rights of Arizona residents. Simply put, I think it is a bad law that is missing the bigger picture of what is really going on with illegal immigration. The concept that a law-enforcement official can stop an individual when “reasonable suspicion exists that a person is an alien, who is unlawfully present in the United States” is essentially a license to pull someone over for being Hispanic.”

But having come from the border state, Meghan understood the complexities of the problem that illegal immigration has done to its people. She wrote that when a flawed law is magnified through the prism of extreme partisan politics, it would only look worse. She explained that with President Obama calling the law “misguided” and the mainstream media painting Arizona out to be a rogue state, all it did was make people go to greater lengths to defend their position.

Of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and the GOP Future

Between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, Meghan’s positive impression of the former spoke volumes. She wrote on page 87 of her book, “As a woman, I have to admit that I admired her dogged energy and amazing encyclopedic brain. She won all the debates, as far as I was concerned, while Obama always seemed out of his depth and foggy. Every time Hillary opened her mouth, even if she wasn’t actually saying something serious, she seemed impressive, so articulate and razor sharp.”

She admits having been jealous of Sarah Palin while on the campaign trail. The woman had “taken over the entire campaign” through no fault of her own but because of her magnetic public appeal. However, Meghan thought Palin wasn’t much of a team player…She wrote on page 121 of her book, “Sarah was basking in a kind of golden haze of glory—who could blame her? She was not just an overnight success or even a political Cinderella story. She was a sudden, freakishly huge, full-fledged phenomenon. It seemed too much. And it seemed too easy. From my chair across the way, I watched with incredulity. I had never seen anything like it, even in all my travels with Dad.”

She says the Republican party isn’t Internet savvy and unless it evolves as a party that can successfully utilize the Web, she believes the party will continue to lose influence.

Unlike most Republicans, conservatives or not, Meghan is honest and frank. She can see what’s ailing her party, say it without batting an eyelash and believe that some badly needed reforms within the party must be done and become more moderate if it were to reach out, especially to the younger voters.

Sure she giggles a lot and sometimes blurts out seemingly wild comments as “Obama is sexy” but she’s young and carefree and so very spontaneous. She is now careful though… and knows how to say what’s “politically correct” when face to face with someone like Bill O’Reilly.

The freshness of her honesty and the integrity of her values and views along with her sincere desire to do what is right makes Meghan McCain a welcome relief to those Independents who are looking for a happy medium of right believing and right living in this chaotic and dirty world of politics.

Watch that girl, Meghan McCain. If she doesn’t depart from her path and continues to be the voice of reason in the Republican party, she may well be the woman to carry her party’s banner a few more years from now.

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