Sunday, April 19, 2009

Megan McCain Moves Toward New Party

One of the most surprising developments of the early Obama era is that Meghan McCain has become a compelling political personality.

Who could have predicted that?

Most commentators probably see Meghan McCain's appearance at the meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans as part of the Republican Party civil war between "staunch conservatives" and those who want the Republican Party to appeal to moderates, independents, African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and other constituencies.

Certainly that's what Meghan McCain sees:

"feel too many Republicans want to cling to past successes. There are those who think we can win the White House and Congress back by being “more” conservative. Worse, there are those who think we can win by changing nothing at all about what our party has become. They just want to wait for the other side to be perceived as worse than us. I think we’re seeing a war brewing in the Republican party, but it is not between us and Democrats. It is not between us and liberals. It is between the future and the past. I believe most people are ready to move on to that future."
But I don't see it that way.

If there's a war between the "future and the past" in the Republican Party, the past has already won. Most of the Republican Party core wants to move backwards--backwards to the traditional male-dominated family, backwards to Calvin Coolidge economic policies, backwards to Ronald Reagan military triumphalism, and backwards to school prayer, religious tests for office-holding, whites-only immigration, and nice warm closets for gays. It's fair to say that conservatives don't want to roll back civil rights for African-Americans but they'd certainly demand that African-Americans be "grateful" for everything they've been "given." Witness the criticism of Michelle Obama for not being grateful during the presidential campaign.

So what does it mean for Meghan McCain to be a "new progressive Republican."
"What I am talking about tonight is what it means to be a new, progressive Republican. Now some will say I can’t do that. If you aren’t this and that, then you’re clearly a “Republican in Name Only,” also affectionately known as a RINO.
Suggesting the notion that one can be faithful to the original core values of the GOP while open to the realities of our changing world has really hit a chord with people. And it seems to be the next, natural stage of the journey I’ve been traveling."
In my opinion, what Meghan McCain is doing is groping her way toward a new political party that's more conservative than the Democrats but abandons the rejection of the post-60's world. Given that the Republican Party has renewed its pointless rejection of the New Deal, the only way forward for a moderate conservative like Meghan McCain is to get involved with a more moderate political party.

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