Tip of the Hat:
To Meghan McCain for standing up to Conservative blowhard Laura Ingraham publicly for criticizing her, not for her ideals or her stance as a “progressive Republican”, but b/c of her weight.
But even if I were overweight, it would be ridiculous. I expected substantive criticism from conservative pundits for my views, particularly my recent criticism of Ann Coulter. That is the nature of political discourse, and my intent was to generate discussion about the current problems facing the Republican Party. Unfortunately, even though Ingraham is more than 20 years older than I and has been a political pundit for longer, almost, than I have been alive, she responded in a form that was embarrassing to herself and to any woman listening to her radio program who was not a size 0.
In today’s society this is, unfortunately, predictable. Everyone from Jessica Simpson to Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfrey, and Hillary Clinton has fallen victim to this type of image-oriented bullying. Recent pictures of Pierce Brosnan’s wife, Keely Shaye Smith, on the beach in her bikini raised criticism about her weight and choice of bathing suit—as if the woman should be wearing a giant muumuu to swim in the ocean. After Kelly Clarkson’s recent appearance on American Idol, the first commentary I read on the Internet was about her weight gain instead of her singing.
Well done. Readerland, despite my gut reaction of seething hatred towards all thing Republican, I have a bit of respect for McCain. She has interesting ideals about the GOP and where she thinks it needs to go if it is going to gain future members or any respect now. I applaud her criticism of Coulter, b/c that woman is, indeed a train wreck, and I don’t see how Repubs can continue to hold ridiculous windbags like her and Limbaugh up as icons of their precious party. Now, here she is, acknowledging the work of feminists and their efforts to stop criticism and objectification of women’s bodies. Here she is standing up and saying “I’m perfect the way I am, and so is everyone”, and wanting to encourage people to love their bodies. Rock on.
I also admitted that a small part of me quite likes what I’ve seen of Meghan McCain (which is not that much, I hasten to note) — that is, the part of me that thinks deep down she’s a Democrat who’s just a little too green to get why her youthful energy and optimism almost certainly won’t make the Republican party any less hateful in the next few generations — so I might be giving her too much benefit of the doubt.
I agree w/ that, but, ya know, as a Reformed One myself, I can’t criticize someone for choosing to identify one way or the other. If she wants to change the GOP for the better and insert her ideals, more power to her. I wish her all the luck in the world. But, as I found out, sometimes your ideals are so harshly greeted by your own party that you need to find a more open place to express them.
Wag of the Finger:
Also to McCain, although I will admit it is only a small peeve of mine, for this:
It is no secret that I disagree with many of the old-school Republican ways of thinking. One of the biggest issues from which I seem to drift from the party base is in my support of gay marriage. I am often criticized for previously voting for John Kerry and my support of stem-cell research. For the record, I am also extremely pro-military and a big supporter of the surge and the Iraq war. (Emphasis mine)
It is a small matter to some people, but I really feel like this last part here implies that if we are not pro surge and pro Iraq war we are somehow anti-military, which any reader of this blog knows I am not. Now, maybe I am arguing usage here, but I firmly believe that it is possible to support the troops, to stand up for them and their rights to proper treatment and to follow lawful orders and just missions, while not supporting Bush’s War. I want mental health services available to them, I want women in uniform to stop being mistreated and seen as equals. I want family services to help those at home while their spouses and parents and children are deployed. I want DADT repealed so that members can stop living in fear that they will be outed and then ousted, having their careers tarnished. I want people treated well for the time they give, and I want medical services to actually advocate for their members going up for Medical Board Reviews.
But I don’t think that is necessarily what she means. It just really irks me b/c all too often people tell me that it is hypocritical to support the troops but not the War. That if I don’t believe that our occupation of Iraq is truly a just call I am shaming the same soldiers who often believe that we don’t belong there either. We have a responsibility to make sure that our troops are fighting just causes, and I believe that Big Brass has failed to carry that.