Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stay Classy, Meghan McCain

Your detractors certainly won't

Ever since Meghan McCain started making waves in American conservative circles, she's been attacked with all kinds of unpleasantness.

Laura Ingraham made fun of her weight. She's often been mocked as a valley girl.

But the most shameful attack on Meghan McCain came recently, as Ken Layne, one of the authors of the Wonkette blog mocked her for giving a shit about an apparently suicidal individual.

"Please pray for me. SeriousLy please I want death. End it for. Me please. I hate," the individual wrote.

Like any sane, compassionate individual, McCain was naturally distressed by the message and made great efforts to help this individual.

Layne, for his part, was all too happy to mock McCain for her care for another human being:
"Much like the earlier generations of unemployed bloggers, Meghan McCain is just so deep in the Internet right now that she’s going double insane. Behold her nervous, illiterate twitters about somebody she doesn’t know who may or may not exist, on the Internet, and perhaps at minimum exists on the other side of the country, typing some sadsack stuff about wanting to die. Teen-agers are hyper-emotional, Meghan, sort of like you, except you haven’t been a teen-ager since your dad almost joined John Kerry’s presidential ticket."
When McCain Twittered that her publicist was calling the Seattle Police Department to find help for the distressed individual, Layne continued his shameful theatrics:
"So, what happened? Who knows! Meghan actually went outside the other day and reportedly drove recklessly and the police had to stop her and punish her for being a dangerous monster trying to kill people on the public roads, and then she just holed up with her Twitter and went progressively more nuts while reading the random twitters of other people, and next thing omg she is making her poor publicist call the Seattle police department because Meghan is the new Bat Man of the Internet, and she will save you, but sort of like if the Bat Man just made his English slave 'Alfred' call various police departments when there was trouble, in Seattle."
When McCain Twittered about again later, Layne was content to reward her efforts with yet more snark:
"Well, one comforting thought is that nobody, ever, has written the suicidal message 'they want death.' Because, you know, it would be 'I want death,' and even then, probably not, because …. Meghan, are you even following the English-language feed of Twitter? Because we are starting to think you’ve accidentally connected to the Norwegian death metal twitters. Ask your publicist to maybe check your network connections!"
As it turned out, there very much was a situation in Seattle. The person who Twittered McCain messaged again later in the day.

"[T]here was no prank. Just a person who is confused and lost but lucky to see that people care," the person wrote. "I am seeking outpatient trtmnt."

"I am fine will be seeking more in depth help later. So embarrassed and sad," they continued. "I will be fine. Never realized even strangers cared. my friend is taking me to see someone about therapy and medication...again thank you so much..."

Suicide is known to be a serious matter. Well, at least by most people who aren't Ken Layne.

Of course, some might expect someone at the Wonkette blog to show some embarrassment over the general lack of redemptive human qualities among some of their writers.

Guess again.

That was Layne's partners in scumminess Sara K Smith and Jim Newell mocking both the Examiner and Cindy McCain for calling Layne to account for this shameful episode.

Unshockingly, Meghan McCain seems to have driven the collective "progressive" left to losing their minds. Not only are they willing to abandon any sense of personal dignity in mocking McCain for actually giving a flying fuck about a fellow human being, but some of the more "substantive" criticisms of McCain have proven to be just plain embarrassing.

Consider the following criticism from the serially-dishonest proprietor of Enormous Thriving Plants:
'Right now, I can not stop listening to this song "Phenomena" by the Yeah Yeah Yeah's. It is the song at the end of the movie "The Ruins" which is officially one of the scariest movies I have ever seen! Anyone that wants a good horror movie should rent it immediately. It gave me nightmares for days!'
Please, PLEASE make her the new face of American conservatism. The shift from racist, angry bigots like Coulter, Malkin, and Rush, to adolescent airheads like McCain's sideways-hat-wearin' daughter will be refreshing, entertaining and not the least bit threatening. Can't wait until the GOP base sinks its teeth into whatever progressive stances she might currently have. ...Might make for one mighty interesting 'schism'!"
Apparently, Ken Layne's most substantive criticism of Meghan McCain is that she doesn't consult her Grammar check when she's concerned about a human being whose life my be in peril. Likewise, Audrey II's most substantive criticism of McCain seems to be that she likes music and movies.

If that's the worst criticisms people like Layne, Newell, Smith, or Audrey can offer for McCain, she must be one awfully exemplary person.

But one thing is for certain: one should try to avoid falling into a position of mortal peril around Ken Layne, Jim Newell or Sara K Smith. They'd almost certainly be quite content to laugh at a drowning man while he slips under the water.


  1. The universal dislike of Meghan McCain is not a political thing. I'm a Conservative who voted for her dad, and I'm one of those people who thinks that Ms. McCain is a very disturbed, self-absorbed individual. It's commendable for someone to offer help to a person in need, but why the hell was she twittering about it in real time?? Because she thinks that she and her twitters are the center of the universe.

  2. One more thought...Your blog title is misleading: "Stay Classy, Meghan McCain." A person has to actually BE classy before she can STAY classy.

  3. First off, who ever said dislike of Meghan McCain is universal?

    I rather like Meghan McCain. A great many people do.

    As for your insistence that McCain is disturbed and self-absorbed, I would daresay this: the people who would mock someone for trying to help a fellow human being are much more disturbed and self-absorbed than Meghan McCain.

  4. I'm not sure what's the least surprising part of your post. That you would mischaracterize my criticism as being for "liking music and movies", that you would claim that it's my most substantitive criticism, the none-to-subtle attempt to associate my comments on the potential electoral impact of McCain continual displays of vapidness with Ingrahm's, etc... completely different commentary, or the assertion of dishonesty by fiat. Classic Ross Rhetoric!

    Again, with a coming generation of Palin and McCain supporters like Patrick, I'm looking forward to the political future of conservatism!

  5. No, Audrey, as usual you've managed to miss the point.

    The point is that you have no substantive criticism of Meghan McCain.

    As I've already said here, if the worst criticism that you can come up with is that Meghan McCain likes music and movies -- which is very much the substance of your argument -- then she must be an exemplary individual.

    If you had a substantive criticism of Meghan McCain, I suspect we would have heard it by now.

    As is the case with everything you write about, Audrey, no one's heard anything out of you that's worth listening to.

    As for your mendacious little rantings, Audrey, I'd draw your attention to the fact that they've been done previously, more accurately, and generally better in every way.

  6. It's kind of hard for that to be "the worst criticism" I can come up with when it's not even a criticism I advanced.

    I've never once said that there's anything wrong with simply liking music or movies, regardless of how many times you (ironically) attempt to put your words in my mouth.

    I think you ought to give your readers more credit than you are. You may be right that some are unable / unwilling to recognize the difference between what I posted and criticism of "liking music and movies", but that's a pretty low standard to be betting on. Maybe Mahmood will eventually make an appearance, but of yet, no one here seems to be buying what you're selling.

  7. Then what, precisely, was this, Audrey?

    See, Audrey, here's the thing. These are your own words. I'm not responsible for giving them context within any frame broader than the one you yourself place them in.

    Your words. Your responsibility.

    You quoted a post from Meghan McCain's blog about some song she liked from some movie she liked, and then treated it as if it were somehow damaging to her credibility.

    When someone advances a criticism as vapid and empty as that, it could mean almost anything.

    It's your responsibility to give your criticisms substance. If you leave it to other people, vis a vis guessing games, you probably won't like the way it turns out.

    Many people like movies and music, Audrey. Some people will even like movies and music that you don't like. I suggest you learn to deal with that.

    Now, Audrey, as for "what I'm selling" and who buys it and who doesn't.

    I don't pretend that anyone who logs onto this blog and reads it is obligated to "buy" anything. No one is obligated to agree with me.

    I know you'll never freely admit this: But I'm confident those who have showed up and disagreed with me in a constructive manner have found this blog to be a rather welcoming environment. I can say for certain that individuals like Fat Arse, Balbulican and others can (for the most part) agree with that.

    Others -- like yourself -- have been treated with hostility commensurate with what they deserve.

    Rest assured, Audrey, that when you conduct yourself as scum you will here be treated like scum.

  8. Make up your mind. Either my words "could mean almost anything" or that's "very much the substance of my argument". You're so desperate to land a punch that you can't even be consistent from reply to reply.

    The fact is that criticizing McCain for merely liking music and movies is not my words. They're yours. That's your summary, and a grossly inaccurate one at that. The responsibility for that distortion lies with you and you alone. It would be one thing if this was an isolated incident, but you've established a pattern of arguing this way that's recognized by others across the blogosphere immediately. Calling me names like "scum" and "dishonest" won't erase that well-earned stain.

    Please do keep posting your Meghan McCain advocacy pieces, though. I know I'm not the only one that leans to the left that would love to see her become the face of tomorrow's conservatism. Your bad arguments and histrionic reactions to criticism of her are just an added bonus to that self-poisoning well.

  9. Well, Audrey, the funny thing that you keep overlooking is this:

    You're the one who made some extremely ambiguous and vapid criticisms of the individual in question. That wasn't me. It was you.

    When you don't make your arguments clear you leave them up to others to interpret. My interpretation of your criticisms of Meghan McCain was (and remains) that her enjoyment of music and movies somehow damages her credibility.

    If you feel this is a distortion of your comments, the responsibility lies with you to clarify your comment and share with us precisely what the substance of your criticism -- so dearly lacking of it -- was supposed to be.

    The onus is not on myself to interpret your vapid criticisms the way you demand. The onus is on you to make your criticisms clear.

    Now. As for your apparent distress at being called names, I'll explain this to you as well, seeing as how you evidently don't get it.

    If you don't want to be called dishonest, stop being dishonest.

    If you don't want to be called scum, stop acting like scum.

    These are not difficult concepts.

    As for criticisms of Meghan McCain, when I see a criticism of McCain worthy of the name, I'll address it as is warranted.

    Until then, I'll treat the criticisms of people like yourself with contempt comensurate with what you and your arguments deserve.

  10. My criticism of McCain's public display of vapidity was quite clear. It wasn't me who claimed that there was something wrong with "liking music and movies". That was you. Your words. Your claim. Your responsibility. The onus for a claim lies with the claimant. You claimed that I argued there's something wrong with "liking music and movies". Your attempt to blame me for your going off half-cocked is laughable at best. Did you even once ask for clarification before posting your ridiculous distortion? If what I said was unclear, why did you assert that your strawman was "very much the substance of my argument"? You don't even flounder well.

    I did, however, like the tautological justification of your namecalling. Maybe, like, you and ,like Ms. McCain can get together and OMG twitter about how people are scum because, they like act like scum.

    Ironically, you've again illustrated my point regarding the anti-intellectual future of conservativism.

  11. So, that Meghan McCain would publicly state that she enjoyed a song from a movie is vapid?

    How so? You really need to be more clear about this.

    I hear people talk about songs and movies they like all the time. Sometimes even songs from movies. I don't label them "vapid" because of that.

    Once again, Audrey, your criticism seems to be utterly empty of any substantive content. You insist that my original interpretation was remiss, and I'm actually willing to meet you halfway on this. But you have to articulate your argument better in order for me to do that.

    Why is it that you can't just explain your criticism here? I'm actually listening, but you just aren't saying anything worth listening to.

  12. Ah, yes. The "Birther" defense. The false claims you've made aren't your responsibility, it's my fault that you invented something out of whole cloth and attempted to disingenuously pass it off as my words. Good show!

    I'm comfortable with the clarity of my criticism and the obvious difference between what I said and what you've attempted to claim I said. If you didn't understand it or felt that it was unclear, you could easily have asked for clarification instead of arguing repeatedly that a figment of your imagination was "very much the substance" of my argument. You were wrong and dishonestly attempted to pass off your words as mine. There's no "half-way" about it.

  13. Oh, Audrey.

    There's a world of difference between an artificial controversy that can be laid to rest with something so simple as an examination of Barack Obama's birth certificate and your ambiguous criticisms of Meghan McCain.

    That you would compare this argument to something so simple as the matter of Barack Obama's country of birth (in case you didn't know, he was born in Honolulu) with a complex issue about who is responsible for the clarity of their arguments is awfully typical of you. It's an implicitly dishonest tactic, but nothing you haven't gleefully embraced.

    It's your responsibility to make your arguments clear. You cannot make that anyone else's responsibility, regardless of how much you would like to.

    If you don't like my interpretation of your ambiguous comments, I'm more than willing to help you set the record straight. I certainly won't decline to criticize you if your clarified criticism of Meghan McCain remains as insipid as the one you've to date offered, but I'm willing to give you this opportunity.

    Why won't you just clarify your comments? What are you afraid of?


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