Meghan McCain is, in my opinion, the perfect Republican. She is the daughter of a titan. She has for many years been an accepted member of the DC and New York media and politics elite, a regular fixture in the dinner parties and glitzy events that ensure the general social homogenization that preserves the myth that Democrats and Republicans can have academic differences but still be friends. Meghan McCain is living proof of this: the daughter of a neo-conservative venerated by Democrats and Republicans alike, married to a far-right plagiarist but still fluent enough in the dialect of normie yaskween pop culture GIFs and corporate social liberalism to remain largely inoffensive to the rest of the cable-news subset.
She is perfect, in these respects, for The View, ABC’s iconic morning show that has become a fairly good encapsulation of the general state of middle-class political discourse around the country. What seals the deal, though, is that almost every one of her co-hosts fucking hates her. Take this sublime, incredible put-down by Joy Behar today, as McCain rejoined the show after maternity leave.
It’s so good! Behar hates her so much!! You can just see the levels here. McCain’s entire persona is the Conservative ethos with all the edges rubbed off: perpetually seeking legitimacy for her terrible ideas in the name of ideological representation, perpetually wounded when she is told that said ideas are terrible. To be a public-facing Republican these days requires one of two things: some combination of sadism and sociopathy that allows you to openly and unapologetically wish to grind those beneath you into the dirt, or a perverted masochism that allows you to politely and plaintively express the same opinions and then writhe and complain on the rare occasions when you are called on it. McCain is clearly the latter: she is utterly convinced that her moronic ideals deserve respect, which lets her feed on an unending cycle of victimization when people do not respect them (or her). There is a fantastic example of this from just days ago, which is best summarized in this one-two combo of tweet and reply.
This is a classic tale of a conservative discovering that the ideological positions they hold dear are actually aggressively hostile to anyone who does not waltz through life with the precise combination of privilege that they do. McCain was notified of this repeatedly by people online, which caused her to be wounded and aggrieved.
What’s shocking is that this works on a lot of people, albiet mostly idiots who share McCains politics or strange horny denizens of the contrarian web. It works for McCain as well — her spot on The View is probably safe as long as she’s willing to take the abuse. The problem she faces is that several of her co-hosts are smart enough and jaded enough to express the other reaction that this bullshit provokes: blunt hatred. It is fantastic! It makes me feel alive! I feel on the verge of making the argument that allowing these women to fight it out on network TV every day at 11 a.m. Eastern is good for our society, giving the masses a comfortably middle-class avatar for gladiatorial combat via lavalier mic in the arena of oversimplified ideas. I don’t know if I’m quite at that point, but I will say it’s great TV. If McCain ever moved on to another show, I for one would miss her.