Is Meghan McCain still a Republican? We ask this because the daughter of Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, lately has been expressing opinions that many on the right might judge to be heresy.
For instance, in an interview with Playboy released Friday online, she has little good to say about the 2012 race for the Republican nomination.
“Where’s the electricity?” she added in her chat. “You’d think someone would rise up and tap the frustration and energy of the Occupy movement or the tea party, but it just hasn’t happened yet.”
Second, she’s been pretty hard on conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh – specifically, about his calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut.” Like many liberals, she’s appalled about slapping such derogatory terms on women who take stands on public issues. She’d be happy if El Rushbo became an ex-talk show host.
“I hope at some point our culture will evolve past letting destructive men like Rush Limbaugh have a platform,” she wrote on her blog earlier this month.
Then there’s immigration. She’s definitely in the crowd that thinks the GOP mainstream seems too anti-Hispanic. She supports the DREAM Act, which among other things would open a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military.
And did we mention she’s in favor of gay rights and is a big fan of gonzo journalist and all-around wild man Hunter Thompson, who wrote a book about the 1972 presidential election called “Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail ’72”?
“I read 'Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail' in high school and loved his take on politics. I love the way he wrote with such disregard for authority and the status quo,” said McCain in the Playboy interview, which also touched on aspects of her dating life we won’t repeat here.
Well, here’s our take on this GOP apostasy: What we have here is a woman who’s her father’s daughter. She’s a maverick who takes the trail she wants, so to speak. She considers herself a Republican who is doing what she thinks the party as a whole needs to do – reach out to younger voters and independents who don’t care about wedge social issues.
Plus, it’s not like she dislikes all the current candidates. She’s a Romney backer (we’ll ignore that she stole Romney yard signs in 2008, as she admitted in her memoirs). She bonded with Michele Bachmann over the fact that neither of them went to their high school proms. She loves New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie.
“The Republicans need someone to excite younger people, independents, Hispanic voters, and the disenfranchised. I think if Chris Christie is the vice presidential nominee, we can change the weather and have a very good chance of beating Obama,” McCain told Playboy.
No, McCain may not be so much a Democrat as the anti-Palin. As she makes clear in her memoir “Dirty Sexy Politics,” she’s not a big fan of her dad’s ex-running mate. She considered Sarah Palin a wooden, dogmatic drag on Senator McCain’s electoral chances.
Nor does Meghan McCain like Ms. Palin’s daughter Bristol. That’s a turnabout: Bristol Palin has herself hit the McCain daughter as someone with too many cellphones, handlers for hair and makeup, and a vast array of Louis Vuitton luggage.
McCain told Playboy this was a “total lie.”
“I have, like, one Louis Vuitton purse,” she said. “[Bristol Palin] is just young and confused and was thrust into all this. The media aren’t kind to her. But once someone signs up for ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ it’s hard to sympathize.”