Let's face it, Meghan McCain is everywhere -- and I doubt she's going away any time soon. That's quite an impressive accomplishment, especially considering she was soundly defeated by Sasha and Malia in last year's race for first daughter (I kid, I kid...).
Yet she has managed to break free from her father and establish herself as an independent national figure -- notifying the world that she is a very savvy and intelligent young lady. Yet, I can't help but find myself confused and disgusted by the rush by moderate/liberal writers attempting to forcibly anoint her as the voice of the GOP's next generation. It's as if she's become the Miley Cyrus of centrist punditry.
For all of her talents, I still think that young Miss McCain still has a long climb if she wants to be a legitimate pundit.
Mark Ambinder and Kathleen Parker may be impressed, but that doesn't change the fact that -- for the moment, at least -- she is merely the political version of Paris Hilton -- someone who figured out how to market herself based on the family name (be it Hilton or McCain), then used her platform to build a following.
Just as Paris' reputation as an heiress made her exploits tabloid-worthy, we read Meghan's work -- not because it contributes anything meaningful to the debate on the issues -- but because we find her diatribes to be simultaneously interesting -- and horrifying for their admitted lack of any intellectual depth.
She writes about her dating life, and we are transfixed by the question of whether or not we should feel sorry for her or or slap her for complaining about a life that most Americans would kill for. Then, she feels the right to throw a temper tantrum because Laura Ingraham said something insulting about her weight -- as if she were the first person to be skewered by Ingraham's notoriously harsh rhetoric. Then, Meghan has the gall to complain about the direction of the Republican Party, despite the fact that she is admittedly ignorant on a number of issues.
While she may sound like the authentic voice of youth to the political moderates who would like the GOP to follow her recommendations, some of us have difficulty seeing her writings as anything more than the diatribes of a spoiled little rich girl.
If anything, she is a Kurt Cobain-esque voice of purposeful apathy. One could even argue that she is not even the most important youth figure to have emerged from the last election cycle -- as Bristol Palin seems to be taking her role-model status far more seriously. After all, while Meghan was busy throwing her "kiss my fat a**" temper tantrum, Bristol did a serious, no-holds-barred interview on teen pregnancy with Greta Van Susteren.
Don't get me wrong, Meghan McCain is a smart girl with a very bright future, but she is definitely not a political spokeswoman for Generation Y -- at least not yet. All she really is right now is an attempt by ultra-moderates to give themselves a blonde bomb-thrower who can pick cat-fights with Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. Unfortunately, she lacks the intellectual heft to keep up with either of those women.
Of all people, Kathleen Parker probably hit the nail on the head when she compared Ann Coulter to Madonna and Meghan McCain to Britney Spears. The comparison was meant to show McCain as an up-and-comer who could knock the old queen off her perch.
However, let us remember that Madonna started her musical career as an adult and -- for all her faults -- has displayed an amazing amount of staying power and creativity. Britney, on the other hand, hit it big at an age when she was totally unprepared for fame, and then proceeded to have a nervous breakdown in her early 20s. She is currently enjoying a comeback, but it is frankly astounding that she managed to salvage her career at all.
Personally, I would advise Meghan to take that comparison as a cautionary warning rather than a word of praise. If she wants people to take her seriously, then it is time to stop acting like a celebrity and start educating herself on the issues (ironically, this is the same advice many folks have offered to Sarah Palin -- someone Meghan McCain has been critical of).
If she doesn't want to do the hard work, than it would probably be best if she finds another outlet for her writing. She could do very well for herself as a regular columnist for Cosmopolitan (and I mean that in all seriousness) -- but she has a lot of work to do if she is going to be the voice of an entire generation of Republicans. Frankly, I'm not sure she wants that sort of pressure, and people like Ambinder and Parker should think twice before trying to force her into that role.