The New Ledger: Book Review: Meghan McCain’s ‘Dirty, Sexy Politics’
Back in May of last year, a reader steered me toward Jeremy Clarkson’s review for the London Times of the brand new Honda Insight hybrid. The car was apparently dreadful–”biblically terrible,” Clarkson wrote–and provided for perhaps the funniest and greatest automotive review I’ve ever read, starting back when I would read reviews as a kid about Mazda’s second-generation RX-7 thanks to my Road & Track subscription.
Well, if the biblically terrible Honda Insight provided for performance review gold, then Meghan McCain’s Dirty, Sexy Politics must be nothing short of apocalyptically bad, as the review written by RedState’s Leon Wolf over at The New Ledger is book review platinum.
At times, part of me feels bad for Meghan. I had met her parents back in 2000 and both were extremely nice to me, just a local reporter for a small South Carolina newspaper. Even as the 2008 election came into full swing, she seemed as though she was more benefit than burden. As I recall Miss McCain’s conduct following the election and her penchant for masquerading as someone of consequence, however, it becomes more clear that she has no business whatsoever even somewhat shaping public opinion.
I have no problem with her coming out as a liberal Democrat or maybe just as a typical McCain Republican, but when anyone takes the step of putting themselves into a position where they may be educating those in search of a political education, I would hope that they would also take the step of informing themselves of the facts. If you read the review, you’ll read that she does absolutely nothing of the sort.
I may be a libertarian conservative and I may not always care for her father as a politician (as a man and as an American hero, he’s a-okay by me), but as someone who hopes that the GOP remakes itself and reverts to first principles, I just don’t want her out there at all lest her uninformed perspective be imputed to those of us actually on the right.
Anyway, here goes:
On June 20, 2002, the United States Supreme Court decreed, in the case of Atkins v. Virginia, that the mildly mentally retarded were categorically exempt from capital punishment, reasoning that fully functional adults of diminished mental capacity were as a matter of law not as culpable for their acts. Writing eloquently in dissent, Justice Scalia drew a sharp distinction between the severely mentally retarded (who are truly not responsible for their actions), and the merely stupid (the category into which Mr. Atkins undoubtedly fell). Scalia argued forcefully that, with respect to the merely stupid, at least sometimes they deserve to be punished for their antisocial and destructive behavior.
This article, of course, is not about capital punishment. It is a book review of Dirty, Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain. However, the above discussion is relevant because I initially had reservations about writing this book review at all. After all, it is clear to everyone who has read Meghan McCain’s twitter feed, her “articles” on The Daily Beast, or her ill-fated campaign blog that Meghan is not a not a paragon of clear reasoning, exemplar of familiarity with facts, nor a model of English language expertise. And after subjecting myself to 194 continuous pages of her “writing,” it became clear that none of the above-described works truly plumbed the depths of mental vacuity in which Ms. McCain aimlessly and cluelessly drifts.
This presented a dilemma.
It is impossible to read Dirty, Sexy Politics and come away with the impression that you have read anything other than the completely unedited ramblings of an idiot. This being a professional website for which I have a great deal of respect, I searched for a more eloquent or gentle way to accurately phrase the previous sentence – but could not find one.
It is important to know that I was repeatedly tempted just to put the book down, eat the relatively small price I paid to download it to my Kindle, and silently curse Hyperion for publishing this book. After all, they are the ones taking advantage of this particular idiot’s fifteen minutes of fame by exposing her idiocy for the entire world to see. By all appearances, they didn’t even have the decency to hire someone to edit the book – more on that later.
In the final analysis, however, I determined that most of Meghan’s flaws – such as her unbearable narcissism, delusions of persecution, anti-religious bigotry, and mendacity – couldn’t be chalked up to her manifestly below-average intelligence. These are blameworthy traits born of a malfunctioning moral compass, and they are laid bare in spades on every page of Dirty, Sexy Politics. Furthermore, it is important to address them because Meghan McCain’s book is an active attempt to split the Republican Party in two and thereby destroy its ability to win elections. And even though she is an idiot, she is a useful idiot in the hands of the media and other assorted Democrats, who also want to achieve this goal.
Therefore, let us thoroughly evaluate this book on the merits, and see whether anything worthwhile is contained therein.
Read the rest HERE. It’s long, but worth it.
And then, if you have the chance, check out Ace of Spades’ perspective on the whole thing. “It’s annoyance over a twit,” he says, and he’s right. The entirely real exchange between Meghan McCain and Paul Begala on Bill Maher’s television show, found within some great satire at Snark and Boobs, really hits the nail on the head.
PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Not to enough of a degree. I’m sorry. Not nearly enough. Ronald Reagan blamed Jimmy Carter every day for eight years. In the speech — in the speech, what President Bush said one of the things he’s had to adjust to…
MCCAIN: I wasn’t born yet, so I don’t know.
BEGALA: I wasn’t born during the French Revolution, but I know about it.