Speaking to an affectionate crowd of Log Cabin Republicans on Saturday evening, Meghan McCain ridiculed the party her father headed this past election, declaring that "old school Republicans" were "scared shitless" of the changing landscape.
The Senator's daughter, who has quickly become something of an iconic figure in the gay conservative community since the end of the election, took repeated shots at the GOP for its antiquated mores.
"I feel too many Republicans want to cling to past successes," said McCain. "There are those who think we can win the White House and Congress back by being 'more' conservative. Worse, there are those who think we can win by changing nothing at all about what our party has become. They just want to wait for the other side to be perceived as worse than us. I think we're seeing a war brewing in the Republican Party. But it is not between us and Democrats. It is not between us and liberals. It is between the future and the past."
Later, she called out those officials in the Republican tent who insist that tactical improvements, technology and brass-knuckle politicking are the path back to relevance.
"Simply embracing technology isn't going to fix our problem," she said. "Republicans using Twitter and Facebook isn't going to miraculously make people think we're cool again. Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don't divide our nation further will. That's why some in our party are scared. They sense the world around them is changing and they are unable to take the risk to jump free of what's keeping our party down."
The remarks, delivered at the Log Cabin Republican's national convention in Washington D.C., drew healthy applause and the occasional high-pitched whistling. McCain, at one point, declared herself a proud member of the GOP. But her pot shots at the Republican Party and its flashier figures were not thinly veiled. Describing her public tiff with Ann Coulter as non-delicate, she went on to refer to the brash conservative talker as "overly partisan and divisive." Later in the speech she insisted that "most of our nation wants our nation to succeed" - a pretty clear dig at the now-infamous remarks of talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
As for the GOP establishment, McCain described it as a "party that was thriving at one point on a few singular issues" but could no longer "see long-term success."
"We've seen how it has contributed to some serious problems in our nation and world," McCain said, in an apparent reference to the government under GOP control. "Let me blunt, you can't assume you're electing the right leaders to handle all the problems facing our nation when you make your choice based on one issue. More and more people are finally getting that."