It seems that Meghan McCain is beefing with Washington Monthly's Steve Benen over this post, which -- in discussing former Vice President Dick Cheney's support for gay marriage -- begins thusly:
It was pretty meaningless to hear Meghan McCain urge her Republican Party to come around on gay marriage. It seemed a bit more important when Steve Schmidt, John McCain's campaign manager, gave the GOP the same advice.
But in terms of influence in Republican politics, Dick Cheney is on another level.
To which McCain responded, via Twitter:
Hey Washington Monthly, so it's only important to speak out for marriage equality if your [sic] an old man?
Now, look. I can understand someone reading that first sentence as a dig. And speaking only for myself, I think that Meghan McCain stands very forthrightly and admirably on the right side of the gay marriage issue. In fact I'm willing to bet that if she could, she'd likely take one look at the tangles of politics and expedience and compromise and chronic half-stepping that have always seemed to prevent people from doing the right thing and just slice that Gordian knot in half without pausing for thought. And that's something that Dick Cheney, despite his beliefs on this subject -- which he's expressed since at least the 2000 Vice-Presidential debate -- has been unwilling or unable to do, beyond voicing his support everytime a reporter asks him about the subject.
That said, her response seems to be the sort of weird petulance that could undermine her strong advocacy. I mean, surely Meghan McCain understands that when Steve Benen says that Dick Cheney's "influence...is on another level," it's because Dick Cheney's influence is -- objectively speaking -- on another level. Furthermore, I hardly think it's accurate to call Steve Schmidt an "old man," and, in terms of influence, I have to believe that Meghan McCain is aware that "Head of day to day operations, McCain/Palin 2008" was higher up the campaign org-chart than "author of McCainBlogette."
UPDATE: So, it managed to escape my attention that Meghan McCain had actually voiced her displeasure in a torrent of Twitters! I'd have known this if I had been following her on Twitter myself, though I'm sure you'd agree, this is precisely the sort of thing that disincentivizes my doing so:
# Hey Washington Monthly, so it's only important to speak out for marriage equality if your an old man?
# so I guess young women should just stfu and be seen and not heard Washington Monthly....? Only Dick Cheney should speak out...?
# I wonder if the Washington Monthly thinks if all women or minorities speak out it is "almost meaningless" - apparently only Cheney matters
# I guarantee you if one of my brothers were doing what I am doing right now the Washington Monthly would think it had meaning.
When the former Vice President of the United States, someone who enjoys considerable influence in Republican politics and ties to GOP officials nationwide, takes a policy position on a controversial issue, he's in a position to have some kind of impact. When a politician's son or daughter, who has never held elected office and has minimal influence with GOP officials nationwide, takes the same position, chances are, the significance is much, much smaller.
This isn't about gender or age, and I certainly didn't say Meghan McCain shouldn't speak out. I happen to think she's given her party some very sound advice, which Republicans would be wise to consider. The point, though, is that Meghan McCain, regardless of the merit of her ideas, isn't in a position to change GOP leaders' minds on contentious social issues. Dick Cheney's arguments, whether I like them or not, have more meaning by virtue of his role in national office.
Again, it would seem hard to suggest that these opinions are all that controversial.
UPDATE, AGAIN: Gah. Via Tommy Christopher, this matter has become a full-blown nonsense piss-match thing! Sound, fury, signifying nothing (except elucidating a similar of incentives where following Markos Moulitsas on Twitter is concerned.
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