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Friday, November 12, 2010

Who Gives a Shit What Cindy McCain Thinks?

Posted by on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Or Meghan McCain? Okay, okay: some people give a shit. But I'm having a hard time squeezing one out the IGBPish video that Cindy made—along with a bunch of celebs—for the NOH8 Campaign. Here is is:

And here are Cindy's lines: "Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future.... They can't serve our country openly." And after someone else says, "What's worse, these laws that legislate discrimination teach bullies that what they're doing is acceptable," Cindy says, "Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens, why shouldn't they?"

John at Americablog says...

John McCain is leading the filibuster against the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" "repeal" legislation in the Senate (it's not an actual repeal, but we'll leave that for another time). Today, Cindy McCain joined a number of celebrities in a video about gay youth suicide and bullying. Mrs. McCain's part of the video condemned DADT and then accused our government of sending bullies a message that what they do is okay. The woman basically accused her husband of sharing the blame for gay kids killing themselves. I'm astonished. And impressed as hell.

I'm neither astonished nor particularly impressed. We've heard this song before: the spouses and children of prominent GOP elected officials intimate or flat-out state that they are to the left of their husbands and/or fathers on social issues. George H. W. Bush's wife, First Lady Barbara Bush, was pro-choice. George W. Bush's wife, First Lady Laura Bush, was pro-choice. But somehow the opinions of Barbara and Laura Bush didn't impact the policies pursued by their husbands' administrations. Have you met Justices Alito, Roberts, Thomas, Scalia?

I'm not casting doubt on the sincerity of Barbara or Laura or Cindy's positions on abortion and gay rights. I'm casting doubt on the importance of their positions.

Maybe John McCain is furious that his wife and daughter have become such vocal supporters of gay rights—they're vocal now, yes, but they kept their mouths shut at the Republican National Convention in 2008—and Thanksgiving will a stress fest/feast at whichever one of the McCain estates the family chooses to gather. (If things get really tense during dinner the McCains may have to retire to separate estates after pie.) But I suspect that he could give a shit. And again, for what it's worth, I welcome Cindy McCain's contribution and I agree with Cindy—or whoever scripted NOH8's video—when she says that discrimination against LGBT people by the federal government encourages anti-gay bullying.

It's just that—like Barbara and Laura Bush's comments about abortion—I don't think Cindy McCain's position on anti-gay bullying is really worth much.

And the cynic in me can't help but see this as a political ploy. When the wives—the powerless wives—of GOP elected officials stake out liberal positions on social issues, it makes the GOP look more moderate on social issues than it actually is. The GOP is moving to the right on social issues, not the left, whatever the GOP wives think of them men who do their hair. Right now you can be pro-gay and married to a prominent Republican politician. But you can't be pro-gay and a prominent Republican politician. And until that changes...

We should welcome Cindy McCain's contribution to the effort. But we shouldn't be fooled by it.


Does anyone know what Mrs. Franken's position is on DADT? I'll betcha she's in favor of its repeal. But her husband's position—Senator Franken's position—is much more important, because he's the one who's in a position to make a difference.

UPDATE 2: It turns out that my take on Cindy McCain's NOH8 video wasn't nearly cynical or bitchy enough.


Comments (34) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
She's a homewrecker anyway.

Nobody likes women who steal soldiers away from their wives and kids.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 12, 2010 at 2:55 PM · Report this
Kinison 2
My parents are Republicans, who work for the federal government and think its stupid to ban gays from the military or ban them from getting married. They have gay friends that work with them, some of which came out at a holiday party and it was a really big deal for their friends to not only come out, but to bring a date. Occasionally one friend has a problem with this and they basically dont get invited back to future holiday parties.

So I think its important that Liberals/Left/Democrats know what most of the moderate Republicans think about this. If most of the left is for overturning DADT and Gay Marriage Bans and a small (but growing) portion of the right feels the same way, then thats enough to get a majority and pave the way for equal rights for all.
Posted by Kinison on November 12, 2010 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Vince 3
Republican women betray the rights of other women by supporting the oppression their husbands want to impose. They want to make women second class citizens by taking away their reproductive rights. Their husbands also support the permenant oppression of LGBT people. If Cindy McCain were the senator in the family, she'd be against LGBT people's rights just like her addled husband. So, sorry, I'm not fooled.
Posted by Vince on November 12, 2010 at 2:57 PM · Report this
danindowntown 4
Bitter Betty? We have a table ready for Bitter Betty.

Good lord the tone of your postings has become so shrill as to almost make them unreadable. Does her opinion matter and will it help change policy? Probably not. Even though that is likely the case her participation in this video can still have a positive impact on a gay kid or young adult coming out.
Posted by danindowntown on November 12, 2010 at 3:09 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 5
You're incorrectly assuming that the McCains are a family. John and Cindy haven't lived together for years. They don't even take vacations together. I doubt John gives (or has ever given) a shit what she thinks.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 12, 2010 at 3:12 PM · Report this
I've never heard Laura Bush call out her husband so directly as Cindy McCain does here. So yes, Dan, this is a big deal. She's not trying to mollify the gays by obscuring her husband's stance--she's trying to humiliate him.
Posted by RDM on November 12, 2010 at 3:13 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 7
I doubt most Republican men give a shit about what their wives think. Or any woman, for that matter.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on November 12, 2010 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Baconcat 8
Didn't she get the memo that her participation in this project requires approval from Dan? That stupid cow! She has tainted the message, and we were SO close to success!
Posted by Baconcat on November 12, 2010 at 3:17 PM · Report this
As for Al Franken: Al Franken Chokes Up Over Don't Ask, Don….

I suspect that these women have little to no influence or say over what their husbands/fathers do. Still I'm not going to gainsay them. They're welcome to join the chorus (while we contine to stomp on their hubbies/daddies).
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on November 12, 2010 at 3:18 PM · Report this
BEG 10
Nevermind, I misunderstood your Q about which Franken.

But interestingly, I can't find any mention of her in Google, other than a visit to a DV shelter. So I tend to agree with your comment about it being a political ploy. The Dems in favor are themselves putting out videos or statements. Those not in favor seem to have their share of wives or daughters putting out "opposing" positions.

Also notice it's never sons or husbands -- those are an entirely different dynamic. Remember Reagan's son just for starters?
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on November 12, 2010 at 3:23 PM · Report this
BearNecessity 11
I'm no fan of either of the McCains, but anything that could possibly undercut John McCain's stance on DADT is fine with me. Actually, I'm fine if it just makes him look like more of an ass.

As for their "marriage" I highly recommend the book "Game Change" by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. It touches on their "arrangement."
Posted by BearNecessity on November 12, 2010 at 3:51 PM · Report this
I come from a (Catholic!) republican family and there's a weird phenomena going on right now, where men still believe in female inferiority but strong women are nevertheless taking advantage of feminist progress to become powerful and outspoken within the family- yet there's still a male head of household ideal, even when the wife makes more money and basically calls all the shots- it's weird and complicated, I don't pretend to fully understand it.
You can see a macrocosm of this dynamic in the candidacy of women within the republican party. Nobody in my family freaked out when I came out, yet I still have arguments with them regarding stuff like DADT and marriage. Republicans are just better at DoubleThink I guess.
Posted by HK on November 12, 2010 at 4:02 PM · Report this
If these women want to be seen as strong and independent, they should leave their husbands. Taking a prejudiced man's money makes you a whore.
Posted by Valerie Z on November 12, 2010 at 4:06 PM · Report this
BEG 14
I'm reminded of Barbara Bush going all pro-choice in the early nineties even tho her husband was all anti (once he hooked up with Reagan). The media was in an entire flutter over this! disagreement! and what it portended for teh Republican party! How abortion was going to become a *gasp* non! issue!

And then look over what has happened over the last ten years or so.

Yeah. *fffft* So these are nice and all, but it's the ones in office to actually watch.
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on November 12, 2010 at 4:10 PM · Report this
It didn't occur to me that sane support of social issues by the spouses of Republicans could be a means through which the party could publicly cry balance while the old, white men of the Senate and the House drive legislation toward the right. I hate that you even brought that up. I hate that it makes sense.

I always knew fighting for what was right, for equal rights and the power of choice was going to be a battle to the bitter end. There was never going to be a point where this stuff would make it through congress or the courts with ease. What I didn't expect was how tiring and sad the process would be.

These past three months or so have been awful. I could use a break, so I hope you're wrong on this. However, I'm going to watch for it just in case you're not. Fuck I'm tired, and even though this is not your fault, and you're one of the good guys, I'm a bit angry with you Dan for even bringing it up.
Posted by Soo on November 12, 2010 at 5:10 PM · Report this
you guys are missing the bigger picture here...

Posted by paulus on November 12, 2010 at 6:27 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 17
McCain will just call her a cunt again and put it behind him.
Posted by Free Lunch on November 12, 2010 at 6:42 PM · Report this
kim in portland 18
I'll only add that if the family is conservative Christian then there is the numerous readings of Ephesians 5:22-24.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (NIV)

Granted these are only been my own witnessings, but I've watched women become crushed spirits with those readings. I've seen women have yet another child. I've seen women quit their careers. I've seen women turn acceptance to grad school down. I've seen women cancel restraining orders and move back in. The worst was an anonymous caller who wanted to meet with me for DV and a male (husband?) caught her, and my voicemail was filled with her screams for mercy, the sound of flesh being bruised, and him quoting Ephesians 5:22. Caller ID was blocked, and the authorities couldn't help. But, I still have it.

Woe, is the conservative Christian woman who doesn't toe the line. She is to submit to her husband in everything according to Ephesians 5:22-24 and that is how she pleases her Savior. And, any "discomfort" she suffers could have been avoided if she just respected her husband enough to submit to him in everything. She's at his mercy and he has their church authority to back him up and apply guilt. I hope that most conservative Christian husbands read farther into Ephesians 5 to the part that commands them to love their wives just as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her.

Anyway, I hope that helps. Yes, these are only my experiences as someone who used to work with conservative Christian setting as church approved DV counselor and then some. I know longer hold that role, I was eliminated for encouraging women to divorce their abusive husbands and for helping them obtain lawyers, restraining orders, housing, food, etc. Now I do it all unoffically. And, I'll always wonder about that message that haunts me from my voicemail. Maybe, I've just seen some of the worst. I can hope.
Posted by kim in portland on November 12, 2010 at 8:10 PM · Report this
kim in portland 19
Sorry for the numerous typos @ 18. I couldn't edit it with this blasted phone. And, sorry for its downer potential too.
Posted by kim in portland on November 12, 2010 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Democrat: Says something.

Dan: "Yeah!"

Republican: Says exact same thing as Democrat.

Dan: Even though he ostensibely doesn't give a shit, writes a very long, rambling analysis of the meta-meaning of a Republican saying this, culminating in the conclusion that when a Republican says this, the real meaning is that Republicans are evil.

David: Weren't liberals supposed to be less sensitive to the ingroup moral axis?
Posted by David Wright on November 12, 2010 at 8:33 PM · Report this
"I doubt most Republican men give a shit about what their wives think. Or any woman, for that matter."

Right, you would. Because you're a complete fucking asshole.

Seriously, this is the kind of bullshit that makes you look like shitheads and you don't even realize it.

My God, it's like the Rally for Sanity did nothing at all to make liberals examine their own strident, ugly blatherings. I am shocked. Shocked, I say!
Posted by MBI on November 12, 2010 at 9:22 PM · Report this
Rach3l 22
Like it or not, Cindy's video has more clout than any of the non-celebrities doing the "It Gets Better" videos. By devaluing her contribution to the cause, you're devaluing Joe Random's contributions even further.

Fuck you, Dan.
Posted by Rach3l on November 12, 2010 at 9:22 PM · Report this
Right on Dan (and enjoy your crow Rach3l...) Cindy has had a change of heart apparently:…

Her hateful, batshit, old coot of a husband has reined her in right quick!! Now if only he could get his daughter to fall in line as quickly...

Posted by David Carney on November 12, 2010 at 9:35 PM · Report this
Jessica 24
To be completely shallow, I don't think that's Meghan McCain, that's Bridget Marquardt from The Girls Next Door.
Posted by Jessica on November 12, 2010 at 9:40 PM · Report this
monkey 25
Well you can stop praising Cindy McCain, she has just tweeted... "I fully support the NOH8 campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be a part of it. But I stand by my husband's stance on DADT."

So when she said "Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens, why shouldn't they?" she actually meant it as a rhetorical question. No, seriously, why shouldn't they? They ARE second class citizens.

So yeah, who gives a shit what Cindy McCain thinks?
Posted by monkey on November 12, 2010 at 9:50 PM · Report this
Canuck 26
This reminds me of the way the Mormon church rolls into action when one of their own starts to go "off message."
I haven't read the book BearNecessity mentions, but I can only assume their arrangement is about blood money. I would rather live in a tent than submit to bag-of-snakes John McCain.
Posted by Canuck on November 12, 2010 at 10:16 PM · Report this
Cindy McCain is a big C for coming out against Dadt and now for it in one day. What a douche. This family is seriously fucked up. Dan is right, who gives a shit what she thinks. It appears that she doesn't even know what she thinks.
Posted by Vanhattan on November 12, 2010 at 10:32 PM · Report this
Cindy was waterboarded soon after Johnny got wind of the video.

These videos wouldn't be needed if there was a competent, honest adult in the W.H. It's time to acknowledge that Obama pressed for some form of Health Care overhaul solely to solidify his place in the history books. Everything else he has lied about to get elected. He has played the voters,& continues to pimp off their misery & "Hope" that he'll live up to his word. He must not be the nominee in 2012, that is unless he's running on the Republican ticket.
Posted by VonLmo on November 13, 2010 at 12:45 AM · Report this
The question we really need to ask ourselves: who knew Dr. Drew was so buff?
Posted by TimesTwo on November 13, 2010 at 7:44 AM · Report this
Oh, wait. Apparently she was just kidding.…
Posted by Valerie Z on November 13, 2010 at 8:44 AM · Report this
In the early 1990s it was always rumored that Babara Bush was secretly pro-choice and in the early 2000's it was rumored that Laura Bush was secretly a sensitive librarian and was against the war in Iraq. Now John McCain's wife and daughter are pro-gay rights. The only thing that has changed is that John McCain's wife and daughter aren't being secretive. Public figures always have the cloud of fantasy around them. But what really matters is concrete changes in public policy. Gay Republicans might be reassured by rumors and statements by spouses and children, but nothing is changed until policy and laws change.
Posted by guy45 on November 13, 2010 at 10:19 AM · Report this
I think a supporter is a supporter. If you don't accept people who've had a change of heart, then why bother arguing in the first place? I thought the whole point of arguing was to gain supporters, even latecomers. It is a win if someone from the other side crosses over, even if they have a husband that doesn't.
Posted by Better late than never on November 13, 2010 at 12:19 PM · Report this
@22 I hope you choke on all that Cindy McCain clout you were touting.

Fuck you, Rach31.
Posted by Functional Atheist on November 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM · Report this
John Horstman 34
@20: You're not paying attention; Dan criticizes Dems who do idiotic shit all the time. And I don't think Dan thinks all Republicans are evil, just like how he knows all Christians don't want to kill gay people. The problem is that even the ones who aren't evil support, legitimize, and elect the pundits and politicians who do seriously fucked-up things, particularly for disadvantaged/unprivileged groups. Or they do face-heel turns like BOTH elder McCains. Democratic politicians have a lower incidence (nowhere near zero) of hypocrisy because the rhetoric and policy initiatives of their party aren't quite as morally-reprehensible as the Republican platform of removing all barriers to concentration of wealth and exploitation of workers and public resources, and reinforcing a racist, sexist, heterosexist, classist, exceptionalist, ethnocentrist, tacitly Christian, Capitalist, colonialist cultural model of rich, White, straight-and-masculine male hegemonic power. For example, you don't need to be closeted and spew hateful garbage about gay people as a gay politician (who wants to get funding and be elected) if you're a Democrat; it's a requirement to be a Republican politician.
Posted by John Horstman on November 15, 2010 at 10:09 AM · Report this

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