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Cockburn US Politics

The ceaseless sadness of Meghan ‘My Father’ McCain

A grief that knows no bounds.

February 21, 2020

4:35 AM

21 February 2020

4:35 AM

‘Everyone on both sides of the media class — stop using my deceased father for political points and cheap shots,’ Meghan McCain declared on Twitter this week. ‘It is painful. It is traumatizing. And it is perverted. Let us all grieve and try and move on in peace!’

Well, as much as everyone would love to move on — it’s been nearly two years, after all — Meghan won’t let us.

A daughter’s love is a beautiful thing, and losing a father is always a terrible, traumatic event, even in your thirties. It’s decidedly more difficult when your father was a public figure, as people who never knew him feel qualified to pore over his merits and flaws and opine as to whether or not he was a hero or a traitor. The challenge of grief is then multiplied by the fact that Meghan is herself a TV personality. She has co-hosted ABC’s The View since October 2017.

Cockburn is no stranger to loss, and he can sympathize. He is nonetheless stumped that Meghan insists everyone should stop talking about her father, since she never does.

  1. Meghan has many talents, no doubt, but it’s indisputable that she has used her dad’s name to peddle influence, launch political attacks, and become a public voice. In fact, Meghan insists on bringing up daddy at nearly every political debate. The habit has gotten so out of hand that it has sparked a meme — crafty internet users have created montages of her constant use of the phrase ‘my father‘.

A quick search for ‘Meghan McCain my father’ demonstrates the extent of her myopia. And these are only the ones that made headlines:

May 20, 2019: ‘My father’ was Trump’s ‘kryptonite’

May 29, 2019: Trump is ‘deeply threatened’ by ‘my dad’

May 30, 2019: It’s impossible to grieve because of how often Trump talks about ‘my father’

June 25, 2019: Border facilities are not like torture camps because ‘my father couldn’t lift me above his head as a child because of his torture wounds’

July 25, 2019: ‘I love Biden in a way I loved my father’

October 29, 2019: ‘Throwing the word “war crime” for me is something that’s very intense’ because of ‘my father’

December 16, 2019: Trump is ‘deeply emasculated’ by ‘my father’s legacy’

February 4, 2020: ‘Not everything’s about my dad, but he completely surpassed going to Iowa in 2000 and 2008′

February 6, 2020: Mitt Romney is ‘nothing like my dad’

In one wild segment on The View, Meghan even declared that she could not be racist because she is John McCain’s daughter.

‘I’m John McCain’s daughter!’ she shouted at her fellow panelists. ‘I am not someone who sits here and is OK with racism in any way whatsoever!’

Hmm. Doesn’t that count as using his legacy to score ‘political points’?

Certainly, Meghan knows her father better than most of the people who bring him up in conversation, but her perverse obsession has made it impossible for people to ever invoke his name — whether positively or negatively — without risking incurring her wrath. Sen. Amy Klobuchar learned this the hard way when she tried to share a fond memory of her late colleague from President Trump’s inauguration. Klobuchar, while on the campaign trail in Iowa in 2019, recalled that McCain listed the names of dictators during Trump’s inauguration because ‘he knew more than any of us what we were facing as a nation’.

Cockburn believed this to be a rather harmless anecdote, but not to Meghan ‘My Father’ McCain.

‘On behalf of the entire McCain family — @amyklobuchar please be respectful to all of us and leave my fathers legacy and memory out of presidential politics’, Meghan tweeted, ignoring that she uses her father’s legacy as a cudgel nearly every time Trump is mentioned on her television program.

It’s quite understandable that McCain wants to talk about her dad — in fact, it’s a normal part of the grieving process. But to do it so frequently only then to suggest that anyone who mentions your father is ‘traumatizing’ speaks to a rather unhealthy fixation. Cockburn is no therapist, but he would advise Meghan to heed her own words and move on, so everyone else can.

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