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McCain / Black / America

Republican Meghan McCain and Democrat — comedian — Michael Ian Black travel the country in search of common ground in our sharply partisan times. They join us.

Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black (AP)

Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black (AP)

Meghan McCain is not your standard Rush Limbaugh Republican, but she’s Republican through and through, she says. The “red ‘til I’m dead” Red State daughter of Republican Senator John McCain. Comedian Michael Ian Black is liberal, a Democrat, a funny guy who takes his liberal politics seriously.

In a time of high partisanship and polarization in America, these two – McCain and Black – climbed in an RV to go cross-country. Talking to Americans. Looking for common ground. It’s a jungle out there.

This hour, On Point: Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black, on the road in Red/Blue America.

-Tom Ashbrook


Meghan McCain, columnist for The Daily Beast and commentator on MSNBC. Co-author of America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom.

Michael Ian Black, stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and director. Co-author of America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom.

From Tom’s Reading List

Portland Monthly “Michael and I hadn’t even met in person when we came up with the book idea. I was a guest on his talk show pilot. He was making fun of me, and I totally gave it right back to him. I was like, “who are you to be making fun of me? Are you kidding?!” The audience really liked it, and sometimes you just have personality chemistry with a person.”

 US News & World Report “The two “barely  know each other,” but “they are about to change the way politics is  discussed in America” — by finding the common ground between Democrats  and Republicans.  On an RV roadtrip across America.”

MSNBC “In “America, You Sexy B—-,” the unlikely pair of comedian Michael Ian Black and Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain join forces on a cross-country tour to bring the political discussion directly to the American people.”

Excerpt: America, You Sexy Bitch

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  • Sean

    Asinine partisanship?

    … why doesn’t Meghan include Daddy on her whistlestop tour?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      With the elephant in the room, perhaps?

      • Ray in VT

        Are you referring to Sister Sarah?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           No, donkeys and elephants.

  • Lichtenf

    If I saw Megan touring in my neighborhood, here are the questions.

    You and your Dad are firm believers in the American economy, why doesn’t your Dad drop his socialized medicine from the government and shop the “free market” for hospitalization instead?

    Instead of getting the socialized pension plan that he gets from the government, why didn’t do a 401K like all the other Americans got shafted with?

    Actually, why does any Republican representative get socialized medicine and pension plans? They don’t believe in them.

    Why do most of the people who believe in never-ending deregulation have nothing to worry about as far as the future (Mitt Romney – several mansions)  (Your Dad, so many homes he doesn’t remember how many) (Billionares buying the government for more deregulation)

    • jefe68

      Senator John McCain is a vet and not only that he was POW in North Vietnam. I think he’s earned all the health care this nation can afford him despite his position as politician. That said I’m not a big fan of his.

      That said I do think all the other members of Congress and their staff should all be compelled to buy health insurance on the open market like the rest of us.
      Unless of course they are vets, which also has some sticky
      issues. But that’s another story.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        As a Veteran, I can assure you that John McCain gets BETTER health care than the majority of Veterans!
           That Admiral’s son, and Admiral’s grandson, does NOT wait, like most Vets, for treatment by doctors that may have been banned from practice in civillian health-care.

        • Chris

          McCain has been taken care his whole life by the U.S. government.

          HIS WHOLE LIFE.

          Yet he wants to make sure other Americans are left to fend for themselves.

          The elite always are like this. Luxury and endless benefits for them, austerity for everyone else.

          • Pointpanic

            That’s how the elites work, Chris. You’d think the American people would have been wise to their patriotic pablum by now.

        • jefe68

          I’m sure he does. But that’s not what my point was.

          As I said the man earned his VA stripes in my view. How the systems works is not all on him. He’s also tried to change how it works by the way. You mention that he is the son of an Admiral, well he did not use that influence to get out of the war when he very well could have.

        • Pagassae

          Johnny receives Congressional health care and golden perks. As do all members of Congress.

      • Yar

        Jefe68, I agree that Veterans should have life long healthcare.  But so should everyone else.  Healthcare is a public good as much as a personal one.  I want the guy who makes my lunch to have his TB, or hepatitis, or any other disease treated.  A heart attack can kill innocent bystanders.

        • jefe68

          I agree, were did I say I did not.
          The comment was about McCain’ father.
          I was responding to that comment alone and not the wider issue of health care.
          Which this show is not about.

        • William

          It is all about how do you pay for it.

      • AF_Whigs

        @jefe68: I agree with you 100% about health care for vets – considering how many wars we’ve been in we treat our vets shamefully.
        But the original post was about the hypocisy of wealthy Republicans trying to do away with the initial attempts at socialized medicine in this country as well as the constant raiding of pension funds and the proposed dismantling of Social Security when these Senators and Representatives are themselves enjoying publicly-funded healthcare and a fat pension.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      She’ll AVOID your neighborhood, now!
          Her dad’s famous for being a POW.  Also for dumping his beauty-queen fiance, that waited for his release, to marry a beauty-queen that had not been in a wreck. 
         You expect real answers to real questions from a politician like that?

      • Don_B1

        It was his first WIFE, not a fiance, that he “dumped.” But the internals of a marriage are hard to know and I don’t know that the marriage was terminated as ruthlessly as, say, Gingrich’s were.

        • zing

          Based on your own assertion, how can you judge the Gingrich marriage?

  • J__o__h__n

    I really have no interest in people who are famous because of their parents (especially politicians).

    • zing

      Well, there goes Obama

  • Chris


    You’re father just voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act (equal pay for women).

    I know you are rich and will never have to work to survive a day in your life like most American women do, 

    but how does that make you feel that your father thinks that in 2012 women shouldn’t have equal pay to men?

    • Still Here

      How about because it was a completely misnamed piece of legislation?  It should have been called the labor lawyer full employment act!

      • Chris

        Dear Right Winger,

        There is a reason for that. The people only have power when they can sue in a class action.

        Take that away and equal pay is just two words that don’t mean anything in this corporate controlled country.

        • Gregg

          Unless we can deem everybody equal in every way under all circumstances (a hideous notion), “equal pay” is a horrible thing to enforce.

          • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

            @Gregg — The Assessor in my town has to come with with some kind of formula to valuate my house, so that he can levy a proper property tax. He looks at sales of similar homes in similar neighborhoods. It would be even easier to do that with employment valuation because there are many many more jobs than there are home sales. You willfully ignore the real issues when you try to distill it into a “equal outcomes” commie fever dream.

        • Still Here

          Dear Left Winger,
          Don’t force your lowest common denominator utopia on me.

          • Chris

            Dear Right Winger,

            Right Wing swill is the lowest there is so there’s no way to go lower.

    • Gregg

      Do you actually believe opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act is the same as opposition to equal pay for women on the rare occasions when all else is equal? Wow.

      • bellavida

        Rare occasions all else is equal? There was just a joint study released by the University of Michigan & Duke, that showed that female MD’s, compared to their male counterparts, make $360,000 less over their career lifetime and the researchers controlled for all factors, speciality, hours worked, etc. This difference was present for both female MD’s with and without children. $360,000 is more than the median price of a house in the US and can pay for a couple college educations.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat


    I believe in the power of women.  

  • Chris in Pennsylvania

    It’s funny hearing Tom read the title.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Can you comment on how how the people you met see Boehner and McConnel’s day one proclamation that their jobs were to make Obama fail at a time when the America and the world’s economy were on the brink of collapse?

    • mary elizabeth

      Great question and reminder of just how low the Repub party has sunk.

    • mel

      Or how about the record number of filibusters? Yeah, the Republicans are really interested in compromise.

      • zing

        And who negotiates with a weakling?

    • William

      I think they got that leadership style from Senator Reid. Remember when he called President Bush a loser while we were at war in Iraq? And then, Senator Reid said “This war is lost”. If you get that style of leadership, well, it spreads.

      • Michele

        That was the first shot across the bow? Really? What about the trenchant position of Republicans during the Clinton years?

        • zing

          Another weak president…

      • Pointpanic

        Ried was right ,WIlliam . W lied us into war in Iraq to the detriment of people in both nations. W was and still is a loser. If thiat war benefitted anyone, it was w
        s and cheney’s cronies at Haliburton. The war was lost. The motives for invading were less than honorable.

    • zing

      Many have said Obama should have let it go…

      • TFRX

        Everybody in the media says every Democrat should let everything go.

        Where have you been for the last 20 years?

        • zing

          Voting with the media I guess.

        • AF_Whigs

          Do you mean “The Liberal Media”?

    • SamEw

      Oh please Obama has given five speeches at least whining about congress for every one complaining about the president Boehner and McConell have made put together.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     Hunting for common ground is a fool’s errand.  Stand for what you believe in, and let the people vote.  And preserve fundamental liberties for all of us.

    • Don_B1

      Hunting for common ground between two parties when one party has no position but “my way or the highway,” is a losing proposition. If their “hunt for common ground” means looking for solutions, as imperfect as they might be, that a LARGE majority of citizens could accept even though they might like something a bit different.

      Acceptance of a solution that works to at least reduce the toxicity of a problem is what is meant by compromise in a democracy.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        The problem is that compromise too often ends up being I’ll let you support your interest group if you’ll let me support mine.

        • Don_B1

          I thought it was, “I can agree to support your bridge if you support my road.”

      • TFRX

        And it goes without saying that “excessive partisanship” is a phrase we only hear on the news when a Democrat, somewhere, thinks of taking their own side in a fight.

        • Don_B1

          Exactly. That was where Megan was wrong when she used the comment of a caller protesting against Obama’s attempting to compromise with Republicans. Democrats did not “oppose” Obama for his initial structuring of the ARRA (stimulus) with more tax cuts than deserved. Then the Republicans simply demanded more and the effectiveness of the bill was further diminished.

          It was when this approach to negotiations, where Obama’s initial offer was tailored to incorporate Republican approaches and repulsed by Republicans that finally got under Democrats’ skins. But Megan does not seem to appreciate this. It appears she may be accepting too many of the uncritically widely promoted Republican lies.

        • Don_B1


          I guess Meghan has listened to the uncritically widely repeated Republican LIES without doing some due diligence herself, as may be inferred from her response to the caller complaining of Obama’s attempts to compromise.

          While Obama has drawn back from his real broad attempts to compromise, they have been widely rejected except when ONE subject is on the table: the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (over $250,000/year).

          Obama’s initial ARRA had more tax cuts than recommended by economists (they produce only $0.45 in GDP gain per $1 cut, while each $1 of unemployment benefits produce $1.60 in GDP increase.

          Then to get Arlen Specter’s (and Olympia Snow and Susan Collins votes for “cover”) vote, unemployment and state aid were further decreased for more tax cuts — for the top end.

          But Obama has learned that offering a compromise with the current Tea Republicans only gets a new demand for their position only; anything short of that is called not willing to reach out to them.

          Meghan should accept that that is true; Bruce Bartlett does.

  • J__o__h__n

    If she doesn’t think gays should be oppressed, why is she a Republican? 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      A libertarian view is that it’s no one else’s business what you do in your own home.

      • J__o__h__n

        That isn’t the Republican view.

    • Gregg

      Republican don’t want to oppress gays, where do you get this stuff?

  • Michiganjf


      Meghan occasionally going against the Republican grain means she’s willing to “go out on a ledge??!!!”

    Ha again! That’s certainly true THESE DAYS!!

    … but I think your guest meant “go out on a limb,” something a little less drastic, but not reflective of the truth when talking about today’s Republicans!

    • Don_B1

      I guess it depends on the heights of the limb or ledge for a real difference?

      While I suspect there are Republicans in Congress who would “compromise” or otherwise work with Democrats “across the table,” there is a growing mantra among Tea Republicans to disown any member of their party so inclined.

      Consider Richard Lugar and Orrin Hatch.

      So it is a moot point in today’s Congressional environment to even hope for compromise unless the Republicans are going to otherwise lose their major piece of legislation, the Bush tax cuts for the 1%.

      Consider the Thomas Mann (Brookings) and Norman Ornstein (AEI) book, “Even Worse Than It Looks,” which documents the radical “my way or the highway” refusal to compromise attitude of the radical Tea Party Republicans who have captured control of the whole Republican Party, at least in Congress and much of the states.

  • Gregg

    Meghan, I could do a grumpy old man schtick and lecture you on a few of the problems I have with some of your views. But the truth is I greatly admire your courage and will to publicly express the opinions you have obviously considered thoughtfully. Thinking is good. You are an easy target, don’t get discouraged by the hate. For your age you’re ahead of the game.

  • Tom

    Does Megan thin that corporations are people and that money is speech?
    (as Mitt Romney does)

  • Eternalist

    Megan and Michael,

    THANK YOU…the divide between blue and red, and their unwillingness to have a real discussion or have any unity disgusts me and many other Americans. If nothing else, I appreciate your joint tour.

    Also, Megan, I hope future republicans can see the light on social issues such as gay marriage and marijuana. This generational divide is why republicans will not win the presidency.


  • Thinkin15

    I appreciate that Meghan is willing to talk to Liberals in a respectful manner. I have seen her on Rachel Maddow and they have mutual respect and it gives me some small measure of hope. However, the Republican party of old is being crushed by the new extremists who have no limits to their hatred of this administration and all Democrats. So sad!

    • William

      So the Left does not have it’s share of radicals? You can’t find any examples of the Left going off the deep end? Nothing?.

  • atakemoto

    Meghan:  Please speak about the Republican’s stance on the environment.

  • Tom

    Does Megan think that oil companies should get socialist tax payer subsidies, while the US military is barred by republicans from buying alternative fuels to start the transition off of oil?

    • zing

      Tom, have you stopped beating your wife?

      • AF_Whigs

        I believe zing was making the point that Tom is asking questions that are too relevant and important, and so will never be addressed or acknowledged.

  • Parnassus Q. Vanderfeller

    What are the proper limits to incivility?  Many of us disagree on important issues, both fundamental (are zygotes full human beings?) and secondary but still important (can the wealthy stand the shocking pain of a MARGINAL tax rate that’s 3% higher, or are they so ungrateful to the nation that they’ll try to see its economy fail in that case?); it is inevitable that our language will grow at times intemperate, especially when someone presents these issues so starkly (as in my first example) or with such a definite slant a priori (as in my second).

    However, where I draw the line is at not letting people speak at all.  My irritation at the nascent Rove-Koch-Ailes (which weirdly acronyms to T.E.A.—must be an home-schooling artifact) Party during the initial health care debate was that they filled senators’ and representatives’ “Town Halls” with Town Hollerers who made it impossible for both them and their legislators to have anything like a rational, neocortex-oriented, debate using ideas made out of words.  Instead, they were able to show that their side had very loud voices and were willing to use them, which is not exactly the same as rational argument, however intemperate in language, or even the Socratic Method.

    If I call you a vile scalliwag who would beggar the common wealth of that which is owed it in exchange for creating the conditions under which you could acquire and retain (most) of it, you may then take your time and refer to me as an evil gay Bolschewik who wants to hold our women and boys in common…not an ideal, reasonable, debate, but at least we have both made statements about which we can argue.  If, instead, I bring a brain-dead megaphone to the parlay and use it  continuously, we’re but one step away from settling our disagreements with canes, or howitzers.

  • J__o__h__n

    Oh great, Disqus is “improved” again.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Hope and change?

      • Ray in VT

        I think that it’s gone all maverickie on us.

  • Tom

    Does Megan think that women should give up power over their own bodies? ( a fetus is not a baby, it is part of a woman’s body – a baby is something that has been birthed.)

    • TFRX

      It doesn’t matter what she thinks. The application of her belief is belied by how she’ll never be subjected to the ordeal as will a 16-y.o. having to deal with a broken condom and the laws of Missletucky.

      For Megan it’s a trip to Norway or Switzerland. For the 16.y.o, it’s forced birth, and you better not have a miscarriage, because the abortion police will be after you.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Megan, I guess if you wan realistic promises, Mitt’s definiely a setting the bar low by promising job growth predicted by the CBO without implementing any of the initiatives that he is promoting. Now that’s conservative! :^)

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Black, ask her father if you don’t understand the saying.

  • manganbr

    The real division in this country is not between liberals and conservatives, but between, on the one hand, absolutists who define politics as war by other means, and refuse to compromise a single degree with those that differ from them, and, on the other hand, politicians who recognize that governing requires working with those you disagree with to find solutions. While the absolutist rhetoric over the last four years has developed on the right with a much greater intensity, it’s not an essential component of conservative principles–it has to do with meta-principles about what politics entails.  

  • Thinkin15

    Romney is a “gorgeous” metro-sexual with the beautiful wife, so it’s not like he’s the opposite of Obama. His business experience is not what governing requires. Many of the greatest presidents (Reagan included!) had no business experience. W. did and look what that did for the country!

  • HeidiFox

    There is a lot of money being spent distorting complex problems. In a 24/7 news cycle there isn’t a lot of news investigating the “gray” areas of opposing viewpoints. I crave common ground, and oppose any politician who feeds on the polarization.

  • Eric Herot

    Tom! If you really want to get at the heart of the “compromise” issue, why don’t you ask Megan if she would ever be in favor of balancing the budget by raising taxes?

    There are all kinds of places where we’ll have to compromise to get legislation through, but on that one in particular the party (including Mitt Romney!) has made it basically impossible. And yet without the Republican ceding ground there, we can have no functional government.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    LBJ predicted that after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that the parties would eventually divided along left and right grounds. There used to be liberal Republicans ie, Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits and conservative Democrats ie, Russel Long and the other Dixie-crats. Now we have RINO’s and Blue Dogs.

  • Derrick

    Megan, the Republican Party does not want you, they do not want people who can think for themselves. I hope you realize that sooner than later.

  • J__o__h__n

    At best, this conversation is simplistic.

  • Michiganjf

    I’d LOVE for Tom to press Meghan ON EVEN ONE POLICY POINT (which differs from Obama) on which she agrees with Romney and why!!!! Good luck getting an even half-intelligent or coherent response!

  • Bill

    Megan is obviously a “fortunate child” – what is Michael’s socioeconomic background?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    It’s obvious what side most commentors are on today.

  • lodger

    Why wouldn’t Meghan support Obama, given that he’s accomplished the trifecta of Republican goals: government is smaller, taxes are lower (for the vast majority), and the deficit has shrunk.

    Job losses are largely due to state/local governments laying people off. Isn’t that another big Republican goal, to have fewer government workers?

    Seems like republicans want few government workers, unless there’s a democratic president, and then they complain about unemployment numbers.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Just because he’s wishy-washy and doesn’t achieve what he promised doesn’t mean that she should support him for failing.

      • lodger

        He doesn’t achieve what he promised because the Republican Party has made it clear that making him a one-term president takes precedence over what’s best for the country.

        It’s like that latest viral meme: if Obama came out in favor of oxygen, republicans would suffocate themselves.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          He had both houses of Congress for the beginning of his presidency. He should have known that healthcare reform would only get Democratic votes. Why, for example, did he not push for a public option?

          • lodger

            Because insurance companies wouldn’t allow it.

            Why should ‘heathcare reform’ get only Democratic votes? That statement encapsulates the problem. Republicans can’t see the need for some changes? Trotting out the same tired canards about ‘harnessing free market forces’ falls flat. I don’t have time to shop and compare prices if i need emergency surgery.

          • mary elizabeth

            Scott Brown took office in Feb 2010 vowing to upend the health care bill and vote with Repubs.
            President Obama had a filibuster proof Senate for little over a year. and Leiberman who single handedly ended any chance at Medicare for all.
            President Obama took what he could get,- a suboptimal solution.

          • Michele

            Ask Rahm Emmanuel.

        • Michele

          Hey, there’s an idea…

  • Thinkin15

    One of the biggest differences between the parties is that the Republicans truly believe that wealth will trickle down. They believe this even though we’ve been waiting for more than a decade for evidence of this!

  • Nehardwoods

    Important topic, Megan and Michael are showcasing one of Americas greatest strengths: the ability to agree to disagree, and yet, find common ground. I think most Americans are tired of seeing politicians hammering and hollering, pointing fingers, whining and complaining; when what they want is men and women who have strength of character, committment, conviction, compassion and creativity for country. Who lead by example, take responsibility for their actions, and are willing to  reach across the isle and shake the other hand, to feel invigorated that: “yes I can agree to disagree”. Do it for this one-of-a-kind-country: The United States of America.

  • Ray

    If “Children should be seen and NOT heard” – this applies doubly to Republican children!
    Ray from Brookline, MA

  • Kathy

    Ms. McCain needs to deal with the fact that a lack of compromise is a problem coming from the Republican Party.

    • zing

      Not at all. The Pubs have no reason to compromise on anything. The president and his admin are weak.

      • AF_Whigs

        No reason? How about DOING THEIR JOBS? Is that not a good enough reason anymore?

  • Martha

    I seriously object to the many comedic references to being drunken we’ve heard this morning. Drunkenness is not funny.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t know about that. I’m a teatotaler, but it can be funny.

  • Jasoturner

    While I don’t find Meghan’s thinking to be particularly sophisticated, I do admire her intellectual curiosity and a seemingly honest interest in trying to think through the issues. If all citizens did the same, this would be a better country.

  • Steve_T

    What makes her uncomfortable, makes me more comfortable with her as a person, but not her political views. Her honesty about her upbringing was refreshing, and will keep me listening.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Isn’t the reluctance to identify with the two major parties the result of the corruption and rubbish that both are mired in?

  • Mel

    How do they feel about the corporate dominance of our political system? We can rahash all our differences but until we have campaign finance reform the voters are not in control of our elections, but rather the multinational corporations.

  • AndyF

    It is absolutely insane to suggest that Mitt Romney is ANY kind of leader. Simply look at his time in Massachusetts or Utah (Olympics). Romney did not lead ANYTHING. He followed, and reacted. In Mass. when the Big Dig was well-known to be frought with shoddy work, Romney did NOTHING – until a woman was killed by a falling ceiling tile. THEN Romney “lead” by reacting. If the US Army used that concept, all soldiers would be dead, and then (and only then) would Romney issue orders. In Utah, lots of people OTHER THAN Romney did the work, made the decisions, and Romney simply rubber stamped them or not. THAT is NOT leading anything – that is simply following, then hijackling the credit. But then, think about it – Romney NEVER had to think on his own two feet. His Daddy paid his way to everything, and Mitt lives a life FAR removed from ANY “normal” person he alleges he wants to lead. We did not learn this VERY lesson with George W. Bush – now, elect Romney and we will live that fiasco all over again. America, home of the stupid, land of the insanely unaware of the obvious.

    • Willaim

      If Romney did not lead anything in his past what has Obama ever done?

      • Zero

        Obama ousted 3 dictators with zero lives and under $50 billion. Bush ousted 1 dictator with thousands of lives and $1 trillion dollars.

        Who’s the leader?

        • Willaim

          Ousted 3 dictators? With Congressional approval? Some sort of Cowboy running around the world with his drones?. Bush got UN and Congressional approval. That is the difference in leadership.

          • TFRX

            That’s one more thing I’m figuring doesn’t affect William directly, as he’s so eager to excuse being lied into war like that.

            Keep snorting that yellowcake.

  • http://twitter.com/lesleyhay Lesley Hayes

    Meghan and Micahel, I love that you’ve gone out and done this. Thank you, and keep it up and I look forward to reading the book!

  • Jason Vicente

    Isn’t the polarization simply about power? In the Hepbrun/Tracy film “State of the Union” Spencer Tracy’s character cannot distinguish between Democrats and Republicans. The Republican Party Leader states “There’s all the difference in the world. They’re in and we’re out!”

  • sascha

    Megan- how can believeing in small government include governemnt intrusion into the bedroom and a woman’s uterus? You have moved on the issue of getting the government out of the bedroom- why should the government dictate what we can or can’t do? and what about the separation of church and state?How does the Republican party explain the apparent hypocrasy?

  • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

    I think it is pretty striking that when asked why she supported Romney Megan’s first though was “he is doing well in the polls.” I think that says a lot about her belief system and identifies one of the major problems in the politics in this country (It’s more about winning than improving the nation).

    It is also telling that her other points were either so generic as to be meaningless or slights on Obama. Particularly, the focus on Obama’s “rock star” status. It’s a peculiar complain given that it says nothing about is performance and that Ronald Regan, darling of the Republican party, was an actual movie star, whereas Obama’s background is editor of the Harvard Law Review, community organizer and politician. That’s not your general background for a “rock star.” He is popular and does excite people, but Megan said she liked popular politicians (it’s the main reason she cited for supporting Romney) and bemoaned the lack of enthusiasm in the electorate.

    • crtum

      Unlike the last presidential election?!

  • Roy-in-Boise

    When I hear people say ” take back our goverment” in this 2012 Romney ~ Obama Presidential contest what we have is the Great White Hope vs The Black Guy in the White House race… this race is all about “race” more than issues.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The caller means the Electoral College, but seriously, we don’t live in a tyranny or a banana republic because of that.

  • bluzader

    The modern methods of communications make it more easy for people to listen and discuss issues with others who agree with their opinions – to hear and appreciate the “other side” of an issue is more difficult today.

  • kaltighanna

    Any compromise between Democrats and Republicans right now is refreshing, any dialogue is promising. However, beyond selling books, there seems to be little of substance in the conversation. It seems that Meghan is playing a “sexy” Republican and Michael a “crunchy granola” liberal, but their big “compromise” amounts to what, really? Gay marriage and Bud light? 

    But maybe I should read the book before saying that…

  • Edward

    This is about building the careers of these one percenter

    feaux-journalist googballs.

    OOh, back of the RV with the senator’s daughter. Give me a break.

    All I hear is talking points and salable, not salient memes.

    These are not contributing people, just cynical fluff, b–ch.

  • Chris


    You live in a different world then then the rest of us 310 million Americas.
    And it’s not the world of Republican moderates I’m talking about, it’s the world of the rich.
    You will never know what real work for survival is like.
    You will never know what no access to health care or dental care is like.
    You will never know what working at a horrible job to pay your rent for a horrible apartment is like.
    You will never know what it is to have Washington sell you out on a daily basis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001436729213 Wes Nickerson

    Michael, You don’t have to choose between two crummy parties. You don’t have to choose between two mediocre presidential candidates. You can choose your values. You can choose the Green Party.


    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Or the Libertarian Party.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Changing the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment. Does anyone on either side what to open up the Constitution to tamepring right now?

  • Hannahvt

    I just wanted to say, that I was raised by ultra liberal hippies and my significant other was raised by conservative republicans, and we definitely identify with different parties but on the views it’s the same….

  • stacey

    to Megan McCain explain why she still considers herself a Republican is
    like listening to someone who never goes to church and disagrees with
    the Vatican on a regular basis explain why she still considers herself

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Other than a few points–on which she agrees with the libertarian wing of the Republican Party–what makes you say that?

  • wordjuggler

    It’s not neighborhoods who are polarized but regions of the country.

  • Kevin

    I’d like to know the guests’ opinion that while they are pushing for a more reasonable environment of dialogue and compromise in the body politic, there are equally strong or stronger individuals, corporations and super-pacs, media companies and personalities, and others fighting with a passion to set up a divided us-vs-them, because they benefit from such a setup.

  • Guest

    Where and on what have the Republicans tried to compromise? Boehner has done nothing but stand in the way of any compromise. So name those compromises! I don’t think you can. I’m waiting.

    • William

      Where are the Obama compromises? I think he stated his position with his first meeting with the Republicans. “I won”.

      • Zero

        “I got 98% of what I wanted…I’m pretty happy.”

  • Ted

    I am not surprised that they are finding a lot of common ground. Position-wise, both parties have are pretty close to each other on the polical spectrum, especially compared to European politics. That’s why the parisan bickering confounds and frustrates me. Keep up the good work!

  • Kevin

    What are the guests’ opinion on how to face the influx of now unlimited money and the influence of greed on the political system, especially beyond a tipping point where greed changes the rules for the benefit of greed.

  • Thinkin15

    Meghan isn’t listening to her party. “Compromise” is a dirty word according to Boehner. Grover mandates party line votes or else. There is a real disconnect if she thinks anyone in the GOP is ever going to dare compromise again.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    A lot of us respect Maverick McCain, but he didn’t win the election. That’s a message more to American voters than to politicians.

    • J__o__h__n

      He didn’t run in 2008. He ran as a typical Republican.

  • Michiganjf

    “I agree with 75% of Romney’s positions…”
    Meghan again at end of interview:
    “I don’t know enough about Romney’s personal views to comment..”
    Typical Republican!!!!!

  • John in Amherst

    Why the polarization?
    Media that has abandoned fact-finding journalism or confused it with editorializing. Media that has gone from an intellectual highest common denominator to entertainment lowest common denominator. The media, which profits enormously from political campaigns that have become about slick, focus-group tested slogans rather than ideas.
    The web, which allows people to find others with progressively more extreme views and then egg each other on in a intellectual death spiral. We no longer interact with the people down our own street, we “chat” with our internet “friends”.
    The public, which has become too distracted or lazy to invest the time necessary to be well informed, too busy, fearful or self absorbed to be good neighbors. The public, which has come to confuse civility in public discourse with weakness. The public, which has succumbed to fear used by politicians to manipulate opinion.

    • Don_B1

      I saw/heard that this started with Gingrich’s assault on comity in the House of Representatives and his GoPAC TV and money pacs for the election of right wing ideologues to Congress.

  • mary elizabeth

    Meghan McCain needs to be reminded that Repub leaders have openly stated that their first priority is to see President Obama fail,
    Her prostestations otherwise are false and she needs to be challanged. Obstructionism and filibustering by Repubs is at an all time high. Any compromise by Repubs has been “my way or the highway” Meghan McCain may be sincere in her efforts, but she
    definately is in the same league with those propagandists who deny what is really going on in Congress. For some reason, few are brave enough to rebuke her delusions.

    • zing

      No one negotiates with a weakling.

  • John C

    I thought this was a great interview, and BOTH guests impressed me with their refusal to be completely pigeonholed perfectly into their respective political parties. But to be honest what I am enjoying most is the crying and spleen venting going on in this thread by people who are upset that they might have to compromise on any of their political beliefs which I believe ultimately are merely different paths toward an identical objective. To those who are wanting to skewer our guests, I say, keep on hating. I love the insecurity. Accept that your deep passion is rooted in insecurity. A closed mind cannot learn.

  • ScienceTeacher

    “Stupid America” would have been a much more appropriate title for the book. Since the TP has gained so much power, it is clear that the majority of Americans lack critical thinking skills. Hence, the better name:

    “Stupid America…How this once-great country is quickly becoming a third-rate nation”

    Thanks, Republicans!

  • TomK in Boston

    I love Meghan McCain, but I’m afraid I don’t agree that “bipartisanship” is a good thing at this point. We’ve been cutting taxes since 1980 and the top earners now pay the lowest rate since 1929. Consequently, the income going to the top 1% is at 1929 levels. A “bipartisan compromise” on taxes or inequality-related matters would be nonsensical at this point. It would be like the bully takes 95 cents of your dollar and then says, let’s have a reasonable adult discussion about the remaining 5 cents. The bipartisan bargains that get such praise from the media typically have minor or fictitious tax hikes “on the one hand” and very real cuts to essential programs “on the other hand”. Again, this is starting from record low taxes at the top. Sorry, I don’t need that kind of bipartisanship.

    • TomK in Boston

      Wassamatta, you don’t like teaching “creation superstition” along with evolution, or arguing that unlimited greenhouse gasses won’t produce a greenhouse effect? C’mon, man, get with the 16′th century program!

      • TomK in Boston

        oops, that was supposed to be a reply to Science Teacher, not to myself 

  • theMex

    Tom: This is a waste of time and a joke. The only reason you have Meghan McCain on, is her famous father. There is nothing real about her message.

  • linda

    What an egocentric brat. She is why folks hate the one percent. She knows nothing about voters, politics, policy. Why did you give the airhead air?

  • AnitaC1040

    Megan says she is for fiscal conservatism, what exactly is that? Both Reagon and Bush, Jr, out spent every Democratic President in my life time. What makes her think that the Dems are fiscally irresponsible? As the third generation of immigrants, I have to say that, everything I am, I owe to the US government. Starting with public schools, public library, public transfortation, public emergency support (fire, police, ambulance), pubic college, public loans and grants for additional education, public healthcare benefits from my father who worked at the post office, my first job at a pubically finded research facility. Without those things I would be some disadvantaged person somewhere. This is why I love the US. Why doesn’t she want to give the next generation of immagrants the same chance to be contributing members of our society? I know it is hard for rich people to see this, they have had everything given to them by their rich families, but a strong middle class is important to a strong nation. And I am a left leaning Unenrolled voter. I am also pro life – really who isn’t, but I am pragmatic about it. I do not want women to kill themselves getting back ally abortions. Can we just agree on that point – pro life should also include pregnant women? I think Megan is afraid to say she is a social liberal. She then would be accused of being something worse than a RINO.

    • Don_B1

      You cannot find a better list of the ways Republicans have been fiscally irresponsible and LYING about it than in yesterday’s Economix column in The New York Times by Bruce Bartlett of the Reagan administration:


      People should make a list of the myths there and could easily win bets with ignorant Republicans (most of them are profoundly ignorant). Just don’t do it to a friend because winning, which you will if you can get them to accept an independent referee, will strain or end a friendship.

      • AnitaC1040

        Thank you Don, that was a very well written article. I believe he has been on Bill Moyers, saying the same thing. (Oh yes, pleace forgive me my typos, trying to type fast while at work. No time to proof read.)

      • Pagassae

        Excellent article. And you are spot on, this should be shoved in the face of every Republican.

  • Peter Boyle

    There are over 3.5 million Medical Marijuana patients in America and over half of America supports Medical Marijuana. Yet Obama, through the Justice department, continues to prosecute patients. The latest ploy is Forfeiture of their property. I’m starting a message group titled Just Say No To Obama. The libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson is the only viable alternative for us, even though we generally do not agree with his economic policies (free trade and less regulation of finance).

  • Still Here

    Can you comment on how when BHO was asked about his willingness to compromise he responded with “I won” and has basically been the most divisive president ever? This presidency is his own failure and is due entirely to his complete naivete. Thankfully the public is more aware now after three years of disaster.

    • J__o__h__n

      His biggest failure was he believed his own rhetoric and attempted to compromise long after it should have been obvious that it was futile.

      • Still Here

        He tried for about 3 minutes.

  • guest


  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.schuster.5 Adam Schuster

    I was waiting to call in and make some comments but you never gave your number after I started listening. I had three points that I want to make.

    1st— Anyone who likes the message of this book and the sentiment expressed by the authors ought to check out “No Labels.” No Labels is a grass roots political organization made up of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents that is working to reform the way Washington works in order to combat hyper-partisanship.

    2nd– The comments made by the host, Tom, about Americans having “dug in opinions” is absolutely false. People on the far right and the far left have dug in opinions. However, the American electorate is a bell curve. There is a small number of very vocal people on either end and a large number of moderates in the center. Check any polls done by Gallup or Pew Research and you will find that the vast majority of Americans hold moderate views on just about every issue.

    3rd— There seemed to be some agreement among the authors and the callers that the current electoral system wasn’t getting the job done. However, no one seemed quite sure what to do about it. I recommend to everyone that they check out a voting system known as “Instant Run-Off Voting.” In instant run off voting voters rank order their favorite candidates rather than just selecting one. If there were 7 candidates you could rank them from 1-7 in order of most preferred to least preferred. I won’t get into the math of how it works, but the result is that the candidate who wins the election is the one who is most preferred by the population as a whole rather than the one who can get 51% to support him/her (and usually the other 49% hates them.)

    I would love a response to my comments on the air. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001572669936 Siobhan Knows

    I wonder if Meghan realizes that although she identified as being Pro-Life, she actually embraces the Pro-Choice perspective. Being Pro-Choice does not mean that you are Pro-Abortion, it simply means that you respect a woman’s right to govern her body and make the best choice for herself and family. I am Pro-Choice but I personally would never chose to have an abortion. Meghan, you too are Pro-Choice.

    • notafeminista

      Siobhan’s statement would be more if the first thing the pro-choicers didn’t scream was “Who’s going to take care of all the unwanted children??” 

      Or maybe if the pro-choicers spoke as often and as loudly of adoption as they do abortion.

      It ain’t about choice…it’s about convenience and getting one’s way.

      • notafeminista

        “…..would be more credible……”  dratted editor.

  • AnnGMorrone
  • Pointpanic

    Sure there’s definitley room for humor in teh antional discourse and I’m sure,Mr. Black is a great spokes amn for liberal causes but why is it that whenever nPR features a liberal ,it is ususally a comedian at teh expense of many fine progressive voices in academia and government. It’s as if to say “don’t take liberals seriously”.



  • Adam

    I feel that if both the house and senate had term limits then we would have representatives that actually represent the people instead of themselves and their donors.

  • Hidan

    Meagan McCain calls for people to come together than tells others to vote for Romney whose goal is to divide enough people to win. Michael Black felt like the Fox News Liberal (There mainly for show)

  • crtum

    Given the comment below the left is not ready to find common ground. Guess they missed the point

  • Isernia

    This program was totally LAME…as are the commentaries. Not up to the ON POINT standard. Give me more programs on bird and animal life as this one with McCain and Black was for the birds….pure personality promotion, NOT politics.

  • Jenn DeRose

    I was impressed by Meghan McCain’s candor, honesty, sharpness and wit. Don’t take any crap, you’re rad for a republican.
    I love you, Michael Ian Black. Your story on This American Life was incredible.

  • TJM

    Meghan McCain?  Are you kidding?  If you are going to stoop to giving her air time, why not make an “analyst” on the Friday news round-up.  Might as well go “all in.”  Whoever came up with the idea for this program should be reprogrammed.   

  • Pagassae

    There is hope for the McCain family after all.Now if John would just retire….it is past time to go, before he loses ALL of his dignity.

  • Dee

    Megan is wrong to defend the republicans in the GOP in the 
    GOP leadership who came to Washington in 2010 refusing to increase taxes on millionaires and billionaires ….

    Yet, they had no trouble opposing extending the payroll tax
    for struggling middle class Americans and unemployments benefits for laid off American workers.. Or indeed, agreeing 
    to cut off food Stamps to the poor and those struggling to 
    get by…They have shown no moral conscience…and have 
    left down Americans in great need….

    Little wonder people on the Left hate their guts today…

    I know my young adult children will never vote for them 
    And thus , they can expect to join the endanger species 
    list in the days ahead…

  • Chris

    Geez, Megan’s the only “political pundit” who doesn’t like answering questions at an interview.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ngermer Nick Germer

    This is a great example of “thousands hacking away at the branches of evil while one strikes at the root.  While I agree with their aspirations and efforts, this will not get far.  Politicians are still driven by money whether it be to appease a company, or to appease lobbiests.  I’m  a big supporter of Lawrence Lessig’s ideas on changing the way we vote in Congress and Senate.

  • Brian

    I don’t know much about Michael Ian Black’s politics. I do know that he is not funny, though. I know enough about Meghan McCain’s politics to conclude that she holds a set of incoherent beliefs that deserve to mocked and that are only given such a platform because she is the daughter of a high-profile politician. She is socially liberal, but Republican? This could make sense. There are plenty of Republicans of the libertarian stripe who are liberal on social issues. The problem with Meghan is that she openly admits that she knows nothing about economics. There is no foundation at all for her beliefs. She’s just a semi-attractive rich girl who couldn’t figure out what to do with her life so she decided to capitalize on Daddy’s political career. Her divergence from her father on some issues, I guess, is supposed to endow her with some legitimacy, but it doesn’t erase the fact that she is simply using the Republican brand to launch herself to political fame without spouting anything of substance.

    A cross-country tour with a liberal comedian only makes sense. Instead of having substantive discussions, why not squeeze out what’s left of our interest in the two opposing views inevitably leads to an optimal outcome format.

    • fascist america

       i like ur comment.  If she did say she knows nothing about economics, which i think must be true listening to her tone and speech, she contradicts herself–she says she is fiscally conservative, yet knows nothing about economics.  she is an idiot.  you cant be politically aware if you know nothing about economics.  Economics determines nearly everything–including human rights. She’s like um…so like, um smart and stuff…

  • Taguba

    Awful, self-indulgent, over-privileged fools. Tom, I felt your pain…

  • Paxtriot

    If I was set to inherit few hundred million, I would be Republican too !!! This is what it is all about folks, the inheritance tax (sold and packaged as the “death tax” by marketing experts paid by the corporate owner PACS behind the GOP). If people voted based on logic, 99% today would vote Democrat. But again, if people did things based on logic,  they would not eat McBurger Junk, or buy useless cr_p with 22% interest credit cards.

  • Nixjasr

    Please preserve the integrity of your show and refrain from giving these pretty young things even more airtime. It cheapens the legitimate work you do.

Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

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