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Every time I hear someone call McCain a "maverick" it makes my brain hurt. Not because I disagree with is policies (I do, but that's besides the point) but because I'm one of those annoying pedants that corrects everyone on what is or isn't "ironic" or "begging the question." I can't stand to see words and phrases used the wrong way. And defining McCain as a maverick is about as wrong as you can get.

J. J. Ramsey

Ah, yes, John McCain, "reformed" maverick. :)


To be fair, in 2000, the "Maverick" persona made at least as much sense as the "Outsider" one that George W. My-Dad-Was-President-Eight-Years-Ago Bush used.

But really, he's a "Maverick" in the same way Obama is a "Muslim".

Jim H

Don't feel too bad about buying his line in 2000. I actually voted for the guy in 2000 Texas primary. I was going to be equally happy with either Gore or Bradley, and living in Texas, I couldn't pass up a chance to vote against GWBull****.

His so-called "maverickiness" is every bit as bogus as you lay out. This week's "the dog ate my homework" excuse for skipping a debate is, frankly, amazing...


I'm ashamed to say that I bought this line myself, back in 2000 when McCain was running against G.W. Bush.

Don't feel bad. So did I.

I certainly wasn't planning to vote for him, but I thought, "If he gets the GOP nomination, we could do worse."

That's true, though, as far as I can tell. There were worse Republicans running for the nomination in 2008. And time has shown that Bush was even worse than most of us thought he would be. Might McCain be an even worse president? Let's hope we don't get the change to find out.

The Count

I'm getting the impression that what he means when he calls himself a maverick is that he ignores advice and happily jumps in the nearest pile of poo.

Frankly, that's the only way I can understand some of the stupid things he has said and done during this campaign. I have a hard time believing that he's actually been advised to say and do these things. He's convinced he's a maverick and so just pulls some moronic decision out of his ass; damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, urrah! By some ironic twist of fate, he's actually making GW look intelligent.

On the other hand, it's also quite possible that he's dumber than a bag of Palins. :)


And let's not forget Keating Five

Jon Berger

I don't think anyone is really signing on to the "maverick" thing any more. As you point out, it used to fit, but I don't think anyone on the left, or the leftish center, is saying "we could do worse" any more. That pretty much stopped about a year and a half ago when he started sucking up to the religious right. As far as I can tell right now, the word "maverick" mostly comes up in conversations about how he isn't one. The big thing he has going for him these days is that he's white, he's got a MILFy running mate who knows what it's like to be a mom, and he's said what you want to hear at some point, either right before or right after he's said the exact opposite.

Greta Christina
I don't think anyone is really signing on to the "maverick" thing any more.

I really, really wish that were true. But the reason I decided to write this piece is that Ingrid and I got into an election discussion with a woman at the airport when we were coming back from Santa Fe (the Sarah Palin nomination had just happened, and it was all over the news). And she totally used the "maverick" line.

She was wavering between McCain and Obama, but she was concerned that Obama might be too dedicated a Democrat, and she though McCain was a maverick who thought for himself and wasn't beholden to anyone. Pleah.

True, one woman at the airport doth not a statistical sampling make. But I also think that the chances are pretty slim of a random stranger being the one person left in America who still thinks McCain is a maverick. I think the trope is dying, but I think it still has life -- and I want to do what I can to pound out whatever life it has left.

...and he's said what you want to hear at some point, either right before or right after he's said the exact opposite.

Seriously. It's one of the reasons I bailed on doing a "why I oppose his policies" section (apart from the fact that the piece was already too long and I'd already spent all day on it). I don't even know what his frakking policies are anymore.

Fox Maverick

Barack Obama's successful election to the presidency simply highlights how we hate liars.

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