Immigration

Could This Be the Maverick at Last?

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The editor of ESPN Los Angeles used to have one of these babies back in high school, sans rally stripes

Wow, they still write articles like this:

It has been a very strange season in the political career of John McCain. The former maverick who once fought his own party on everything from tax cuts to torture, who built a reputation as a prickly independent, now marches in lockstep with his party, from his objection to Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court appointment to his support of a draconian new immigration law in Arizona that would have repulsed him three years ago. When Newsweek asked him whether a maverick would take such positions, he responded that he'd never considered himself a maverick. It all seemed to defy logic.

The New York magazine piece is actually better than that excerpt would suggest, full of telling little bits of detail, such as:

When Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's old seat and agreed to campaign for McCain in Arizona, McCain could hardly believe he needed a political neophyte from the Northeast to help him draw crowds in his own state, especially one who had declined McCain's invitation to campaign for him in Massachusetts (fearing McCain's Establishment taint). After a rally at Grand Canyon University, McCain was annoyed when Brown tried giving him campaign advice while they drove in a car together. Three nights later, Brown and McCain were scheduled to have dinner, but McCain canceled.

Salter sure has a lot of close friends who have the opposite impression of his impression of McCain than the impression given by his direct quotes on the matter in this magazine feature!

Ultimately, we are led down the well-trod path of McCain at war with himself, with political advisers serving as stand-ins for his conflicting personality traits, and the biggest bouquet of all landing at the feet of longtime McCain speechwriter and co-author Mark Salter–"an Iowa native with the brooding mien of a black-Irish poet and an abiding love for tragic literary heroes"–whose alienation from McCain's inner circle is the operating metaphor for a Maverick gone astray. And the piece seconds what The New York Times Magazine nominated earlier this month: Our favorite new Republican who trash-talks his party base while colluding with the administration maverick is McCain's old pal Lindsey Graham.

My Reason cover story and book on the topic.

NEXT: The Trial of John Stagliano

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  1. The car, or the goatee?

  2. Could This Be the Maverick at Last?

  3. So McCain is a “maverick” as long as he votes with the Democrats, and is “betraying himself” when he votes with his own party.

    1. He’s betraying what he sold himself as anyway.

  4. If it were about being an “outsider” Alvin Greene would be leading Jim DeMint. He’s as outside as it gets.

    This election is about minarchism. The average citizen has woken up and realized half our politicians are in bed with the public sector unions’ insatiable appetite for tax dollars, and are bankrupting the country.

    1. Half? I’d say 4/5ths.

  5. Is he being challenged for his Senate seat, and if so is it possible he could lose it? I would be delighted if he lost it to one of those damned fiscal conservative Tea Partiers.

    1. He’s being challenged, but by JD Hayworth, who is (also) a loud mouthed buffoon and someone who voted for every single idiotic spending program during the Bush Administration as a loyal Republican Congressman.

      McCain has a lot of goofy things, but he is pretty fiscally conservative. Of course, voting against the farm bill every time, ethanol subsidies, etc. and being free trade aren’t issues that move people the way that TARP did.

  6. Barfman, we need you!

  7. The Maverick was a good looking car. A piece of shit, but a dsamned good looking one.

  8. And the piece seconds what The New York Times Magazine nominated earlier this month: Our favorite new Republican who trash-talks his party base while colluding with the administration maverick is McCain’s old pal Lindsey Graham.

    While I was working for the Hawaii State Senate a few years back, Lindsay Graham showed up and talked with the minority caucus and the staff, and I was listening to him blather on about his support for bad, big government ideas and I was thinking “this fucking statist is the poster boy for what is wrong with the Republican party”.

  9. James Garner was the only true Maverick.

    1. That’s for damned sure.

    2. Fuck you, Shylock!

  10. I kills me when people say that McCain has changed positions! He has not changed his core values, not once. John McCain has been incredibly consistent throughout his career as a politician. He has regularly, and consistently supported himself being in office. It is his core value, and he has not strayed from that path.

  11. “…to his support of a draconian new immigration law in Arizona…”

    Not to defend McCain, the man is a HUGE tool. But enforcing Federal Immigration law is now considered draconian? Silly me, I was under the impression that open borders + welafare state = bankruptcy and third world status.

    1. Silly me, I was under the impression that open borders + welafare [sic] state = bankruptcy and third world status.

      Mexicans come here to work. That’s why the have the highest workforce participation rate of all races and ethnic groups with ~94% of Mexican adults in the US working.

      If you really want immigrants to leave, the best way is to destroy your economy so that the staying home is more attractive. Arizona’s SB 1070 is an excellent way of transforming Arizona into a Third World country. Instead of your food being picked and packed by Mexicans in the US then marketed and shipped by American companies, it’s going to be picked and packed by Mexicans in Mexico then marketed and shipped by Mexican companies.

      1. Oh for fuck’s get real.

        1. sake

          whatever

  12. When Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s old seat and agreed to campaign for McCain in Arizona, McCain could hardly believe he needed a political neophyte from the Northeast to help him draw crowds in his own state, especially one who had declined McCain’s invitation to campaign for him in Massachusetts (fearing McCain’s Establishment taint).

    When it comes to establishment taint, I know whose I prefer.

  13. this is definitely the worst article i have ever read on Reason.

  14. Matt, you have the same alt-text for both pictures.

  15. Believe it or not, I’m going to vote for JD Hayworth. I don’t like him but his name isn’t spelled McCain, which is his major selling point for me.

  16. Anyone who votes for JD is making a horrible, horrible decision. While McCain may move in his strengths, he at least has them. JD has a history that is far less conservative then McCain. JD talks a big game, has been known as the biggest blowhard in Congress, has also been titled the dumbest member in Congress. JD has zero intelligence and will say what he thinks we want to hear and then apologize when we find out that he is a hypocrite. If you say you are a fiscal conservative, like he does, then do not do an infomercial scam advertising free government money, do not participate in pork barrel spending, do not participate in earmarks. JD has time and time angered me, MORE then McCain has.

  17. I love how you base it on the decision to back a “Draconian law”. 82% of Arizona citizens are behind it because it’s the best thing for this state. John McCain is behind it b/c it’s the best thing for this state. All of this Draconian crap is political grand standing at best by a liberal media and white house who see votes in ths end. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO A COUNTRY OF THE PEOPLE? The People want something done about illegal immigrants usurping our country and stealing our jobs.
    Jobs I said it people not fruit picking Jobs! Plumbers, construction workers, landscapers and many more skilled labor postions are either taken by illegals or they lead to a tax paying owner of a business going out of business.
    John McCain is sick of it and so are the people of Arizona so we will borrow Texas mentaltiy and do it ourselves.

  18. A vote for JD is a Vote against Arizona. THis guy is bad news.

  19. I support 1070 and I support John McCain.

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