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Posted by on Jan 23, 2009 in Politics | 7 comments

He’s Mavericky Once Again


This does my heart good:

A joke made its way around the Capitol yesterday: How do you know the 2008 election is really over? Because John McCain is causing trouble for Republicans again.

Two and a half months removed from his defeat in the race for the presidency, colleagues say, McCain bears more resemblance to the unpredictable and frequently bipartisan colleague they have served with for decades than the man who ran an often scathing campaign against Barack Obama. In some instances, he’s even carrying water for his former rival.

“Mac is back!” one of his devoted friends in the Senate declared as McCain walked into the chamber Wednesday to deliver his first speech of the 111th Congress: a blunt admonishment of Republicans delaying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s confirmation as secretary of state.

This is the McCain I’ve long admired. And it reminds me that the McCain we saw during the 2008 election was one that had to submit to the narrow ideology of the ruling GOP.

Now that he’s done with all that, he can go back to being himself again and stickin’ it to the far right.

Though one has to wonder: what would have happened if McCain was allowed to be McCain during the election? What would have happened?

But maybe the more pressing question is why the GOP has fashioned itself into a party that has become so afraid of any other flavor of conservatism that it forces people, even the irascible McCain, to conformity.

Cross-posted at NeoMugwump

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • MJDaniels53

    The thing that future historians will ponder, I think, is why McCain squandered the one attribute that gave him a slim chance of election–his reputation for fair-mindedness and willingness to work with Democrats in spite of his clearly conservative voting record–to run a cookie-cutter partisan campaign, the kind designed to appeal to and energize his party’s base in a year when even the base was pared down in the face of economic woes. There was no way that the conservative base of the party was going to be sufficient this past year to win. Ignoring that was a major misstep, one that a politician of McCain’s experience should have clearly seen to avoid.

    Good post.

  • superdestroyer

    On the other hand, this shows why conservatives were correct to stay home instead of support McCain when he would have almost immediately have stabbed them in the back. If people wonder why some conservatives have litmus tests, McCain is the perfect example. He will stab conservatives in the back given the chance but will jump anytime the Democrats told him to jump.

    McCain was totally unfit to be president and this is just a continuation of situations demonstrating that.

  • CStanley

    Though one has to wonder: what would have happened if McCain was allowed to be McCain during the election? What would have happened?

    A landslide that would have made the Dukakis loss look somewhat close.

    If McCain had been more ‘mavericky’ during the campaign, do you really think it would have changed the moderate Republicans’ minds about going gaga for Obama? All it would have done would have been to reduce the tepid amount of support he got from the conservative base.

    There were a lot of missteps in his campaign for sure, but no Republican really stood a chance.

  • rudi

    Cs McCain didn’t lose the white male southern vote(NASCAR), he lost the soccer moms and Reagan Democrats. Colin Powell says his party must become more “mavericky”.

  • CStanley

    Um, that’s kind of my point, Rudi. Those soccer moms and Reagan Democrats weren’t going to vote GOP even if McCain had thumbed his nose at the conservative establishment- but the ‘white male southerners’ wouldn’t have held their nose to vote for McCain if he’d have done so. The loss would have been monumental in proportion.

  • rudi

    Why wouldn’t the Reagan Democrats and soccer moms have voted for the bipartisan McCain versus the Palin/McCain? Those voters went for W in 2004.

  • CStanley

    Did they go for W because he was bipartisan? When you analyze a group of swing voters, you have to have some idea of why they vote one way or another, and I’d say most certainly that those groups weren’t searching for a maverick Republican. They are conservative on some issues and the soccer moms probably went for W because of national security, for instance- so in what way would McCain have won them over by being less aligned with the GOP?

    Besides, you can’t discount the ‘Oprah effect’ with that group. I’m not saying that they went for Obama because of her endorsement specifically, but they likes the things that Oprah likes.

    All I’m saying is that I see very little upside for McCain to have been more of a contrarian, and a lot of downside. He risked losing his already squishy base support and gaining very little at all, especially after Obamamania took hold. I think this is either a fantasy or excuse by moderate bloggers, to say, “If only the McCain of 2000 had run, I could have supported him” when actually many of them would have chosen Obama over McCain (mainly, I think, because they need to prove to their left leaning cohorts that they really do reject Bush and the current GOP.)

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