John McCain: The Maverick That Never Was

Posted on July 25, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

After burning through all but 2 million of 22 million dollars raised and the culmination of a failed campaign with the public guillotining of the longtime senior campaign managers and fifty staffers, the political obituary has been written for the once-heralded media darling. In the past week, the media has attempted to retrace the dance steps it took in 2000 with the upstart Senator branded as the brazenly honest maverick. From Salon to the Washington Post, the question posed is what caused the derailment of the famed Straight Talk Express and the once certain McCain presidential bid?

McCain entered the 2000 Republican nomination process as a fresh face championing a noteworthy cause, but quickly became fodder for the Bush election team. Cornered in South Carolina, McCain quickly flip-flopped on the Confederate Flag issue while Bush’s force made dubious push polls asking primary voters if they would still support McCain if he had an illegitimate black child (his family adopted a daughter from Bangladesh). He got caught putting lip stick on the pig as media driven arguments with Falwell and Robinson escalated and as Bush openly questioned McCain’s service to his country. The latter was the most anathema of tactics considering McCain’s stay at the Hanoi Hilton while Bush went AWOL after learning to fly antiquated planes. McCain, hobbled by a ruthless Bush campaign speared by Rove, saw the nomination elude him to the Bush’s tactic of appealing to the Republican base.

mccain hugs bushThus began the predicament with the myth of McCain as he began to serve out 8 years of Congressional purgatory, desperately retooling himself into his own image of a Republican that could be certified by the Right. The separation between McCain’s maneuvering and the media-induced perception of his views as populist and flying in the face of conventional Beltway inertia became evident. It is here that the essential question should be asked: Was McCain a veritable political maverick or was his highly regarded political independence a victim of his failed 2000 bid?

The legend was largely built on his repeated attempts to curb lobbyist influence with his cosponsorship of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill. Not only impassable in Congress, the bill would have met a judicial doom in the pre-Roberts Supreme Court (and a more certain doom in the current court). Simply stated, cash would have been regarded by the court as freedom of speech, neutering the majority of the bills provisions. Regardless of this reality, McCain’s background in the subject is a suspicious one, considering his run in with corruption that led him to be rebuked by the Ethics Committee for his role in the Keating Five.

Yet the past eight years have otherwise been an effort in self-reform towards towing the party line. Apart from opposing the Marriage Constitutional Amendment (largely due to the personal influence of a gay staffer), McCain enjoys an 82 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, a 100 percent rating from the CATO Institute, and the third most conservative voting record in the 109th Congress. He has been the second most public bull behind the President on Iraq and immigration reform, a choice of death with the wider electorate for the former position and a certain lynching from the Right for the latter. On the Bush tax breaks, McCain initially opposed the 11 year, $350 billion dollar cuts, only to capitulate to the Bush fold in exchange for an all too public embrace. The maverick image is and always has been a hollow one — the Straight Talk Express seemed like a simple one-issue ploy while McCain harvested politics on the far right. As the cracks in the image were reported, McCain turned into a cantankerous geriatric, perpetually angry at the same media establishment that launched him in 2000.

For many, the past eight years have been a disheartening display of McCain’s willingness to sacrifice his credentials in order to please the Republican elite. The edge that McCain once brought – a willingness to take on corporate corruption, lobbyist influence, and the charlatans of the Evangelical movement — has been dulled by a complacency in being a Bush sycophant, willing to suck down the fumes from a disastrous war, an exceedingly unpopular immigration policy, and economically hobbling tax cuts while Bush speeds away from Pennsylvania Avenue. In essence, the media darling turned into another Bush crony, willing to stoop to new and unnecessary lows in a vain attempt to jockey to be the next Commander in Chief. The McCain implosion is one of his own doing, the consequence of doing business in Washington and misreading the Bush orthodoxy as the key to the White House.

<a href=”http://www.prosebeforehos.com/government_employee/07/12/the-maverick-that-never-was/”>Originally on PBH.</a>

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Happy Memorial Day

Posted on May 30, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |



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Posted on May 4, 2007. Filed under: blogosphere, prose before hos, Uncategorized |

Not really, but almost. ProseBeforeHos is doing strong — we’re over 1000 posts, a lot of frequent visitors, and plenty of controversy. We were featured on Wonkette for our reporting on the media’s coverage of the 33 people who died at Virginia Tech and the 33 that died in Iraq on the same day, Crooks & Liars for our take on Rush Limbaugh’s racism, and constantly do well on Reddit. Considering how much effort we’ve put into the site, it’s nice to see some returns (especially when we’ve been blogging for roughly two years!).

In more news, I made my first post on PeaceTree entitled SOLILOQUY FROM ANONYMOUS MIDDLE AMERICAN, which sparked an interesting controversy with the individuals at Liberally Mirth that climaxed in an argument on our site. Else than that, it’s been work work work with a douse of playing and other various things. I’ll try to have update this more regularly but I’m pretty consumed with the other various elements of the BLOGOSPHERE! Until later….

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Tasty good news

Posted on April 5, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Tasty good news from yours truly: I got into University of London School of Oriental & African Studies. I am off to London this week to visit, party, and learn a thing or two. I am on a week blog hiatus.

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Good news, bad news

Posted on February 8, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Good news:

I’ve been working diligently on ProseBeforeHos and SexyAndDisgraceful.  There are some really funny new posts.  Hopefully it will keep getting better.

Bad News: I have been ignoring this blog.  Try Alec on PBH for  your fill of this.

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Other sites

Posted on November 15, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

More more more other sites… including A Betting Man, chronicling my failures to uh… make money betting. 😦

PBH and S&D are still up, so go to them as well!

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This meaans war!!!!!!!!!

Posted on September 19, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Jesus Camp.

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Posted on September 12, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I write for PBH, Sexy & Disgraceful, Publius Pundit, and Ablogistan! You should check them out, if you are nice.

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Posted on August 15, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I am trying to put up a new blog for Sexy & Disgraceful, update PBH‘s wordpress, and put up a blog for my non-profit! This is too much for me in one day.

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