The L.A. Times publishes a “McCain isn’t really a maverick” article.
The article lists six ways that McCain has defied the Republican party, and no examples of Obama standing up to Democrats. Given this data, there is really only one obvious conclusion: McCain might not really be a maverick! This obvious conclusion is set forth in the deck headline: “McCain defends his outsider image after having embraced GOP dogma for the primary.”
Sure, the article acknowledges that McCain has bucked his party on:
- global warming
- campaign finance reform
- early Iraq strategy
- pork-barrel spending by Republicans
- pursuing Jack Abramoff
- the Gang of 14
And sure, the article doesn’t name one single solitary major issue where Obama has taken on his party.
Still, the article is determined to portray McCain as someone who has flip-flopped his way into the good graces of his party. And so, despite McCain’s documented bucking of his party in the above numerous areas, we’re treated to repetitions of two themes: 1) McCain now supports Bush’s tax cuts, and 2) McCain has made up with religious leaders:
To win the GOP primary this year, McCain embraced party dogma in ways big and small, from switching his opposition to President Bush’s tax cuts, which he had criticized as skewed to the rich, to making amends with religious leaders he once denounced as “agents of intolerance.
As further evidence that McCain is not a maverick, the article notes that 1) McCain has switched his opposition to Bush’s tax cuts, and 2) McCain has made amends with religious leaders:
But McCain’s positioning for the 2008 race undercut that firebrand image. He now supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He has vowed to appoint conservative judges. And he gave the commencement speech at Falwell’s college, Liberty University. “I do not believe in holding grudges in life or in politics,” McCain said at the time.
“Around 2005 or so, he realized he was running for president and he made a calculated decision . . . he was going to do whatever was necessary to win this office,” said Matt Welch, editor in chief of Reason magazine, whose book “McCain” is subtitled “The Myth of a Maverick.”
Vowing to appoint conservative judges is hardly a huge spin-around for a guy who voted for Alito and Roberts. So we’re left with — do I have to number them again? I think I do! — 1) McCain supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and 2) McCain has made up with religious leaders.
Look, there’s a case to be made that McCain is willing to sacrifice principle for personal ambition. As Matt Welch points out, he’s done it before and he’s admitted doing it before, many times.
But I find it remarkable that an article can document six ways that this man has indeed bucked the Republican party line, and zero ways in which Obama has bucked the Democrat party line, and have the resultant spin be: wow, John McCain may not really be a maverick!