The Maverick Narrative

by drrafael

If you want to look at the power of political narratives, you need to look at this post from The Fix:

McCain the maverick (again)

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s floor speech on Wednesday denouncing the negotiating tactics of some tea party-aligned members of Congress raises the question as to whether the famed maverick is back to his old tricks.

McCain derided the idea — pushed by some tea party-affiliated members like Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)— that raising the debt ceiling should be tied to adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a proposal that lacks majority support in the Senate. (McCain supports the idea.)

He called such an argument “foolish” and bizarro”, adding that to portray the balanced budget amendment as a possibility amounted to “deceiving many of our constituents.” He also quoted extensively from aWall Street Journal op-ed that compared tea partiers to “hobbits”.

How the push back against the tea party contingent from the GOP establishment can be deemed ‘maverick’ is absurd. Senator McCain is voicing the establishment, there is nothing maverick about it. Furthermore, the maverick sheen is long evaporated since the 2008 election where maverick became synonymous with rashness and pandering.  Or his recent senate race where any policy approaching maverick ,a  strictly relative concept as it relies on variance from the republican orthodoxy, was jettisoned to garner the tea party votes so dissatisfied with his maverickness.

Do words have meaning any more or is simply calling something a ‘duck’ make it a duck? Or, more aptly, calling something a ‘maverick’ make it a maverick. Or a ‘hobbit’, a hobbit.