Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 8, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN MAVERICKINESS WATCH....Is John McCain really a maverick? His home state newspaper investigates the cases where his vote actually made a difference:

Over the years, Sen. John McCain has publicly condemned Republican Party leaders and occasionally voted against the GOP on selected issues. But an Arizona Republic analysis of his Senate votes on the most divided issues in the past decade shows that McCain almost never thwarted his party's objectives.

....During the 10 years The Republic examined, McCain crossed over to vote with Democrats 19 times in 82 close votes. He did so just once in the four years he was running for president: 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2008.

What this really reveals isn't so much McCain's principles, conservative or otherwise, as his lack of them. During the six years he wasn't running for president, McCain publicly and gaudily promoted his maverick credentials by voting against his party 18 times. But in the four years he was running for president, Mr. Straight Talk suddenly became Mr. Straight Ticket, voting against the GOP only once.

Conclusion: he'll do whatever it takes to get your vote. During off years he pimps for the independent vote and during election years he pimps for the conservative vote. Sure, it's craven, but it's a nice gig if you can get away with it.

Via Steven Benen, who has more.

Kevin Drum 12:29 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

Okay, but in "election years" how often do really controversial issues come up for vote?

Prior to pointing a stick Kevin, wouldn't it be worth it to at least investigate how many controversial senate votes there were in 99, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Not that I like McCain, just prefer to see a more solid basis for the accusation.

Posted by: optical weenie on May 8, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Prior to pointing a stick Kevin, wouldn't it be worth it to at least investigate how many controversial senate votes there were in 99, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

I've gotta agree - that would make for a more meaningful observation.

Posted by: phleabo on May 8, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, I still don't know what I like better about McCain, his mavericky straight-talking, or his straight-talking maverickness!

It makes me all gooshy inside.

Posted by: on May 8, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

There was nothing so vulgar in your post that required anonymity.

Posted by: absent observer on May 8, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Some people are just shy, ao.

But darn! I've already sent out the artwork for the McCain Idiocy Watches, and Kevin goes and changes the brand on me.

Posted by: thersites on May 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

McCain may be 72 in human years, but he's only 18 in election years.

Posted by: anandine on May 8, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

But I want to drink a beer with him. He makes me feel like a man. I don't want to drink beer with no sissy.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on May 8, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Um, actually, my browser won't remember personal info, and I just forgot to fill it in.

"I, myself, cannot draw hands."

Posted by: bleh on May 8, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Another important measuring stick is the margin in the votes where he "went maverick" and voted against his party. I would be shocked if in any, he cast the deciding vote. When you are assured of the outcome, it's easy to play maverick and vote against your party when you know your vote doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on May 8, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Now, that makes him different from Hillary how exactly?

Posted by: observer on May 8, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

I know Maverick. I've watched Maverick - in black and white.

You, sir, are no maverick!

Observer,

How does the "Straight Talking Maverick (tm)" McSame differ from the "Straight talking Maverick (tm)" Hillary?

Now that you mention it there is no difference. Nope. None at all. Same nickname, same schtick, same handling by the press.

Posted by: Tripp on May 8, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

As long as McCain pimps as a conservative during his four/eight years as President, that is all I ask for.
I hopes he pimps big time during his judicial appointments.
http://caseybrownmyers.blogspot.com

Posted by: Casey Brown-Myers on May 8, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Lack of principles, ha. Might as well have Robert Mugabe as any of the three. All are corrupt and unpatriotic on illegal aliens. Obama is so eager to brown America, one wonders whether there might not be a bit of racism there on top of the corruption.

Posted by: Luther on May 8, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

When is Harry Reid going to put McCain's feet to the fire and make him vote on some politically tricky issues?

I fondly remember when Daschle did this to Dole in 96 and basically forced Dole to resign from the Senate.

As I recall, Dole complained to Daschle about it. And Daschle replied: "Welcome to the United States Senate."

More like that, please.

Posted by: some dude on May 8, 2008 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Considering that Obama almost never votes against his own party yet claims to be bipartisan, I'm not sure this is a particularly useful line of attack for Democrats.

One could ask whether Obama has principles, or whether he asks Harry Reid how he is supposed to vote.

Posted by: ADam Herman on May 9, 2008 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

some dude, that sounds like a great strategy (with the qualifier that Obama is a senator too, though he doesn't try to duck as many votes as McCain). But how did Daschle "basically force" the issue on Dole?

Posted by: Crust on May 9, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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