Today’s Los Angeles Times (12/7/09) gives us a story headlined “The Fight’s Back in John McCain.” In the subhead we learn that McCain is “Bipartisan No More, Especially on Healthcare.”
The Timestells us that “the Mac is back” because he’s sounding an awful lot like a Republican politician: “Gone is the maverick bridge-builder who bucked his party on high-voltage issues such as immigration, climate change and campaign finance reform.”
The paper explains that “some Democrats see McCain turning more partisan because of bitterness at his 2008 defeat, but his friends say the increasingly polarized political environment makes it harder for anyone to cross party lines.”
An easier explanation comes from neither unnamed Democrats nor McCain’s friends: John McCain’s voting record, which has been long been solidly conservative, despite the media’s long-standing crush on their favorite “maverick.” In short, McCain is being McCain–a conservative Republican.Sometimes a journalist notices this and wonders what happened to their beloved maverickJohn McCain, or they take a few rather trivial anecdotes (as the Washington Post didearly this year) and salute the Return of the Maverick. It’d be less confusing if the media hadn’t created the myth in the first place.