John McCain Needs To Get In Touch With His Inner Maverick

The man started bothering me way back in the day with his Maverickness schtick that I felt was a load of B.S. Doesn’t a maverick carry a weapon–not necessarily to commit acts of aggression, but to at least defend himself in a gunfight?

Metaphorically, the presidential race demonstrates a man or woman’s ease in relentlessly challenging situations. It’s a fight, of sorts, not a real one, in the sense that there are huge global stakes, but there are personal ones that reflect how the candidate will defend the country and present the country to the world and to itself.

Am I making sense here? People watching the contenders campaign make judgments about the candidate’s ability to make decisions for the country both within and without based on how the candidate makes decisions for himself. It’s really all we have to go on with Obama since he has no record. McCain’s record is troubling to conservatives because of the decisions he’s made, in some respects. In others, conservatives have more confidence.

Being a Senator is not being President, though. It takes a whole different skill set to succeed. And McCain repeatedly misses where he should hit. He is not being Mavericky at all. He’s not going on the offensive. And he’s not going on the defensive either. Does the man even carry a weapon? He seems to be the pacifistic presidential candidate, afraid to wield even a cutting phrase for fear he’ll be viewed as mean or aggressive. His pacifism calls into question his will to win. When G.W. bested McCain in the Carolinas in the last election he ran in, there was no question in my mind: George W. Bush wanted it more. And he got it. McCain was bitter, but had no right to be. Presidential elections are brutal for a reason–they portend and merely hint at the brutality that is being the United States president.

Does one question whether Barack Obama wants the throne, for that is surely how he views it? For that matter, does one question whether Hillary Clinton wants it? In both cases, these candidates go to the other extreme–I’m pretty sure the devil has a couple extra souls at his disposal. Still, there is no doubt that they want it.

John McCain’s softness (and the irony is not lost on me) is absolutely frustrating given the last eight years of excessive Presidential oratorical restraint. The Republicans need a leader who can articulate what we feel: love for country, desire for small government, a kick-ass military who is freed to get the job done, solid infrastructure and the notion that America is great and strong. The Anchoress synthesizes the irritation:

Meanwhile…would someone kick McCain in the ass and tell him that he’s being served one softball after another by Obama and the single-digit approved Congress, and he’s letting them all sail over the plate?

Egad, what an election! What candidates!

No kidding! This election is excruciating on so many levels. Watching a moderate refuse to fight against a liberal who flails around like a blind boxer makes for an irritating spectacle. John McCain needs to get in touch with his inner Maverick and while he’s at it, put the ammunition that is lying around in the proverbial gun and start some slinging.

John McCain is in a Presidential election. It’s a messy business and there is a purpose for it. Voters get to see what the candidates are made of. No wonder Republicans are so demoralized.

Cross-posted at

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