Where Has Our Favorite Maverick Gone?

A John McCain fan laments the senator's new 'reflexive opposition'
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2010 8:19 AM CST
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, looks on as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, to discuss the introduction of legislation...   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
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(Newser) – Narry a whimper when the Supreme Court gutted the campaign finance laws he vowed to fight for "until I draw my last breath." No support for a bipartisan commission on the national debt that he had sponsored. Hectoring an admiral who supports the end of "don't ask, don't tell," after he had vowed to follow the military leadership's judgment on the issue. The list goes on, as a diehard John McCain fan laments the utter disappearance of the maverick senator he's admired since back in 1999.

On one issue after another McCain has swung to "reflexive opposition, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. Presumably he's trying to protect his right flank from the birther radio host who's challenging him in the primary. But Milbank notes that McCain's mentor, Barry Goldwater, became more idiosyncratic late in life, denouncing the religious right and supporting gay rights, and he holds out hope that McCain the iconoclast might still reappear before he draws that last breath.

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