"Maverick": You keep using that word...

First, there's the headline of Dan Balz's analysis in the Washington Post:

With Pick, McCain Reclaims His Maverick Image
Then, there's the final point in Politico's discussion of what the Palin pick says about McCain:
6. At the end of the day, McCain is still McCain. People may find him a refreshing maverick, or an erratic egotist.
Both statements beg the question: Has the Republic of Media abandoned all use of dictionary definitions for words? My dictionary defines a maverick as: "an unorthodox or independent-minded person". So, by this definition, McCain picking Sarah Palin as his VP would indicate that he didn't care what anyone thought--he really wants Sarah Palin to be his VP; this person is the best person for this job and John McCain was going to have her...By gum!

But is that what McCain's choice of Palin actually indicates?

According to that same Washington Post "analysis", the choice of Sarah Palin indicates:
McCain's campaign has exuded confidence of late after a month in which it pounded Obama as an elitist and a lightweight celebrity. But the choice of Palin hints at the underlying anxiety within its inner circle that the fundamentals of this election year still favor Obama and the Democrats. McCain was looking for ways to counter the Democrats' argument that he is merely an extension of President Bush and concluded that he needed a game-changing decision, with all the risks that entailed.

He had safer and more conventional options, although those perhaps became less attractive as he watched the Democrats celebrate Obama's historic nomination in Denver.

Wow! Making decisions out of anxiety and fear. How very Mavericky!

And then, there's the previous five (5) of Politico's six points about what this choice means:
1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters — and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years.
2. He’s willing to gamble — bigtime. Let’s face it: This is not the pick of a self-confident candidate. It is the political equivalent of a trick play or, as some Democrats called it, a Hail Mary pass in football.
3. He’s worried about the political implications of his age. Like a driver overcorrecting out of a swerve, he chooses someone who is two years younger than the youthful Obama, and 28 years younger than he is. (He turned 72 Friday.) The father-daughter comparison was inevitable when they appeared next to each other.
4. He’s not worried about the actuarial implications of his age. He thinks he’s in fine fettle, and Palin wouldn’t be performing the only constitutional duty of a vice president, which is standing by in case a president dies or becomes incapacitated. If he was really concerned about an inexperienced person sitting in the Oval Office we would be writing about vice presidential nominee Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge or Condoleezza Rice.
5. He’s worried about his conservative base. If he had room to maneuver, there were lots of people McCain could have selected who would have represented a break from Washington politics as usual. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman comes to mind (and it certainly came to McCain’s throughout the process). He had no such room. GOP stalwarts were furious over trial balloons about the possibility of choosing a supporter of abortion rights, including the possibility that he would reach out to his friend...
So, let's sum up. McCain makes a desperate, politically-motivated Vice-Presidential choice (someone who he's met once) dictated to him by the Rapture Right and his extreme desire to sleep in the White House at night, and that all adds up to McCain being a Maverick?

If being a maverick means making irrational decisions based on fear, putting politics above governing, having a deep disregard for the intelligence of the average voter, and pandering to the most acrimonious elements of his base, then it seems that George W Bush is quite the Maverick.

Or, in the words of the venerable Inigo Montoya, Maverick:

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I don't know about you, but I'm headed for the Cliffs of Insanity as we speak.

UPDATE: Samantha Bee is in the hizzouse:

It's hard to tell if Jon Stewart's sexist jokes are intended to make fun of sexist men or not, but Samantha Bee is hilarious!

UPDATE 2: Nate Silver notes that, apparently, the ladies are none too fond of the Rapture Right agenda: Women View Palin More Skeptically than Men. Who'da thunk it? As someone who has never understood why a woman would choose to be voted into third-class status behind the man and the fetus, I'm going to have to agree.

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Nothing New byslag at 10:49 AM

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