Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chutzpah Squared

It has been many months since the maven has issued a chutzpah award. It is often difficult to find someone whose statements or positions are so outrageous and so full of gall that they merit the word chutzpah. But, the time has come for another award. Today the maven’s chutzpah award goes to (drum roll) Senator John McCain of Arizona.

So, you may ask, what has Senator McCain done to merit this highly prestigious award? Precious reader, John McCain has made himself the first presidential nominee in our nation’s history to run against the incumbent president of his own party. After trying to gain the Republican presidential nomination for at least ten years, when he finally achieved that prize John McCain suddenly became the Anti-Republican.

A Republican? Me? Oh no, I’m not a Republican. I’m a Maverick. I know the country is going down the tubes, but don’t blame me. I’m a Maverick, not a Republican. The economy sucks? Not my fault, I’m a Maverick, not a Republican. The world is facing a climate crisis worse than humans have ever known. But, that’s not my fault. I know that Bush and Cheney and the Republicans were fiddling while the earth’s temperature continued to rise. But that has nothing to do with me. I’m not a Republican, I’m a Maverick. While in control of the White House my party’s president added nearly five trillion dollars to the national debt. But I disagreed with that all along. I’m a Maverick.

Oh, I voted in agreement with President Bush 90% of the time. But, you gotta understand. After the way W whupped me in the 2000 race, I knew that to get the nomination next time I would have to appear to be even more Republican than Mr. Bush. But, when I voted to support President Bush, my fingers were crossed behind my back. I didn’t mean those votes. After all, I’m a Maverick, not a Republican.

But, you may ask, is McCain really the only candidate to run against his party’s incumbent president? What about John Adams in 1800? Didn’t he run against his own party? Sorry, reader, that was different. In 1800, it was Alexander Hamilton and his ultra-Federalists who campaigned against their party’s incumbent president, Adams. It wasn’t Adams running against his party. Well, what about Millard Filmore running in the 1856 election? Ex-president Filmore did run in the 1856 election, but not against the incumbent of his own party. In fact, the incumbent president, Franklin Pierce was not running for reelection. Okay, maven, what about Teddy Roosevelt in 1912? Now you’re getting close, reader. Teddy Roosevelt did seek to wrest the Republican nomination from his former protégé William Howard Taft. And when he couldn’t get the Republican nomination, TR did run for president as the nominee of the Progressive Party. But, he was not a Republican running against the incumbent president of his own party. No, John McCain is quite unique.

Even though he has been a Republican for his entire political career, this year John McCain has abandoned his own party. Even though he has been in the Senate for more than twenty years, John McCain wants us to believe that he never voted for anything that his party wanted; that he was always a Maverick. And for that Senator McCain deserves the maven’s chutzpah award. Congratulations, Senator.

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