Sarah Palin has been ignoring the McCain campaign’s orders and just kind of running her own (even sloppier) campaign. Apparently she values the advice of a View host over that of her campaign’s managers. What a maverick of the maverick.
I think there comes a point when you can’t keep using that word to dismiss everything. McCain and Palin disagree over key policy points? It’s because they’re mavericks. They’re down in the polls? The media doesn’t like mavericky Washington outsiders. She doesn’t want to answer questions in a debate? She doesn’t have to, she’s a maverick!
Ultimately, it’s just a dodge. McCain and Palin disagree because they’re mavericks–okay, but the question was about how you would resolve differences in a McCain-Palin administration, not about why you disagree. They’re down because they’re outsiders? An absurd claim whose purpose is to redirect the topic from a perceived weakness to a perceived strength. And avoiding questions in a debate is sleazy, no matter how you rationalize it; to pretend it’s a good thing is even sketchier.
Being a self-described maverick is not a blank check. It doesn’t mean you can get away with anything. The Republican legislature found she unlawfully abused her power, and not because she was a maverick. She thinks the War in Iraq is a “task from God”, and not because she’s a maverick. Alaska’s proximity to Russia is no more relevant no matter how much of a maverick she is. The same rules apply to her as to anyone else.
And now that there is serious tension between McCain and Palin, we must not delude ourselves that it is because they are mavericks. That’s not why she’s fighting with him. It’s because she’s an opportunist, and always has been. It’s what her record shows, it’s what her rhetoric indicates.
Sarah Palin is not a maverick: she is a candidate in 2012.