He's the maverick!

>> Monday, October 06, 2008

Well, this is pretty funny: John Schwartz of The New York Times decided to follow up on Senator John McCain's "maverick" label (used by Governor Sarah Palin as her "when in doubt always choose 'C'" option during her SATs the Vice-Presidential debate) by actually asking a real Maverick for her opinion.

It seems Ms. Terrellita Maverick of San Antonio doesn't like it. Thinks it's a bit of an insult to her family honor.

See, you really do learn something new every day. I always sort of assumed "maverick" was a word word, something borrowed from Spanish or French or rooted in Ye Olde English. But no, it turns out it's a family name. Seems it became attached to something at odds with the crowd when a Texan, Samuel Augustus Maverick, became known for not branding his cattle, leading to the cows being dubbed "mavericks." And while this account certainly sounded like bullshit when I read it in the Times, several dictionary etymologies back it up.

Well, damn.

So, here's the funny part: all the Mavericks, it appears, are flaming liberals.

Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, 'Oh, my God, he said it again.'”

“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

Snort. Okay, so the Mavericks--the real Mavericks--don't own the word, and I guess Governor Palin can call the Senator whatever she wants; still. I love the irony, is all. (Not to mention I love the fact the real live Mavericks coined the word "gobbledygook" and have several generations of service in as civil libertarians and gadflies. I'd be a maverick any day.)

I have high hopes for the McCain campaign, I do: at some point, the McCain campaign will steal a song, slogan or catchphrase that doesn't piss off the original author or owner. It's the law of averages. Keep going, McCain campaign! You can do it! You'll come up with something that works! Maybe even by November, even!


Nathan Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 8:17:00 AM EDT  

I love this and I had no idea. So much for thinking I've got a clue when it comes to etymology.

vince Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 2:55:00 PM EDT  

I'm surprised as well. Not that I do a lot of etymology research, but I do have own a few books on the origins of words and phrases, and never ran across the origin of the word maverick. Although I should have.

My copy of The Concise Oxford Dictionary from 1976 gives this definition:

"Unbranded calf or yearling; unorthodox or undisciplined person. [f. S. A. Maverick, Texas engineer who owned but did not brand cattle c. 1950]"

Leanright,  Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 8:36:00 PM EDT  

Just wanted to share.....


Peace and love to you all.....

Eric Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 10:56:00 PM EDT  

Leanright, I'm afraid I gave up on that video as soon as it started babbling about Jimmy Carter and how the politics of when I was six caused the mess. If the video redeemed itself later on, I apologize--but I don't have ten minutes for a video that starts so badly.

Ilya, at Burlaki On The Thames, provided a link to a pretty brilliant summation of the mess by Brian Greenberg this week. I would recommend you read it, here at Greenberg's blog.

Honestly, blaming Carter is slightly less damaged than, say, blaming Alexander Hamilton for the crisis because he was a proponent of banking.

Read the Greenberg piece. You'll be smarter--that's not snark, I read it and learned some things, and I imagine most people will from it.

Leanrigh,  Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 3:01:00 PM EDT  

Actually, that was the only mention of Carter in the video clip.

rbird Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 9:20:00 PM EDT  

HA HA HA! i read this new york times piece today (damn media with their filters and fact-checking) and almost emailed the link to you. truly hilarious. my favorite, however, was Maureen Dowd when she said, "A real maverick never has to call themselves one."

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