The McCainiacs use “maverick” as a comma. They use it the way 50 uses the n-word.
The term, which originates in cattle branding, has broad currency in the American pysche — witness its usage for bikes, boats, Java tools, restaurants, firearms, family counseling, good tv shows, bad movies, helicoptors, poetry magazines, kitchen timers, personal jets, and Oklahoma gay bars.
Considering this fantastic array of misappropriation, it’s little wonder that a United States Senator would latch onto the word as mantra. Now here’s its origin, as per the New York Times:
“In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it… unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.”
This is where we get the powerful, iconoclastic American image so helpful for selling Oklahoma gay bars. Problem is, the Maverick family is 180 degrees opposite of Senator McCain on everything:
“Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation…”
It gets better:
“This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.”
And there’s more!
“Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. “
Now 82, Terrellita drops the hammer:
“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.”
You can get the family’s papers at the UT-Austin. Good on them. And please take a moment (and a buck or two) for good Texas Democrats running against troglodytes. Because at least one of my exes are from Texas.