Fontaine Maverick : John McCain is no Maverick!

Former Texas Congressman and San Antonio mayor Maury Maverick — the real thing.

McCain’s just talking ‘gobbledygook
By Fontaine Maverick
/ The Rag Blog / August 31, 2008

I just got a call from my brother, Maury Maverick, who said that if he hears that John McCain is a Maverick ONE MORE TIME, he is going to shoot the TV. Well, my brother doesn’t even own a gun, but I know exactly how he feels. Every time we hear that use of our name, it is like fingernails on a blackboard times ten.

We kicked around the idea of doing a web page but good old Monkey Cage has beat us to the punch:

The Real Original Maverick

John McCain is running this new ad (see video below) touting himself as the “original maverick.”

This led Jason Zengerle and Christopher Orr over at TNR’s The Plank to debate whether Tom Cruise or James Garner is the real original maverick.

In fact, the original maverick was Maury Maverick, the grandson of Samuel Maverick, from whom the name maverick first entered the American lexicon. Maury was a radical politician from San Antonio who served two terms in Congress (1935-1939). There, he led a bloc of progressive Democrats who sought to push Roosevelt and the New Deal to the left. The press quickly labeled this group “The Mavericks.” While hugely popular with the the many poor Hispanics in his district, Maverick was far too liberal for the conservative Texas Democratic establishment. In 1938 he lost the Democratic party primary after being slandered as a communist. Maverick then went on to serve as mayor of San Antonio before once again losing in the primary after being red-baited.

During World War II, he served in various defense agencies. It was at this time that he coined the term “gobbledygook,” saying that incomprehensible government bureaucratese sounded like turkey noise.

Online Etymology Dictionary

gobbledygook

1944, Amer.Eng., first used by U.S. Rep. Maury Maverick, D.-Texas, (1895-1954), a grandson of the original maverick (q.v.) and chairman of U.S. Smaller War Plants Corporation during World War II. First used in a memo dated March 30, 1944, banning “gobbledygook language” and mock-threateaning, “anyone using the words activation or implementation will be shot.” Maverick said he made up the word in imitation of turkey noise.

Online Etymological Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper.

This site has a nice description of Maverick’s congressional career along with links to the online version of his 1937 autobiography, A Maverick American.

Phil Klinkner / The Monkey Cage / August 5, 2008

John McCain ‘Maverick’ Commercial

Also see This Maverick The Real Deal by Joe Holley / The Rag Blog / March 1, 2008

The Rag Blog

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4 Responses to Fontaine Maverick : John McCain is no Maverick!

  1. Mike says:

    Amazing how Texas heritage is recruited to serve imitations of the originals. Thanks, Fontaine, for taking the time to comment and for the excellent links.

  2. It’s a word — nobody owns it. Further, who gives a hoot about a family with as checkered a past as any?

  3. Edith Maverick Folger says:

    It is annoying for the politicians to sound like they are claiming to be part of our family, without taking any family responsibilities coming with such a claim.

    So if we Maverick family wrench ourselves away from that clan perspective, we are left with the politician claiming that they are a herd break-away of some sort.

    Well, the other cows don’t follow the stray, or they wouldn’t be a stray, they’d be a leader.

  4. I am not a conservative, I am not a Republican.

    My mother happened to name me Maverick when I was born. No, I am not a member of the “Maverick” family from Texas. My first name is Maverick, not my last name.

    I didn’t like McCain, I don’t like what I read about Maury Maverick Sr.

    Maury seems to have been a “Maverick” only in the sense that he was not a conservative. Because of his support for the New Deal and progressive ideology, he helped make America LESS INDEPENDENT of our government. Real Americans, no, real MAVERICKS don’t support progressivism, don’t support social conservatism, they support INDIVIDUALISM. Real Mavericks are libertarians, real Mavericks are patriots.

    This article you wrote happens to be pure “gobbledygook”.

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