Now the only mavericks we have left are characters in '80s movies and unbranded cattle on the open range. According to an examination of the senate votes cast in 2010 by the National Journal, John McCain is now officially one of the most conservative members of the Senate. 89.7% of the time, McCain came down on the more conservative side of whatever issue was at hand, a figure that ties McCain for the top spot with seven other people, like Jim DeMint and Saxby Chambliss. (Sen. Chambliss also came in first in the "Genteel Southern Name" list.)
So how does this rank compare to his past appearances on the list? It will not shock you to find out that it is much, much higher:
In the early part of this decade, McCain was far closer to the ideological middle of the chamber. From 2002 to 2006, he bounced between the 44th- and 49th-most conservative member, giving him the maverick title. His 89.7 composite conservative score is the farthest to the right of any year he has served in the Senate. In past National Journal vote ratings, McCain has come close only once–in 1994, his 89.2 composite conservative score made him the eighth-most conservative member of the Senate.
When McCain began preparing for a presidential bid in 2006, he was the 46th-most conservative member of the Senate (because he was on the campaign trail, McCain missed too many votes in 2007 and 2008 to be given a rating). Then-Sen. Barack Obama, meanwhile, began his campaign at the far left end of the political spectrum. National Journal ranked Obama the Senate's most liberal member in 2007, a year when he was launching his 2008 presidential bid.
Where have you gone, John McCain of the early aughts? Honestly, it's like you plucked your reasonableness out of your brain and handed it all over to your daughter. Unfortunately, she is not the one who is an elected representative.