A lone but prominent dissenting voice from tea-party orthodoxy on Maverick. And an admirable show of loyalty from someone who wasn’t repaid in kind by Team McCain after the 2008 election.

Hopefully Steve Schmidt will be on MSNBC today to react to the last paragraph from this excerpt.

I consider Senator John McCain an American hero and a friend. He fights to remind our President that the federal government’s first priority must be strong defense of our homeland, and, like Congressman Johnson, he fights against big-spending colleagues who don’t prioritize for our military’s needs. Upon the Senator’s shoulders he’s carried part of our message of opposition to today’s “fundamental transformation” of America directly to the problem: President Obama and Harry Reid’s far left agenda.

I appreciate Senator McCain’s steadfastness in demanding truth in the White House’s Benghazi cover-up. Because of his persistence we WILL get that truth, and then more eyes will be open to see how dangerous an Obama-led retreating America is in this volatile world.

It goes without saying we don’t all agree on all political issues. For instance, I shall keep pushing to open ANWR, I oppose letting illegal aliens cut in line and receive American benefits via “immigration reform,” and I oppose any Congressional action that allows President Obama to incur more U.S. debt. During this time of dangerous lawlessness in the executive branch, those who agree on stopping the intended transformation of our country had better unite to fight. So at this time, it’s perplexing to see Senator McCain’s good efforts to uncover the Obama agenda being ignored and perhaps even hindered now by those wanting to censure the Arizona Senator. Despite our differences on some other issues, there is no questioning Senator McCain’s dedication to national security in spite of the White House’s agenda.

We live in a time of diminishing virtues because of societal influence towards total self-centeredness. This is unfortunate and makes raising families, conducting business, and governing that much more challenging. I know how important the virtue of loyalty is because in politics it’s pretty much nonexistent. I stand on that most important virtue and answer those asking today: “Yes, I am proud to have been asked to run with him in 2008, and he is my friend.”

Not the first time she’s gone to bat for McCain when he’s been under fire from the grassroots. She endorsed him for Senate in Arizona in 2010 at a moment when J.D. Hayworth was trying to surf the tea-party wave in the Arizona Senate primary. She gains nothing politically from doing this that I can think of; in fact, follow the comments to her Facebook post and you’ll find endless “why, Sarah, why?!” conservative angst in reply. The irony is, if there’s any big-name Republican who might show disloyalty to the party in a game-changing way in 2016, it’s McCain himself. It’ll be grim fun rubbing his face in this magnanimous statement of unity from his former running mate if/when he does.

Interesting that she’d single out national defense as a key McCain virtue given that he’s been cross-wise with her base on that for awhile now, especially in his almost manic desire to intervene in Syria. Likewise, on Snowden and the NSA, McCain was so incensed by the leaks that he called for a complete rethinking of America’s relationship with Russia after they granted Snowden asylum. Palin, meanwhile, has reserved her NSA-related criticism for Obama and the agency itself, likely realizing that tea partiers are the most anti-NSA demographic group in the United States right now. McCain’s sounded more circumspect recently as the political winds have changed but these are wide chasms between Maverick and the right on national security and yet she’s still willing to go to bat for him on it. Maybe she has no choice, though; maybe that’s what anyone would say about McCain in searching for a way to compliment him. He certainly is … passionate about natsec, whatever the actual merits of his views.

Here’s the guy who spearheaded the movement to censure him. Exit quotation from Maverick: “If anything, it fires me up.”