Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 29, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FLIP!....FLOP!....Apparently Republicans have given up on defending their favored candidates from charges of relentless pandering and flip-flopping. The evidence is just too stark. Instead they're reduced to arguing pathetically that at least their guy hasn't flip-flopped as much as the other guys. Jon Chait runs down the scorecard.

Kevin Drum 6:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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wish our culture didn't penalize changing one's mind.

Posted by: JPS on March 29, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Politicians are giving a bad name to flipflops. I prefer to call pols dipsticks in the wind.

Posted by: jennifer flowers on March 29, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives especially, don't like their politicians to be be seen changing their minds.(that's why they're conservative), for example, "This lady is not for turning." written for a speech for Margaret Thatcher, which became her banner phrase.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on March 29, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

JPS: Agreed. There's nothing wrong with changing your mind for a good reason. But the current crop of GOP candidates is hardly even bothering to pretend. They're just changing their mind because that's what the base wants. It's a display of pandering unequalled in modern campaign history.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on March 29, 2007 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

I still want someone to ask Rudy for the record whether he has flip flopped about being a drag queen.

Posted by: Disputo on March 29, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Btw, I love Chait's description of the GOP flip-flop arms race:

Like hemophiliacs going at one another with chainsaws, I tell you.
Posted by: Disputo on March 29, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

It's a display of pandering unequalled in modern campaign history.

Wait until the one of these flip-floppers emerges victorious from the primaries and turns their attention towards the general.

Posted by: Disputo on March 29, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

...so our candidates are free to change their minds in light of new data. What's the problem?

Oh, you're right. Politicians should pay close attention to polling data.

Posted by: obscure on March 29, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

,i>...so our candidates are free to change their minds in light of new data. What's the problem?

And now American Hack is quoting JM Keanes.

What's up with him today?

Posted by: floopmeister on March 29, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Poor GOP, stepped in their own beartrap again. They pounded that flip-flop crap on Kerry and he had no adequate response even though he really hadn't flip-flopped on the vote to authorize military force. Those two votes were really on seperate issues. Now This GOP circle-jerk can't refrain from pointing at each other and squealing "flip-flop". Too funny.
There are so many of them flippin' n floppin' they look like a freaking gymnastics team. Or the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Posted by: FitterDon on March 29, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

There's an obvious reason for the change in tactics on the topic of flip-flopping. Specifically, in 2004 Bush ran as the non-flip-flopper, and used this to confirm to his voting base that he was a strong and consistent leader. Given history since then, it's clear that his consistency on positions, the war in particular, is not an asset, and thus the political climate is much more conducive to a discussion on the merits of flip-flopping based on the evidence, most obviously demonstrated by the abandonment of "Stay the Course" last year. The circular firing squad in the GOP primary on this topic is likely because they are not able to make the honest argument of: we have changed our positions on various issues, because this is an entirely natural thing to do when one is exposed to additional evidence that contradicts the previous theory, and many of our current problems demonstrate what can happen when that isn't done.

Posted by: msmackle on March 29, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

'They pounded that flip-flop crap on Kerry and he had no adequate response even though he really hadn't flip-flopped on the vote to authorize military force. Those two votes were really on seperate issues.'

I have conservative friends who still use the voted for it before voting against it line. I've yet to get a single one to answer why he got two votes. They don't know and they don't care. The facts are irrelevant to them. They just want to say that and Al Gore invented the internet. It gives them the warm and fuzzy feeling in their gut that the right politicians are 'saying what I'm thinking'. they hate democrats and trusted sources are giving them reasons to hate democrats so why question it. It must be true if it feels this true right?

Posted by: jg on March 29, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Does Chait show yesterdays massive Rudy pander where he kissed Steve Forbes' ass and backed his idiotic flat tax proposal (after, naturally, dismissing it as lunacy while mayor)?

Because if he didn't, Rudy is now a "supply-side believing flat tax supporter", it'd be hilarious if it wasn't so abjectly pathetic.

Posted by: noltf on March 29, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Jonathan Chait, Joe Klein, Spencer Ackerman. Don't understand the TNR worship on this "leftie" site.

Posted by: luci on March 29, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

They'll vote for him in droves anyways.

He's their perfect candidate, even if he doesn't hate Teh Gay, and sports two ex-wives, and a wicked outer-boroughs accent.

He's the perfect GOP candidate for the post-Bush era.

An authoritarian with perfect dog-whistle race credentials -- he'll run on, not away from, Amidou Diallo's corpse -- only without all the religious baggage.

For every vote he loses because he resolutely refuses to speak in tongues there's one he'll gain in the suburbs because as Maoyr he kept Them in line and made Manhattan safe for whitey again.

A perfect marriage of Mussolini and Sen. Theodore Bilbo -- who cares if he wears dresses.

The squeegee men of Baghdad are on notice.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on March 29, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

They can flip flop all they want just so long as:

1) They continue to want to stay the course in Iraq.
2) They deny global warming.

Talk about being on the wrong fucking side of history...

Those two points guarantee them quick access to history's dust bins.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on March 29, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhh... I wonder if flippity-floppity Newt is feeling left out.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 29, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

....Those two points guarantee them quick access to history's dust bins.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on March 29, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Not if he (whichever) takes us all with him.

Posted by: notthere on March 29, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Got to admit, they've been pretty consistent about the pandering.

Posted by: catherineD on March 29, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Or the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Hey, leave me out of this!

Posted by: ghost of Gram Parsons on March 29, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Please spare me.

It's not that Republicans never flip flop. It's that John "Frankenstine" Kerry was unable to rebut the flip flop charges on his very important vote for the war (before he voted against it.) He failed to address the issue, and that's why the tagline stuck. So let's drop this childish pretense that the Republicans were trying to say that they never change there minds. Let's be a little world-wise here.

Republicans are just better and framing issues and visions for the country. Deal with it.

Posted by: egbert on March 29, 2007 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Republicans are just better and framing issues and visions for the country. Deal with it."

Certainly can't argue with that, egbert. How's that going so far?

Posted by: msmackle on March 30, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Yeap that is exactly what this current administration of dirty dog republicans is doing every day FLIP-Flopping just ask the commander & theif.

Posted by: Al on March 30, 2007 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

The only way to be sure your weapon functions properly is a trip to the range. Buy more bullets.

Posted by: The Carlyle Group on March 30, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

'Those who had a mind of their own, those who thought for themselves, those with a sense of honesty and fairness and decency, had a difficult time surviving the past half century of social degeneration. In other words, capitalism has actively selected for those who do not have a mind of their own, those who do not think for themselves, those open to cultural psychosis, as part and parcel of incompetence.' - Dr. Gerry Lower

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Like hemophiliacs going at one another with chainsaws, I tell you.

Perfect.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 30, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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