blogenlust
8.31.2004

Flip-Floppery


From a political standpoint, I understand why the Republicans want to mention the fact that Kerry has flip-flopped on X issue as many times as possible. It is true that if you say it enough times, even if its not true, people will buy into it. The thing I don't understand is how normally intelligent people can honestly use this as an excuse oo not vote for Kerry. I am surprised at how many people tell me they can't vote for Kerry because he is a flip-flopper. For some reason, it is beyond their comprehension that someone could support the idea of a war before it happened, but then change his mind after seeing how poorly the war was executed. Fine. Maybe it's a little too nuanced for them, but how is that any different than any other politician? The truth is, it's not. Two examples worth noting are President Bush and Zell Miller. Why isn't it flip-flop-worthy news that Zell Miller, who introduced President Clinton at the '92 Convention, switched his previous beliefs and is now supporting President Bush? Kerry is ridiculed by the Republicans, through the media, for being against the First Gulf War and for the Second Gulf War, even though there were 12 years between the events. On the other hand, in the same period of time, Miller switches his allegiance (but not party), and it's almost treated as a principled decision. Why don't the Republicans (or the media) denounce Miller for his "inconsistency"? President Bush has too many political flip flops to even mention, but you can find a list at the link above. His most recent flop occurred over his reconsideration that we might not be able to win the war on terrorism. Of course, instead of decrying that he is unfit for command, the media lets him explain that it was all just a "misunderestimation" (warning: link goes to Rush). How could we possibly have thought that we can't defeat a noun? Silly us. I don't really care if a politician changes his mind about an issue. To me, it is often (but not always) a sign of an open-minded individual, who is humble enough to admit that he or she was wrong when they first thought about an issue. However, when it comes to the media, it is unacceptable to treat John Kerry as though he were the person to invent the "flip-flop." If the media wants to talk about flip-flops, they sure as hell better point out everybody's flip flops. And for those too lazy to identify a real reason not to vote for Kerry, try harder.