In 2004 Republicans attacked John Kerry by claiming he was a flip flopper. Republicans couldn’t run on either their record in office or the issues, so they had to resort to inventing charges such as this.The fact that Kerry has had a consistent stand on the issues didn’t stop them from distorting Kerry’s views to convince some voters both that flip flopping is evil and that Kerry had was a flip flopper.
This may come back to haunt the Republicans in 2008. While Kerry’s flip flopping was manufactured by the right wing noise machine, the three top candidates for the GOP nomination have all altered their views to make them more acceptable to the far right base of the party. Most likely they will also have to moderate the extremist positions they have taken in a general election campaign, which will further expose them to the flip flopping charge.I’ve recently noted this flip flopping by John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani. It doesn’t matter much if at most a couple thousand people read it here, but the three are beginning to face this charge in the mainstream media. Sunday the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about McCain’s Flip Flop Express. They note that Politico.com has referred to him as “the onetime maverick.”
Today Richard Cohen writes about The Talented Mr. Romney. The talent he refers to is zig zagging on the issues. He notes that McCain and Giuliani have also done this, “but Romney is in a class of his own.”
Besides the notice in Cohen’s column, Giuliani’s flip flopping was noted gently on The Situation Room on CNN recently. Media Matters reports on this, as well as the many flip flops they failed to mention.
If Republicans convinced voters that flip flopping is the ultimate evil, they might be in for some hard times. Of course the Democrats might not even need to resort to using charges of flip flopping as the center of their campaign. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats don’t have to hide from their record, and can discuss the issues.