Flip-Flopping

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Speaking of ads, I just watched this 12-minute video designed by the RNC to highlight Kerry's flip-flopping on the Iraq war issue. Strange to say, it had the opposite of its intended effect. Kerry is clearly comfortable and sincere when he says we need to go to war against Iraq. He's clearly playing for political advantage and uncomfortable about what he's saying when he tries to position himself against the war and reinterpret his previous statements. It made me believe, at least for now, that if Kerry is elected president, he'll be strong on terror because he won't need the votes any longer.

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  1. But if you believe the polls, over 80% of the Democratic covention delegates think the war was wrong…

    When do you think they’ll figure that JF’nK is lying to them?

  2. When do you think they’ll figure that JF’nK is lying to them?

    Probably around the same time that the GOP faithful figure out that Bush was lying when he promised to rein in federal spending.

    In other words, when Satan is able to make ice cream.

  3. “Probably around the same time that the GOP faithful figure out that Bush was lying when he promised to rein in federal spending.”

    Or to”reign” in federal spending. Or is it “rain.” Oh wait, that would be stupid.

  4. Oh, I’m sure the party faithful already know he’s lying. I’m pretty sure only the fringe candidates are sincere, and only some of them.

    The hard part of voting is figuring out what the candidate really means and when he’s just pandering.

  5. While it may be true that if Kerry is elected, he’ll turn out to be more hawkish than many on the right expect, it’s also true that there will come a time when he’ll need the votes again and likely pull things back. Bush has done this over the past year (general view seems to be that most top aQ members are in Pakistan and Iran, yet there’s not been a whole lot of pressure on these countries to cough em up or let the US in, especially since the Pak’s got their ass handed to them in Waziristan and things got ugly in Iraq in the spring) and his base is largely hawkish. Kerry would have his hands tied much more in the latter part of a first term if he intended to get re-elected. Conversely, Bush wouldn’t need to worry about votes in a second term, and it is extremely unlikely that Cheney would be encumbered by this worry either.

    Obviously this is exactly why many folks don’t want Bush for a second term, but for those inclined towards hawkishness, any potential Kerry has in this regard would likely be short lived.

  6. I’ve seen nothing to demonstrate that Bush is any less of a panderer or a flip-flopper. Honestly, I’m votin’ for myself again this year.

  7. When a candidate changes his position from A to B, there are basically 4 options:

    1. He used to believe A, but has thought about it a lot and now believes B. This is the only truly honorable explanation for changing statements. For this to be the case, he would have to be consistent about A, then switch to being consistent about B (maybe with a gradual shift over years). This is not what Kerry has done. His hawkish statements were constant for years, and then he began to waffle once troops were about to be sent to Iraq.

    2. He doesn’t believe either A or B, and is just saying what he thinks voters want to hear. This is the worst kind of pandering. It could be what’s going on with Kerry, and it’s what conservatives are trying to play up, but I just didn’t pick that up in his tone.

    The next two options are less than honorable, but understandable in the context of a two-party system where someone is going to have to please a majority to get elected.

    3. He believes A, and is now saying B because it’s what he thinks voters want to hear. This is my gut reaction to what’s going on in the video.

    4. He believes B, and in the past has said A because it’s what he thought voters wanted to hear. This is clearly false in the context of where the Democratic party is today.

  8. Come on Hannah, you can’t possibly really believe the Repub talking points that ‘Kerry might not be tough on terror’?

    What does that even mean? You could have had Ghandi in the Whitehouse and he still would have attacked Afghanistan. And the same will be true if any other *actual* threats materialize.
    And Kerry’s a long way from Ghandi.

    People seem to forget that the entire world, outside of the 13 people in Noam Chomsky’s treehouse, were in favor of invading Afghanistan.
    And that’s been the only terror related military operation we’ve undertaken (to all the conservatives who hang out here, please, spare us the bogus Iraq lecture).

    It’s a nonsensical and patently disingenous concern about Kerry.

  9. So you are made more comfortable by the (apparent) fact that he is a panderer rather than a flip-flopper?

  10. How about, it’s possible to take a hawkish position on Iraq, and still think Bush has made a hash of things?

    Or even, it’s possible to take a hawkish position on Iraq, but recognize up front that Bush was going to make a hash of things? This is where I’ve found myself over the past couple of years. The collapse of the WMD justification (the prime plank in the argument for war, whether certain people want to admit it or not) pretty much makes an evolution of thinking mandatory for anyone but dead-enders.

  11. “It made me believe, at least for now, that if Kerry is elected president, he’ll be strong on terror because he won’t need the votes any longer.”

    It doesn’t give you pause that he’s basically been a McGovernite for the past 30 years? Why in the hell would he suddenly turn into a hawk?

  12. skippy,
    If you think the only place in the world we’ve conducted operations against terrorists since 9/11 you don’t read the newspapers or watch TV. The Phillipines leaps to mind for starters, and Libya’s capitulation concerning WMD’s as well.

    But I’m also willing to bet that there have been PLENTY of places that have seen operations where the only evidence of the operation was a mysterious rise in bad guy body counts. Face it, covert operations only make the news when they go wrong. Most of them don’t go wrong.

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