Ruminations on the 2008 GOP Nomination

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Flipping and Flopping

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The acrimonious fighting between McCain and Romney these last few days leading up to today’s Florida primary has made overabundant use of flips and flops.   I have visions of a fishing boat that has just opened its nets on the deck with slippery fish flipping and flopping all over the place.   What I have found interesting about this small piece of the argument is how one sided the accusations appear to be.   Romney has without a doubt flip-flopped.  His changes in position are well documented by the media who have even resorted to using technical language to describe the various revisions of Romney’s positions.   I think Romney 4.0 was the latest one I’ve seen in the media.   But the perception given by most of the media (including clearly right and left leaning institutions) is that Romney is the only person guilty of this charge.  

Shushannah Walshe of Fox News has a brief blog from their embedded reporters entitiled ” Romney on McCain: “Willing to say anything to try and get elected.”   In that blog she makes the following statement: 

Romney accused his opponent of being a flip-flopper: “Senator McCain was against the Bush tax cuts and now he’s for the Bush tax cuts. He was against ethanol, then for ethanol, then against ethanol.” A pretty shocking charge coming from the former Massachusetts governor who has been attacked for changing his views on abortion.

What is so shocking about that?   Where has she been?   What disturbs me most about this particular post is the insinuation that Romney is a hypocrite for calling McCain a flip-flopper.   I will admit right up front that Romney has changed positions and is most certainly vulnerable to the charge of flip-flopper.  However, so are McCain and Huckabee. They have each changed their positions as much as Romney.   They are each promoting policies in direct opposition to their actions as Senator and Govenor.   Yet, somehow that label never gets affixed to them.  The media by and large does not accuse them of such. When Romney points out that McCain and Huckabee has also flip-flopped, he gets accused of hypocrisy.   McCain and Huckabee are guilty of the same hypocrisy, but it will not get reported that way.   Shushannah Walshe has certainly failed to meet Fox’s supposed standard of fair and balanced.  Her brief blog entry was very cleary biased in its presentation of Romney’s comments.   Unfortunately, she is not alone in the media in how flip-flopping among the candidates is presented. 

Rather, it would be more “fair and balanced” to state that Romney and McCain and Huckabee have ALL flip-flopped.   They are ALL hypocrites when they accuse each other of flip-flopping.   The charge of flip-flopping has become childish both by the candidates and by the media.   Let’s move past all the flip-flopping and be honest in recognizing that they are all doing it.   Our time learning about these candidates is better spent on other issues than flip-flopping.



Written by hollywood66

January 29, 2008 at 9:36 pm