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View Full Version : Enough about the flip-flopping?


ColoradoGuy
07-12-2008, 04:24 AM
(Mild understatement warning)--I'm no fan of McCain. But this whole thing about cataloging "flip-flops" (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/16124.html#more-16124) seems to make it impossible for anyone ever to change their minds, a silly notion. Although I do think a good chunk of these about-face changes represent naked opportunism, we've still got to give folks a chance to change their minds when they get more information. So why are they afraid just to say: "I changed my mind."

kuwisdelu
07-12-2008, 04:34 AM
I agree. I think the notion is pretty dumb. It's a fault of both the public and the politicians. The public for caring so much, and the politicians for digging themselves deeper by denying it, thereby further ingraining it that changing one's mind is a bad thing.

Evidence changes. The world changes. If you stick to the same opinion once the situation has made it outdated, it's not sticking to morals or staying the course, it's just stubborn.

And another thing, I'm not sure why people always see it as a bad thing when politicians make up their minds on some things by public opinion. Obviously, I don't support the idea of voting for someone with no convictions at all, but aren't they supposed to be in office to represent us, the public? Why is it so bad to put one's own convictions aside--when you think the public might have a good idea--for the sake of representing the people who elected you?

InfinityGoddess
07-12-2008, 04:39 AM
And another thing, I'm not sure why people always see it as a bad thing when politicians make up their minds on some things by public opinion. Obviously, I don't support the idea of voting for someone with no convictions at all, but aren't they supposed to be in office to represent us, the public? Why is it so bad to put one's own convictions aside--when you think the public might have a good idea--for the sake of representing the people who elected you?

But what if the candidate changes a position that is not in the best interests of the public? I think it's important to point that out and why it's not in the best interests of the public McCain's changed positions on issues such as the environment, war, reproductive rights, civil liberties and the rule of law.

Maybe instead of calling it "flip-flopping", maybe we ought to call it for what it is: pandering.

kuwisdelu
07-12-2008, 04:45 AM
But what if the candidate changes a position that is not in the best interests of the public? I think it's important to point that out and why it's not in the best interests of the public McCain's changed positions on issues such as the environment, war, reproductive rights, civil liberties and the rule of law.

I definitely don't think it would be good for a politician to do that kind of thing all the time, but there are occasions that it would be much better. After all, the public can be stupid pretty often. But take a case such as, say, our current president, and imagine if his presidency better reflected public opinion.

InfinityGoddess
07-12-2008, 05:02 AM
I definitely don't think it would be good for a politician to do that kind of thing all the time, but there are occasions that it would be much better. After all, the public can be stupid pretty often. But take a case such as, say, our current president, and imagine if his presidency better reflected public opinion.


I dunno. With a 32% or lower approval rating at any given time, I'd like to think that the general public is not as stupid as one would think when it comes to Bush.

Williebee
07-12-2008, 05:07 AM
But what if the candidate changes a position that is not in the best interests of the public?

Only problem is, regardless of what position you take, somebody is going to be of the opinion that it isn't in the best interests of the public.

clintl
07-12-2008, 05:07 AM
I agree that too much is made of flip flops sometimes, although I do think that McCain has been a frequent offender in this area, and most of the time for political expediency, and in a direction opposite of what I consider good policy.

But I definitely do not want leaders who can't and won't change their minds when new information tells them it's time to change direction.

dgiharris
07-12-2008, 07:03 AM
I agree with most of you.

I think the problem is an oversimplification of a bill, proposal, regulation, etc by the media.

The first version of a bill could have 28 things in it.
The second version changed 5 of those 28 things, added 4 more and deleted 3

Politician opposes first version of the bill but then votesin support of the second version

Media labels him a "flip-flopper"
Public becomes irrate, mobs assemble with pitch forks and torches in hand

I think it really the fault of the public and media. We don't take the time to understand the issue or 'bill' in question. We focus on a few points or hot words and just go from there when the real world (especially politics) is not that simple.

Mel...

Robert Toy
07-12-2008, 04:33 PM
IMHO, the reason for defining it as flip-flops is because neither candidate has the balls to say “I changed my mind on this issue because…”.

Even if a candidate took the great leap of telling the truth, it would be tantamount to political suicide. The 50% who liked his old position would get pissed and the 50% that agreed with his new position wouldn’t trust someone who changed positions.

So, telling the truth not being an option, only leaves “waffling”, “tap dancing”, “pandering”, “position changing”, “refinements”…and yes the dreaded “f-f”.

To be elected you need to appease a majority of voters, not all. Since there is no single majority viewpoint large enough to get you into the White House, you have to BS your way around the differing viewpoints without upsetting one or the other.

astonwest
07-12-2008, 09:30 PM
How about politicians who vehemently disagree they've ever changed their mind, despite proof to the contrary?

Robert Toy
07-12-2008, 09:33 PM
How about politicians who vehemently disagree they've ever changed their mind, despite proof to the contrary?
They made refinements to their position...;)

Joe270
07-13-2008, 12:31 AM
Perhaps it would be helpful to define what a 'flip-flop' is.

Changing your views over time doesn't constitute an ff for me. (In an aside, I really hate this term)

Did this start with John Kerry? And wasn't the change of heart from one sentance to the next, or pretty close to it? I recall something like 'I voted for it before voting against it'.

I see Obama's changing views as a result of a serious reality check on what he can and cannot do if elected. When it's a pie in the sky shot for the job, people can pretty much say anything, no matter how impossible the dream may be. Once it becomes apparent that the candidate might accually pass the job interview, reality kicks in.

I'm not making any sense at all.

Robert Toy
07-13-2008, 12:35 AM
Perhaps it would be helpful to define what a 'flip-flop' is.

Changing your views over time doesn't constitute an ff for me. (In an aside, I really hate this term)

Did this start with John Kerry? And wasn't the change of heart from one sentance to the next, or pretty close to it? I recall something like 'I voted for it before voting against it'.

I see Obama's changing views as a result of a serious reality check on what he can and cannot do if elected. When it's a pie in the sky shot for the job, people can pretty much say anything, no matter how impossible the dream may be. Once it becomes apparent that the candidate might accually pass the job interview, reality kicks in.

I'm not making any sense at all.
Are yuou ffing?

Jersey Chick
07-13-2008, 12:37 AM
It depends on what topic the flip flopping is about - I'm no McCain fan, but Countdown spent almost 20 minutes devoted to a story about John McCain claiming that, when he was being interrogated as a POW, he rattled off the names of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line as his troopmates. According to his book and every other version, he used the Green Bay Packers defensive line.

Really, in the ultimate scheme of things, isn't that being just a bit too nitpicky on flip flopping? Pandering, maybe. But not really enough to warrant 20 minutes of newstime. The flip flops that bother me are the biggies...

rugcat
07-13-2008, 12:43 AM
It depends on what topic the flip flopping is about - I'm no McCain fan, but Countdown spent almost 20 minutes devoted to a story about John McCain claiming that, when he was being interrogated as a POW, he rattled off the names of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line as his troopmates. According to his book and every other version, he used the Green Bay Packers defensive line.

Really, in the ultimate scheme of things, isn't that being just a bit too nitpicky on flip flopping?Yes it was, but the point being made was that McCain altered his story while campaigning in Pennsylvania. For the supposed straight talker, whether it was a mis-remebrance or a cynical pandering to Steeler's fans was the question.

Worth maybe thirty seconds of air time.

Jersey Chick
07-13-2008, 12:45 AM
That I could see. I know why they did it, but it just struck me as "We need some sort of 'look how rotten McCain is' news... this just doesn't qualify for me. It struck me as just petty filler.

Joe270
07-13-2008, 02:35 AM
It depends on what topic the flip flopping is about - I'm no McCain fan, but Countdown spent almost 20 minutes devoted to a story about John McCain claiming that, when he was being interrogated as a POW, he rattled off the names of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line as his troopmates. According to his book and every other version, he used the Green Bay Packers defensive line.

They had him enough years to interrogate him more than once, too.