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September 23, 2004
WaPo: Bush Flip Flops too!

Anxious to make the case that George Bush can also be accused of flip-flopping on the issues, the Washington Post unintentionally provides a contrast between a president who changes his mind and a candidate blowing in the wind:

The flip-flopper, Democrats say, is President Bush. Over the past four years, he abandoned positions on issues such as how to regulate air pollution or whether states should be allowed to sanction same-sex marriage. He changed his mind about the merits of creating the Homeland Security Department, and made a major exception to his stance on free trade by agreeing to tariffs on steel. After resisting, the president yielded to pressure in supporting an independent commission to study policy failures preceding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bush did the same with questions about whether he would allow his national security adviser to testify, or whether he would answer commissioners' questions for only an hour, or for as long they needed.

The only thing reliable about Kerry's position on ANYTHING is that if you don't like it, you can wait a day or two and he'll offer another one. But according to the WaPo, those flip-flops are all in your head because it's what the Bush campaign wants you to believe!

Kerry defenders say the flip-flop charge has resonated through purposeful repetition by the Bush campaign, which began striking the theme in ads in the spring and has never let go. In the latest Bush campaign spot, released yesterday, Kerry is shown windsurfing as the ad, scored with Johann Strauss Jr.'s "Blue Danube" waltz, says the Democrat shifts positions on Iraq, health care and education "whichever way the wind blows."
As Democrats see it, the flip-flopper allegation is this year's equivalent of how the GOP four years ago portrayed Al Gore as a chronic truth-stretcher, and now, as then, blame the news media for accepting and promoting a caricature.

Bush media advisor Stuart Stevens explains that the president's policy changes are a product of thought and analysis, not inconsistency:

"I don't think he hesitates to change an approach if he feels it's not working, but I don't think people sense remotely that he's doing it [based on] a political compass."

The WaPo doesn't hesistate to opine that "fair degree of political calculation has gone into some of Bush's about-faces" then lists several controversial issues issues the president supposedly flip-flopped on including polution and steel tariffs. According to the WaPo, any change is a flip, even those which occured over the course of months or years.

But while President Bush may have a change of heart over the federal oversight of carbon dioxide emissions, Kerry has continuously bounced back and forth on the key issue of this campaign:

The Massachusetts senator voted for the Iraq war in October 2002, but a year later voted against Bush's request for $87 billion for military and reconstruction spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latter vote came when former Vermont governor Howard Dean's antiwar candidacy was ascendant. The vote may have been wise politics at the time, but came with a high price -- lending an aura of plausibility to the subsequent charges by Bush that Kerry is motivated by opportunism.

And "aura of plausibility"? How about stark truth?

Kerry's statements have compounded the damage. In September 2003, he said at a Democratic debate, "We should not send more American troops" to Iraq. "That would be the worst thing." In April, he said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "if it requires more troops . . . that's what you have to do." In August, he told ABC's "This Week" that if elected, "I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops." This week, he said that, as president, he would not have launched an invasion if he had known that there was not clear evidence of weapons of mass destruction or ties to al Qaeda, though last month he said, knowing these things, he still would have voted to give Bush congressional authority to wage the Iraq war.

Translation: if only Kerry would just stop talking all together, the Dems might win afterall! For the left, and the WaPo, the most aggravating thing about the Kerry campaign is John Kerry himself. The author typically buries the most accurate statement at the end of the article, hoping readers will be too lazy to actually get that far. Don't miss the slur on the speaker:

Stevens, who has been studying Kerry since advising then-Massachusetts Gov. William H. Weld (R) in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat the senator in 1996, said Kerry's very manner exacerbates the flip-flop impression: "He says these things with great condescension, [suggesting]: 'If only you were as smart as I and understand this that these issues are too complicated to have a consistent position.' . . . People have a good internal detector of the difference between nuance and confusion and opportunism."

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Posted by Whiskey at September 23, 2004 5:46 AM

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