Roger L. Simon

Kurtz and Obama: Flip-flopping vs. Mind-changing

Howard Kurtz comments on something today that should be obvious, but is still worth underlining in these wildly partisan times.  Kurtz writes, regarding Obama’s views on the Supreme Court 2nd Amendment decision: Wouldn’t it be better for Obama to say he had thought more about such-and-such an issue and simply changed his mind? Is that verboten in American politics? Is it better to engage in linguistic pretzel-twisting in an effort to prove that you didn’t change your mind?

Kurtz clearly has a point. The  term flip-flopping has flopped its way into our political lexicon and should now be banned. It is mere propaganda that almost always obscures the truth: a grown-up, when he has a good reason, changes his mind. Indeed, this is one of the hallmarks what being a grown-up is.

For example, John McCain opposed off-shore drilling for environmental reasons when gas was $2.50 a gallon.  Now that it is close to double that, and drilling techniques have improved, he supports it.  Logical?  It is to me.  But Obama is unable to make that change. His propagandists accuse McCain of “flip-flopping” on the matter, when the candidate merely adapted to new conditions.

On the other hand,  as Ed Morrissey tells us, Obama has been doing some serious “flip-flopping” of his own:  We used to call John Kerry a flip-flopper for his embarrassing quote on his opposition to Iraq war funding.  Obama has now changed position on almost every key position in this election, and exposed himself as incompetent as a Constitutional law analyst as well. 

But is “flip-flopper” the right term?  To be a “flip-flopper,” you actually have to have a position, I would think.  It may be, in a very real way, Obama does not.  I would suggest most of his positions are simply ad hoc.  In other words, he is more of “waffler”  than a “flip-flopper.”  Or simply expedient.  What he is not is someone who changes his mind.  If he is elected, too bad for us. (via Instapundit)