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Political Flip-Flops

Feb 29, 2008
In December 2008, Mike Huckabee's campaign had to do something to get ahead of Mitt Romney. The campaign aids urged a negative attack ad campaign to which Mike Huckabee reluctantly agreed. Flyers were made. A TV ad was produced and a 60 second radio commercial was made. All of these were hammering Romney on his flip-flops concerning abortion.

Mike's campaign burned about $150,000 developing this campaign against Romney. All of this money was spent on an advertising campaign that never even saw the light of day. Yes, Mike Huckabee flip-flopped. His conscience got the better of him as he told his campaign manager, "I'm not comfortable with this, this is not the way I want it." Campaign Chairman Ed Rollins when asked why this money was burned by halting the campaign, simply replied, "You got to do what the candidate wants to do, what he's comfortable with."

"The governor made the decision to pull back everything we had -- probably cost the campaign $150,000," campaign manager Chip Saltsman said flatly. "But I think that pales in comparison to what the governor did, which was to say 'no negatives.' I think that's historical."

Yes, Mike Huckabee flip-flopped. He changed his mind. He reversed an earlier decision that was made under less than optimal circumstances. He followed his conscience and didn't do what most political candidates do without even worrying about it. He refused to go negative. Looks like this flip-flop worked for him, not against him. He did win Iowa after all.

Now let's compare that with McCain's flip-flops. In 1999, McCain said that, "even in the long term," he would not support the repeal of Roe v. Wade because "thousands of young American women would be performing illegal and dangerous operations." And then in November, 2007, he favored repeal because "I don't believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade." True, that flip-flop could be caused by a better understanding of the issue. A person's perception and views can change as more facts are made known to them. His emphasis changed from the effects on the woman to the larger picture, the process that resulted in Roe v. Wade. A change in priorities can result in a change of view. Ok, let's see what else McCain has flip-flopped on.

In 2001, McCain voted against the tax cuts saying that, "the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans." And then in 2007, he voted to extend those same tax cuts even though he thought they benefited only the wealthy. Why would he say one thing and then vote in a contradictory manner? If there were some facts that changed his mind, what were they? The tax figures don't change that rapidly so do his flip-flops maybe mean that he simply is not doing his homework before voicing an opinion?

Another flip-flop: McCain has voted against a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage but then in the fall of 2007, he supported a referendum in his own state of Arizona that would have banned gay marriage. Is it the different venues that are responsible for this flip-flop? Maybe he simply wants the states to have the power to decide this issue.

In 2006, McCain said that creationism should probably not be taught as a science class. But in 2005, he stated that, "all points of view should be presented". Isn't creationism a "point of view"?

Flip-flops, we all make them. Changes of opinion when based on new facts or a change in circumstances are to be expected. Changes of opinion simply in order to satisfy or pacify the demands of the group that is being addressed are not. Changing one's mind because the former decision goes against your ideals or ethics is a sign of a person with character. Changing one's mind simply to follow the whims of the populace denotes a person of little character.

When you hear of a politician's flip-flops, look at the situation, the facts, the venue involved. What has changed? What is different? Maybe that so called "flip-flop" is not only justified, it is prudent! Or maybe it is just catering to the group being addressed. You decide.
About the Author
New ideas or old ideas broached in new and different ways are what you will find in articles written by Politic1. Mike Huckabee Can
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