I want a Flip-flopper

Once again, I’m boggled by our country’s political process. A recent ad campaign by Bush (as reported at ABCnews) is seeking to label John Kerry as a politcal flip-flopper…
My confusion, I guess, is why I would want a leader so stubborn that he wouldn’t change his mind as new facts came to light and new developments were made. I don’t want a zealot, I want a leader.

That’s partially why Bush scares me. He clearly doesn’t care about popular opinion at home or abroad, and is willing to “stick to his guns.” In international diplomacy and matters of state, that’s insanity, not something commendable. Economic situations changes, allies change, the world changes. Bush and his neo-conservative party want us to be happy little circa 1940’s fascists. *shivers*

Has anyone seen these Kerry-bashing ads in question?

12 Responses to “I want a Flip-flopper”

I want a politician who actually does what he says he’s going to do rather than changing his platform every other day just to be “popular”. What ever happened to standing up for what you believed in? We’re supposed to vote on these people based on their platforms, but they don’t have platforms anymore. Instead, they pander to people’s emotions — which are irrational and change all the time.

mallorn - September 22nd, 2004 at 10:50 am

“Standing up for what you believe in” is all well and good, but the Constitution doesn’t mention that. It mentions “government by the people”, or what you might refer to as “doing what’s popular”. Funnily enough, the ads say “Twenty years ago he voted this way, now he votes this way”. Well, hell, in twenty years I’ve gone from thinking diapers were a pretty sweet invention to wiping my ass for my ownself.

Bush Flip-flops:http://www.matthewyglesias.com/archives/002709.html#002709
More Bush Flip-Flops:http://wampum.wabanaki.net/archives/000804.html
And still more:http://www.americanprogressaction.org/site/pp.asp?c=klLWJcP7H&b=118263

John Kerry not a flip-flopper on military funding:http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/weapons.asp
And in general not a flip-flopper:http://www.airamericaradio.com/weblogs/alfrankenshow/index.php?/franken/old_entry_15/

Vote consistency, vote Kerry.

Owen - September 22nd, 2004 at 11:21 am

They’re just using the term “flip-floper” as an empty, derogatory name, really. Everybody changes their mind about something at some point, otherwise they’re idiots and don’t learn a thing from living. I want a president who keeps true to the general ideas expressed during his campaign which I agree with, and changes the ones I don’t agree with… but, I know that’s not going to happen.

I also want someone who’s open to accepting and integrating new facts into his policies… So, does that make them a “flip-flopper”? Is it really synonymous with being an open-minded individual? There’s a big difference between changing because one is being open to new facts, being open to the tide of the public’s emotions, or being a selfish opportunist. I think the reasons behind the change are really the most important part… and the acknolowledgement that change, for the right reasons, is very essential to life.

Teisha - September 22nd, 2004 at 1:00 pm

I agree with teisha that the only real important information is what made a politician change his views. I don’t want someone that will always change their views to fit the popular ones. If that would work then we could just have pure democracy rather than a republic. But when there are good reasons to change it’s stupid to keep holding onto the old views. I’ve heard Kerry say the reason he voted against the funding was because Bush was basically asking for money to do whatever he wanted to do with it, including some things that were problem not necessary. He says he would have voted for it if it was less and specified more what the army would be spending it on. That seems to be his reasoning for not voting for a lot of the military spending during his time in the senate, he just didn’t think that particular item needed to cost that much.

On a side note, from the way it describes the ad, this seems to be ripping off a joke from the Daily Show from a couple months ago. That showed John Kerry snowboarding with Jon Stewert saying he flipflops by going down the mountain to the left and then down the mountain to the right. At the time it was funny cause it was so ridiculous. To see the same idea presented in a real ad is kind of scary.

mcmillan - September 23rd, 2004 at 10:04 am

Every politician will flip flop. The question becomes, why did they flip flop? If the person changes their opinion repeatadly depending on what is popular, or because their political party pressured them, then I have a problem with that. If, over 20 years in the Senate, they don’t modify their opinions and stay current, then I have a problem with that as well.

Sometimes, a politician should change their opinion due to political polling. If it is obvious that a plurality of the community that they are representing is for/against issue A, and it is a major issue for that constituancy, then the politician had better listen to them and vote accordingly. Politicians are supposed to represent their community, and not keeping tabs on the pulse of that community is irresponisble.

Changing positions after new facts come to light is also fine with me. If the President asks for permission to go to war IF they can find indisputable evidence showing that it is necessary AND they can get a large number of countries to help, and then goes to war without any indisputable evidence and a coalition of countries like Palau and Micronesia, I wouldn’t trust them. If their entire plan for the post-combat operations is, “and then they live happily ever after”, are surprised when that doesn’t happen, and then ask for money without giving a plan as to how it is going to be used, I want my Congressmen to be sceptical, vote no, and ask for a better plan before they dole out money. If there is a bill that is for “funding the troops” and it has a rider that cuts veteran benefits and combat pay (like the one Kerry voted no on), then the politican should probably be sceptical over the intentions of the bill. If they don’t, I will try to vote them out of office for being morons.

If in 2000 you promise the country during a debate, “I will not use our troops for what is called Nation building.” And when pressured about your plan to deal with rogue nations you respond, “I can tell you one thing, I would not use force.” (both quotes from Bush) Then something like 9/11 happens, if you don’t modify your stance, then you are grossly incompetent.

Chaning ones mind to reflect the changing world and changing situations does not a bad leader make. Making mistake after mistake and not admitting that one has been made and lieing about the situation is a good way to lose trust with the public. It doesn’t matter if it is over a blow job or bombing innocent people. For once I would like the Bush administration to say, “You know, we really dropped the ball on the whole Iraq issue. We should have had multiple plans for the post-combat operations to deal with different potential cases. We should have listened to the analysis by the UN of our evidence on the WMDs in Iraq. We shouldn’t have left Afghanistan until it was stable. We made mistakes and we are sorry. Can the international community please help us make right what we mesed up?”

stephen - September 23rd, 2004 at 11:36 am

Another interesting tidbit on flip-flopping. NBC Polls show a majority believe Kerry is a flip-flopper, but only 9% of people polled wanted Bush’s second term to “look a lot like his first term”. So doesn’t that mean people wish he would flip-flop?

laika - September 23rd, 2004 at 11:59 am

And to think that I almost deleted this topic a few minutes after posting it, concerned that it sounded too juvenile… Well, my post itself probably still is- but it seems to have inspired good conversation, so I feel justified. Woot!

Paradoxdruid - September 23rd, 2004 at 2:37 pm

Actually I don’t mind a politician that sticks to his guns or changes his mind. I just want that does it at the apporiate time. If the situation calls for a firm stance fine. However if new information comes up and the tried and true way just isn’t going work “changing your mind” is going to be your best opition. Actually what I really want in a leader is a truly altruisict, realist that can command respect at home and abroad, and plays the banjo.

gilvoro - September 23rd, 2004 at 6:01 pm

I’m a member of the Fiddle Party, myself.

Owen - September 24th, 2004 at 8:47 am

You know, I have to agree with Ben- who works for the Johns- flip-flopping is one thing- and can even been good in some situations, most of which were outlined above. It’s about the lying and not taking responsibility for royal screw-ups. I understand that before 9/11 we probably weren’t thinking about Nation Building. But to act like it was never said later on . . . please. People loved it when Clinton admitted to lying. Why? Because it’s refreshing! Usually politician’s lie to cover up their old lies. It reminds me of Zapp Branigan on Futurama. How he makes up stories that make no sense so he looks like a hero . . . isn’t that what the Bush administrations does? I agree with Stephen: Bush’s administration or (hopefull) Kerry’s need to go groveling and apologizing to the UN. We can’t go this war path alone.

ShortSpeedFreak - September 29th, 2004 at 10:34 pm

I just saw this quote and thought it fit here:
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – R. W. Emerson, Self-reliance

Teisha - October 14th, 2004 at 12:57 pm

gilvoro, are you saying you want me to be your leader? 😛 aside from the fact that being altruistic AND realistic is an oxymoron of course

mallorn - October 15th, 2004 at 10:34 am

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