Sunday, August 15, 2004

25 instances of Bush flip-floppery


Jeffrey Hill said...

Boy, the left leaning think tankers at the Center for American Progress had to work pretty hard to come up with that list of 25 flip flops. I’m ready to concede that #1, #2, & #3 are flip flops. I don’t know enough about #9 or #15 to argue one way or another, but they seem like flip-flops.

#8, #11, #16, #17, #18, #19, & #25 are not examples of policy flip-flops. They are examples where Bush caved in to pressure. In each example, I think his initial stance was correct. But a president does not have complete power and he has to work with the other branches of government. Would you propose that a democratically elected official go down with the ship on every single issue?

#4 (North Korea) I interpret the offer as a negotiation tactic. Nobody believed that N. Korea would accept the American offer. As it turned out, the N. Koreans threw it back in our face. That episode put the onus on the N. Koreans and once again displayed their reckless behavior.

#5 (Abortion) This one was pretty funny. David Corn had to go way back to a quote in 1978 (was that before Bush was born again?). The unshakable truth is that Bush is a pro-lifer and that is not changing. The voters know where he stands on this issue.

#6 (OPEC) My understanding about the current high prices is that they are not the direct result of a lack of supply. Rather, prices are mainly up because of uncertainty in the oil market. Asking OPEC to open the spigots is not going to lower the price.

#7 (Iraq Funding) This is a miscalculation. What government programs don’t go over budget? This would be fodder for a flip-flop if Bush announced a withdrawal from Iraq because it was going to cost too much.

#10 (Chalabi) Our change in support for this man is a reaction to unfolding circumstances. Would you suggest that he still have our support though he was dealing secrets to Iran? I don’t know enough about this affair to judge one way or another. For now, I’m giving our government the benefit of the doubt.

#12 (Weapons of Mass Destruction) This was a regrettable error in information.

#13 (Free Trade) The steel tariffs were and exception to the rule. He’s also signed agricultural subsidies. That’s just the nature of the beast. He’s still a staunch free-marketeer.

#14 (bin Laden) He should have refrained from his poorly phrased remarks. But, if you want to take him at his word, then you would have to forget about the October Surprise. I believe he would still like to see bin Laden dead or alive, but thinks it’s unwise to draw attention to that.

#20 (Gay Marriage) Supporting a marriage amendment is putting the issue in the hands of the state since it not only needs a two-thirds vote in congress, but it also needs to be ratified by each state. I thought Bush did a good job explaining his position on Larry King the other night.

#21 (Nation Building) If Bush did not reconsider his foreign policy agenda after 9/11 he would have been derelict in his duty. He should be commended for this flip flop.

#22 (Saddam/al Qaeda Link) Once again the left cannot distinguish between Saddam having a link to al Qaeda and a link to 9/11. Bush has not changed direction here.

#23 (U.N. Resolution) Rule #1 in poker: if you’re going to bluff, make it look real. Had Bush been able to get a second resolution, he would’ve saved Blair incalculable grief. Had the US put forth another resolution only to see it fail, then we couldn’t argue that the war was justified under 1441. Bush flipped because to do otherwise would’ve compromised our national security.

#24 (Involvement in the Palestinian Conflict) He tried, he failed, he saw that further effort would also fail because, right now, there are no Palestinians who are reasonable enough & have the power to negotiate. It would be pissing in the wind. That conflict is not going anywhere anytime soon, so there’ll be other opportunities to engage in it.

I listened to Bush’s speech before the UNITY conference & noticed that he did not really change his platform for his audience. In fact, he even talked frankly about his opposition to quotas - pretty ballsy, if you ask me, doing that in a tepid, if not hostile, environment. After 18 months of campaigning, I haven’t seen any of the democratic candidates, except Lieberman, stick a neck out like that, let alone Kerry. In fact, I was trying to think of some issues that Kerry has stood firm on & I could not think of any. Well, that’s not entirely true. He has consistently charged Bush with misleading us into war and being an arrogant bully. That’s about as close his he gets to a firm stance.

One last thought: has any of the Bush flip-flops bent his constituents over like Kerry’s recent flop on the war? I’ve been listening to Air America & Mike Malloy makes for some great comedy: he’s torn between feeling betraaayyyed!!! (as Gore would say) by Kerry and his irrational anger at the Bush junta. And he’s perfectly right about Kerry. The man double-crossed him, but he’s stuck having to support him in order to defeat Bush.

mat said...
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