Democrats: Flip-Floppers or con victims?

In a GQ thread on Col. Qaddafi, the inestimable MEBuckner posted a link to this Slate article; while perusing it, I saw a teaser for this column, which discusses the “Democratic flip-flop” that Bush &Co. have been sneering at as part of the re-election campaign. In it, William Saletan points out that almost everyone who’s been accused of some flip-flop or another, from John Kerry to former Bush apparatchiks John DiIulio, Richard Clarke, and Paul O’Neil, had made the mistake of relying on Bush’s word and living to regret it.

So, does this put a new complexion on the accusations for anyone?

Not really, but I knew about this already. :slight_smile:

In the end, it’s all spin – all politicians do the same thing, but if a Democrat does it, then it’s “flip-flops,” or “waffles,” or what-have-you. If a Republican does it, however, it’s “decisive leadership,” or (more likely) a contradiction to be ignored by the media. Similarly, notice that Bill Frist gets to accuse Richard Clarke of writing a book to “profit from the suffering that this nation endured on Sept. 11, 2001,” but ignores the fact that he did the same thing.

Nobody calls the Republicans on it, because the media is a bunch of cowed lapdogs who are afraid the religious right will stick a flaming necklace around their necks for daring to question Bush. Of course, these are the same folks who will swear up and down that the “liberal media” exists, even when you find evidence otherwise…

Flip-flopping is underrated.

“When I get new information, I change my position. What do you do with new information?”

I don’t understand how even Bush’s boosters here can look at the growing mountain of insider testimony about this administration and not be deeply troubled by it. I mean, I HOPE, they care about the office of President, and I hope they care about their values being given not just a shrill mouthpiece, but a well-thought out and expertly managed hearing.

I think John DiIulio is actually the most troubling of all. This was a man who cared, CARED, about the Bush administration being a good one, and doing good things. Of all three of the whistleblowers, he cared the most about Bush. And he was deeply disturbed. His memo was written almost as if it were an intervention. And he was viciously attacked in response to it, all his views written off… and yet now it seems that what he was saying was all true. All well confirmed by multiple people.

O’Neil’s account is all the more fascinating because it is not only based on extensive documentation, but actual shorthand notes from meetings with the President. If you can honestly read those notes, hear the sorts of discussions that were going on, and not be a little disturbed, there’s something wrong with you.

And despite all the bile thrown at Clarke, has there been a single decisive refutation of his key accusations? Even one?

Why, attack the source of the information of course! I’m sure he or she is unpatriotic, communist, or something.