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The Steadfast Flip-Flopper

The Steadfast Flip-Flopper

Only George W. Bush can take diametrically opposed positions and call them "principled".

By Matthew Yglesias
Web Exclusive: 08.31.04

John Kerry is a flip-flopper. In 2001, for example, he voted for the No Child Left Behind Act, but now he says that federal education spending should be further increased. In 2002, he voted to give the president authority to threaten the use of force in order to get United Nations inspectors back in Iraq, but now he says that the president was wrong to invade Iraq without a UN mandate when inspectors were already in the country. He's unprincipled, see?

The president, by contrast, is a man of steadfast convictions, as witnessed by the blank gaze he exhibits when speaking. Not one for nuance, George W. Bush papers over the distinction between harsh, accurate advertisements financed by “527” groups capable of raising unlimited funds and harsh, inaccurate advertisements financed by 527 groups capable of raising unlimited funds. No, to him it is a point of principle: The "shadowy groups" must be stopped, whether their charges are accurate or not. It's a bit hard to say what the principle here is, exactly, seeing as the president is apparently untroubled by unlimited fund raising undertaken by political-advocacy groups organized under section 501 of the tax code rather than section 527 of the tax code. Nevertheless, there's got to be one in there somewhere, I’m sure of it. (Just as sure as I am that, if I really thought about it, I could figure out why the president invaded Iraq to halt its nuclear program but literally shrugged at North Korea's.)

Read the rest here:
http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8432
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