Flip Flop

Senator McCain’s comments on former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s tenure, as reported today;

“We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement of Donald Rumsfeld…”

“The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously…”

“I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defence in history…”

Compare with comments made last November, when Rummy stepped down;

“While Secretary Rumsfeld and I have had our differences, he deserves Americans’ respect and gratitude for his many years of public service…”

The above is an example of a flip-flop;

A “flip-flop“… is a sudden real or apparent change of policy or opinion. Usually it will occur during the period prior to an election in order to maximize the candidate’s popularity.

Another recent example of McCain flip-flopping can be found here.

It seems to me that, in the context of US politics, the ability to flip-flop is not only de rigeur, it is an essential attribute, and in order to gain any sort of credibility as a politician, one must be prepared to ditch one’s opinions and convictions. In the land of short-term memories, political consistency means nothing, and variability would seem to equate with integrity.

To be fair though, McCain is by no means unique.

J.K.

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