Flip Flop

The flip-flop is a very popular piece of footwear. I own a couple of pairs myself. One of my favorite days of the year is the first spring day it’s warm enough to bust out with the flip-flops and let my tootsies air out from a long winter hibernating under wool socks and heavy shoes.

But the term flip-flop has developed into a negative when applied to the arena of politics.

It’s most famous application to date occurred in the 2004 Presidential election, where Dubbya successfully labeled John Kerry as a “flip-flopper” and even had the entire Republican National Convention chanting it on national television.

This cycle, both John McCain and Barack Obama are trying to stick each other with the dreaded “flip-flop” label, and both sides are providing plenty of ammunition to the other.

In the last week alone, the candidates flipped on two major issues – McCain on drilling off the U.S. coast and Obama on public funding for his campaign.

This game of musical flopping will likely continue throughout the campaign, and my guess is, whoever is left wearing the feared footwear when the music stops in November, will likely find themselves on the wrong side of winning.


  • Brian H

    OK. Here some “truth” for you.

    9/11 was not “an inside job”

    Ron Paul will NEVER be President.

  • Lazlo

    Looks like I hit a nerve again.

    Which one of these truths got your neo-lib panties in a wad?

    That I pointed out how idiotic it is to believe to campaign promises.

    That I actually brought up records.

    That I pointed out the connections between candidates and industries.

    That the Republican party has been taken over by neo-libs.

    Those who attack me are looney and kooky. Try discussing something from the perspective of the truth.

  • AndDru1

    You’ll catch more Paulites with honey.

    • Patrick Keegan

      A typical Paulite and you wouldn’t get much argument from me.

      Please tell me what about Lazlo is typical?


  • Patrick Keegan

    No one gives a flying piece of fecal matter you conspiracy theory, propaganda babbling, Ron Paul sycophant.

    That was my first Lazlo bust.

    Felt nice!

  • Brian H

    Hey Everyone!!! Guess what!!

    Lazlo supports Ron Paul!!

    Lazlo supports Ron Paul!!

    Lazlo supports Ron Paul!!

    I have never seen a person ride ones jock as much as Lazlo does Ron Paul. HAHAHAHA

  • Lazlo

    We are talking about promises made DURING AN ELECTION.

    They mean NOTHING.

    If you want to what they would do in office, look at what they did in office. LOOK AT THEIR RECORDS, THEIR OFFICIAL ISSUES POSITION, THEIR INTEREST GROUP RATINGS!



    And so you can know what a real consistent conservative record looks like, here’s Ron Paul’s record:

    BTW: You guys do understand that Obama’s top contributor is the banking industry…that is, the international banking industry.

    Meanwhile, McCain’s top contributor is ALSO by the international banking industry.

    Jeez, maybe these guys were hand-picked.

  • ShawnN

    Is it just me, or does the PD site change formatting as often as McCain and Obama change positions?

    Not that there’s anything wrong with flip floping, right?

    • David Kaiser

      Actually, that’s WordPress changing, not us.

      (Like how I deflected blame there?)

  • RedstateEddio

    If they flip into more conservative positions, I don’t consider that flip/flopping, I consider that “seeing the light”. ;-)

    Course, it didn’t work for Mittens…

    But I agree with DW, that there needs to be a cogent reasoning (beyond the obvious pandering) in order for it to be meaningful and not look like cheap flattery.

    I think what a tendency to flip/flop reveals is that a candidate may be driven more by pragmatism than principle – what may be expedient, convenient, popular, or advantageous.

  • dw

    I don’t care if a candidate changes his/her mind at all. In fact, I would welcome some changes in position. But, I do require that the candidate explain what caused them to change their position.

    BTW, anyone remember when flip-flops (the footwear) were called “thongs”. Boy, does that mean something different today!

    • ShawnN

      Used to call flip flops thongs all the time. Still do when I am not paying attention and get strange looks from people.

      Me: “Yeah, I need to go to the store and get a pair of thongs.”

      Friend: “A pair of what!?”

      Me: “Uh, flip flops.”

      • David Kaiser

        I’ve been there Shawn. I was at a conference for work, attending a social when one of the women I was talking to said she was looking forward to changing out of her suit and into shorts and thongs. The look on my face must have spoke volumes, because she turned red and quickly said “Er, flip-flops”.

  • AndDru1

    And regardless of polls, is McCain not making the right choice on drilling now? I’d rather have a prodigal son that wants to lower gas prices, than no son at all that wants to raise them. Not to mention the fact that Obama likes where gas prices are now, but he would have preferred it to happen slower. Why does he want my gas prices to be so high? I hardly see how that’s beneficial to my family and other hard working families.

    • Patrick Keegan

      Dru, look, I’m not expecting us to agree, but you are contradicting yourself here.

      Boil it down.

      McCain made a promise not to drill, he just changed his mind.

      Obama made a promise to accept public funding, he just changed his mind.

      In both cases, national polls support the change of their decision.

      So either both are breaking their word or both are just changing their mind.

      You can’t say one is breaking their solemn oath, while giving the other a free pass.

      I personally don’t have a problem with offshore drilling, but I think it is a short-term solution. Think of it as a quick fix for a junkie that has a major addiction.

      • ShawnN

        A liberal that doesn’t have a problem with offshore drilling, surely you are pulling our collective leg, right?

        I thought you had to be against offshore drilling to get your ACLU card (or something like that)?

        • Patrick Keegan

          Latest Rasmussen poll has 46% of liberals supporting offshore drilling and only 36% opposed.

          Guess your wrong!

          • ShawnN

            Thank you. Ever thought about becoming a Libertarian? According to Lazlo (see pic-o-day post), we Libertarians will drill anything… ;)

            • Brian H

              as will Bill Clinton

      • AndDru1

        I understand Patrick that when you break it down that way, the two issues seem identical; but they’re not. One individual changed his policy position on drilling for oil because at this point the need to drill outweighs any reason not too (circumstances can influence policy positions, ideological purists make bad leaders).

        On the other hand however, there is a candidate who claimed to represent a new kind of politics. One of his many claims was that he would except public financing because to not do so would be wrong and would just be following the same old Washington politics.

        Both candidates should be held to the standard they set for themselves. McCain claims to be a bi-partisan pragmatist that will work toward the good of the people by bringing reform, prosperity, and peace. Obama claims to be a post-partisan, new civilized politician, that will bring hope and change. If Obama is truly who he says he is, than he must be held to that standard.

        I’m not even playing politics here, clearly there is a difference in changing a policy position and not being who you say you are. Not to mention that Obama said he would do something, and McCain simply held a belief. These are two different things.

        • Patrick Keegan

          Dru, again, it’s only different because you say it is different.

          One is not more of an issue because you claim it is so.

          And Obama is refusing the money because he feels it will benefit him, that’s obvious to us all. The funny part is, it makes him different from anyone that’s run since Watergate.

          You said that McCain changed his stance on drilling because the situation dictated it. Well why can’t you say that about Obama? The situation is that he can raise a lot more money and not take taxpayer money. And more Americans agree with that then don’t much like with offshore drilling.

          You’re playing a sematics game and I’m not buying it.

          • AndDru1

            You’re right, we won’t ever agree, but at least you are sincere about what you believe. And you’re a worthy opponent.

            • Patrick Keegan

              Thanks Dru, you are as well. At least that’s something we can agree on.

  • J. Shawn Durham

    You tell him, Pat.

  • Patrick Keegan

    So typical.

    A flip is a flip, be it whether the polls support it or not.

    You also neglected to point out that only 30% of the nation supports public funding.

    • AndDru1

      I knew that was coming, for the record I think public financing is a liberal idea, and a bad one at that. But both McCain and Obama said they would do it, and only one of them is keeping his word. That speaks to the honesty of a candidate. What else has Obama said that we can’t trust? If he’s not going to keep this promise, what other promises would he break if he was elected?

      This is just the latest in a long line of reasons to not trust the freshman senator from Illinois.

      • Brian H

        “What else has Obama said that we can’t trust?”

        C’mon AnDru. Why so cynical.

        I believe Obama when he said”

        he didnt know his pastor was a racist.

        he sais he “loves” America.

        he does not believe middle Americans cling to guns and God.

      • WilliamK

        lets be honest, McCain is only “sticking” to his pledge to use public (tax) funding because he is not raising money.

        Heck, if McCain could rase the same amount as Obama he would be breaking his pledge too.

  • AndDru1

    The difference is McCain changed his stance to match the majority of the members of his party and the American people in general.

    While Obama turned his back on an earlier promise, and the American people won’t forget.