Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Bush the flip-flopper? 

Kevin Drum explains point by point how Bush is every bit as calculated in his stances as Kerry. The difference is that Kerry is inept at straddling the fence, while Bush manages to sound like "a straight talking guy who says what he means and means what he says" even as he outlines a carefully calculated stance that was tested beforehand in opinion polls. This is yet another example of how Bush thrives on being underestimated. Sometimes we're so busy calling Bush a simpleton that we blind ourselves to how carefully crafted some of his "straight talking" rhetoric really is.

One thing that puts Kerry at a real disadvantage on this front is his 19-year record in the senate. It's a piece of cake to stick the flip-flopper label to four-term senator. It's probably no coincidence that four of the last five presidents were former governors. A senator's record is just too easy to attack. All those thousands of yes/no votes on long, nuanced bills are just begging for one-line attacks like "Kerry voted to cut intelligence spending," or "Kerry voted for the Iraq war and then against reconstruction money." It's pretty ironic, but Kerry's long and distinguished political career is actually a liability.

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