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Sunday, February 18, 2007
posted by Dave | 3:50 PM | permalink
It's becoming increasingly clear that accusing a candidate of flip-floppery will be the top allegation of the 2008 campaign's early stages. We've certainly seen our candidate face those charges, even on issues where he hasn't changed his position. Now comes this op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer laying out Sen. John McCain's various shifts on policy and personalities.

Let's face it -- all politicians change their mind on things as years go by. The laundry list on McCain from the Inquirer:
Space does not permit a full recitation of (McCain's) flip-flops, so here's a modest sampling:

McCain used to dismiss Jerry Falwell as an "agent of intolerance," but tomorrow he will trek to a Florida religious convention to woo the guy.

McCain, until recently, was pushing for a reform law that would require conservative groups to reveal their financial donors. But, after fielding protests from evangelical Christians and antiabortion activists, McCain decided last month to strip out the provision.

McCain in 2000 assailed Bush's proposed tax cuts as a sop to the rich, and a year later, with Bush in office, he voted against those cuts, declaring that "the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans." But a year ago, he switched sides and voted to extend tax cuts for the wealthy.

McCain in 1999 said that, "even in the long term," he would not support the repeal of Roe v. Wade because "thousands of young American women would be performing illegal and dangerous operations." But last November he said that he now favored repeal because "I don't believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade."

McCain in 2000 was incensed when a pair of Texas businessmen, Sam and Charley Wyly, bankrolled some Bush-friendly TV ads that distorted McCain's record. McCain declared at the time that their "dirty money" did not belong in national politics. But last year, McCain decided that their dirty money belonged in his campaign; he took $20,000 and allowed them to chair a McCain fund-raiser. (McCain later had to give back the money, because, it turns out, his new friends are reportedly under federal investigation.)

McCain, who has long deplored negative politics, defended John Kerry in 2004 when the Democratic candidate's war record was being impugned by the Swift Boaters. But today, one of McCain's top advisers is GOP hardball specialist Terry Nelson, who has worked as a consultant with one of the principal Swift Boaters. Nelson also produced the notorious '06 TV ad that implied, in the Tennessee Senate race, that the black Democratic candidate cavorted with white women.

McCain has voted against a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but last fall, regarding his own state, he supported an Arizona referendum that would have banned gay marriage.

McCain in 2006 suggested that creationism was not a fit topic for the schoolroom: "I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not." But he suggested the opposite in 2005 ("all points of view should be presented"), and Friday he is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a confab sponsored by the Discovery Institute, a prominent creationism advocacy group.
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