In Defense of the Flip-Flopper and Compromise

Does changing your mind - like Mitt Romney and other politicians have done - mean you lack the courage of your convictions?

Romney on abortion. Obama on same sex marriage. George W. Bush on taxes. And right here at home: Lieberman on health care, and Dodd on AIG bonuses. 

All together, now: Flip-floppers! 

But I am here to advance the notion that there are two kinds of flip-flopping. The first - the worst sort - is pandering and is the worst form of power-grabbing.

The second is not only better; it’s preferable to a lifetime of unyielding, dogmatic stubbornness. And when a turn from dogma means compromise and progress for all, then I say, flip-flop away. 

And while every politician would have the voting public believe that every flip-flop is the result of a newly-formed principled stand, we know better, don’t we? Do you really believe that Mitt Romney is pro-life, or do you think he changed his tune to appeal to a large and vocal social conservative faction to secure the presidential nomination?

And did President Obama not conveniently change his views on marriage in a timely fashion (thanks, Vice President Biden!), thus securing the vocal support of the social liberals who really have no choice but to support his candidacy anyway?

Yet there are undoubtedly principled flip-flops. One must certainly suspect that Obama, who promised to close the Guantanamo prison camp after taking office, discovered exactly why he couldn’t once he did. Funny how Guantanamo as an issue all but disappeared once February 2009 rolled around.

But we must applaud that decision, no? Clearly Obama discovered why shutting Guantanamo would be a huge mistake. For that, he deserves credit.

Imagine a world in which no one ever changed their mind or admitted they were wrong. Do you hold the same views today as you did 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago? Is not acknowledging that the other side maybe, just maybe, has a point the lifeblood of compromise? And do we not, as a nation, need bipartisan compromise desperately?

This past Sunday evening, I watched with interest as Mitt Romney spoke with Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes. Romney appeared relaxed, confident and quite presidential (although a bit orange, truth be told, but perhaps that was just my television) as he described his policy plans should he win in November.  

Pelley pressed him on his economic policies, repeating the oft-heard criticism that Romney had not offered any specifics on how he planned to achieve sustainable economic growth. The devil’s in the details, said he.

Romney smiled and noted the country’s need, not just a desire, for a workable bipartisan plan. I paraphrase here, but the gist is that he would not approach Democrats with a preordained list of must-haves; instead, he would develop his policy together with the Democrats so that everyone can leave the deal table feeling like they contributed.

Real leadership-and ultimately, progress-means working together, he finished.


As I imagine what the next four years under President Obama would look like if he wins the election, I can’t help but shudder. Gridlock, higher taxes, stubborn rhetoric from both sides and, ultimately, little accomplished.

Governor Romney observed that while he led Massachusetts he worked with a vast Democratic majority (87 percent!) in an overwhelmingly liberal state. Yet under his leadership, the Massachusetts economy improved, largely as a result of increased revenues (fees, not taxes) and reduced state aid.

All together, now: Compromise.

MAC September 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM
The narcissist Obama, unrestrained by another election, would double down on his disastrous and FAILED "leadership" of our once great nation, turning it into a DYSTOPIA which we will not recognize as anything resembling the FREE nation we grew up in! Lisa, I agree with most of your assessment: "As I imagine what the next four years under President Obama would look like if he wins the election, I can’t help but shudder. Gridlock, higher taxes, stubborn rhetoric from both sides and, ultimately, little accomplished." Unfortunately, Obama has no respect for the Constitution, the "Separation of Powers" etc., and instead is totally committed to his misguided zero-sum ideology of DIMINISHING U.S. prosperity because he believes America must become poorer in order for people in third world nations to do better. "Little accomplished" would be a good thing compared to the havoc and "Dystopia" an unrestrained Obama will wreak through his un-Constitutional Executive Orders and the bureaucratic "Regulations" with which he ^^steals our Liberties^^, such as in the "HealthCare Mandate" imposed by K. Sebelius. And all that could be dwarfed by the takeover from within, by Muslim Brotherhood and other Muslim Terrorists who Obama has welcomed into the WH, while he will not allow our military and Nat'l Security agencies to even name these THREATS as what they are!!! Tonight 8 p.m. Pt 2 "The Project" documentary on TheBlaze.com/tv. Free 2 wk. trial avail. (or Dish Network 212)
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Obama has more than his fair share of videos like that too... http://youtu.be/o8R5GvwUFU8
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Oh, look... Here's another... http://youtu.be/fZgQhnNRSuw
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 09:53 PM
In 2007, Obama promised to bring the troops home by 2009... http://youtu.be/p12cAclNCRU In 2011, he indebted them to remain in Afghanistan until 2024, at least... http://video.msnbc.msn.com/dylan-ratigan-show/47253169 And in written form... http://news.investors.com/politics-andrew-malcolm/050212-609958-obama-visits-afghanistan-to-talk-troop-withdrawal-speech-text.htm?p=full In 2007, Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay, as his first act as president. and put a stop to torture techniques used in "previous administrations"... http://youtu.be/UQXZoM__vU0 In 2012, he spent 40 million dollars to remodel it... http://rt.com/news/guantanamo-infrastructure-fiber-optic-cable-537/ He also took credit for the supposed death of bin Laden, where the information gathered to locate him, was acquired by "interrogation". And then there's this little bit of hypocrisy, over gas prices... http://youtu.be/ngUaiuyVbG4
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Wow. You REALLY like posting that ONE You Tube clip, don't you? Here's another one for you to use, so that you don;t come across like you just found something original... http://youtu.be/bxch-yi14BE But if you want the creme de la creme of anti-Romney videos, THIS is THE motherload... http://youtu.be/Ad_E8VXm4m0
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Speaking of Carl Rove... Here's Obama responding to a comment he made, regarding executive orders and how Obama chastised Bush's use of them... http://youtu.be/bpwYh9TD6Nc Yet, Obama has in fact passed 139 executive orders to date... http://1461days.blogspot.com/2009/01/current-list-of-president-obamas.html
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 10:21 PM
In mid 2011, Obama promised he would have the newest addition to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, stricken from the bill, which allowed indefinite detention, WITHOUT TRIAL, of both foreign "terrorists" AS WELL AS American citizens!!! He said he didn't like how "congress added that feature, and that he'd fight to have it removed. Then, on the evening of December 31st 2011, at the stroke of midnight, he signed that very bill into law, stating that HE HIMSELF would never use it. Then, when a federal judge recently declared it unconstitutional, Obama then filed a suit to appeal and UNDO that declaration! Then another judge made it official again, temporarily. Then, another federal judge RE-declared it unconstitutional, PERMANENTLY!!!! Instead of posting each article and video to prove it, I'd rather just ask you to read this Wikipedia information on the play-by-play of Obama's unconstitutional actions.
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 10:25 PM
40 Points That Prove That Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Are Essentially The Same Candidate There are links embedded within each point, that take you to the original article... http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/40-points-that-prove-that-barack-obama-and-mitt-romney-are-exactly-the-same
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 10:27 PM
The same... http://youtu.be/IWDJEc92d38
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Who is, "The Most Arrogant Man in the World"?... http://youtu.be/Aqxl9qiFonc
Liam Heller September 27, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Liam Heller September 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Wow... Since all my "responses" on this post were in direct communication with someone else's antagonizing remarks (which have ALL been removed)... It now makes everything I've posted look like an attack on Obama, which were only meant to be contradictions to someone's praising him. The clips/links I posted, that pointed out the blatant political similarities between Romney and Obama, were removed as well. Which bothers me, because people do need to realize that Romney was anointed and NOT "nominated" at the convention, the way it's supposed to happen. At a republican convention, it's the delegates who've all gone through 6 months of personal work to get themselves registered as delegates, who go to the convention and elect the presidential nominee AS WELL AS who his running mate is. In recent years, people have allowed the media to brainwash them into believing that party representatives can choose the nominee WELL prior to the convention itself, and that it's THAT nominee who announces who their running mate WILL be. The Constitution of the United States specifically says that it's the delegates who elect the choice for presidency AND that they choose the vice-president. This past republican convention was an atrocious scam and an embarrassment, o how the media called them on none of it and all the sheep in America fell or it! What do you think the conventions are for? Do you think it's a big party?
Liam Heller September 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Luckily, we DO have investigative journalists who DO do their job, and ARE making people aware of this crap. Here, Ben Swann points out how republican delegates were completely ignored, for a scripted agenda... http://youtu.be/pKaXqoC4DjE And don't assume that this corruption is strictly kept in the republican party and that the democrats aren't susceptible to it either. Here, Ben Swann points out how the votes from democratic delegates were also tossed aside, in favor of the party agenda... http://youtu.be/HmaE2Aez_XY So please, all of you, and especially those of you who actually stand by their party's choice for candidate without even bothering to do your own investigation as to whether these people actually deserve to be seated at such a high office, or if they're merely a "shill candidate", placed into that position by party representatives, in order to either make sure other FAR more trustworthy people DON'T get nominated, or so they can make sure that the current president gets re-elected, by choosing his political clone... This link has embedded links within it, that take you to the proof and original sources that point out "40 Points That Prove That Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Are Essentially The Same Candidate"... http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/40-points-that-prove-that-barack-obama-and-mitt-romney-are-exactly-the-same
Liam Heller September 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Whether you choose to vote, not vote or for whom you vote... PLEASE just be aware that it's YOUR DECISION that's casting that vote. PLEASE stop allowing the media to control your thinking. PLEASE be aware of all the rules wrapped around ANY election process, before you blindly walk into a situation where you're voting another used car salesman or con-artist into office, only because that's what the talking heads on your television told you to do. Today, republicans and democrats BOTH treat the Constitution of the United States as though it were Kleenex. This document is OUR only defense aginst our government! The Constitution isn't law for our government to use against *US*... It's OUR law to hold against THEM!!! Our government "leaders", who've sworn to uphold the Constitution, find it to be nothing but a hindrance... http://youtu.be/lp8ZESkgIcg
Liam Heller September 29, 2012 at 02:15 PM
The very latest regarding the lies and FLIP FLOPPING from Obama, as they pertain to the NDAA, from his own lips... http://youtu.be/kOM85tx8OJE This man's actions CANNOT be condoned or excused by anyone.
Sawyer September 29, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Obama/Biden 2012
Big Family September 29, 2012 at 05:02 PM
For Dog Catcher.
Sam Mihailoff September 29, 2012 at 05:20 PM
come on...that's not even fair to the doggies...send him back to Chi-town, he can continue with his community organizing
Big Family September 29, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Agreed, my apologies to any and all dogs that I have offended.
Paul Alexander September 29, 2012 at 05:58 PM
What Connecticut, and the country, needs is a little more of THIS kind of politician... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-lDL9_qDDs&feature=player_embedded OY! This will make the Bolshecrats very unhappy. PS...That's MY South Florida Congressman! :) (And his trust fund baby opponent)
Paul Alexander September 29, 2012 at 06:03 PM
“He picked Joe Biden to be his Vice President just to show he didn’t really need one.” He’s “The Most Arrogant Man in the World” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ozsD45vdpGE
Sawyer September 29, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Ah, the infamous car trip with the family dog strapped to the roof of Mitt Romney's car, Mitt the dog catcher & friends!
Paul Alexander September 29, 2012 at 07:48 PM
NTP, Isn't Ryan a devout Catholic? Why don't you show him the same level of tolerance you would show someone of the Muslim faith with all their "wacky" beliefs? You’re such a friggin’ hypocrite.
Mike Jones September 30, 2012 at 01:54 PM
That's right, let's flip our way back to the same rules of George Bush so that we can flop backwards. We are moving forward. The Republican party is no longer what it used to be and the country is now aware of their broken policies. You can't buy the middle-class vote after you starved them during the Bush years. Obama/Biden 2012.
Big Family September 30, 2012 at 02:54 PM
If 8.3% (with their math) unemployment, 16 trillion national debt and terrorists on the attack is moving forward I'm for moving in any other direction.
Mike Jones September 30, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Right. Terrorists on the attack? Right......l. Like 2 wars that weren't paid for and tax cuts for the rich that weren't needed. The middle class is what is under attack. There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." -Mitt Romney, in leaked comments from a fundraiser in May 2012
Mike Jones September 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Romney's about on target - 46 percent of U.S. households paid no federal income tax last year, according to a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Most do pay other federal taxes, including Medicare and Social Security withholding. And they're not all poor. Some middle-income and wealthy families escape income tax because of deductions, credits and investment tax preferences. Why these people don't pay: -About half don't earn enough money for a household of their size to owe income tax. For example, a family of four earning less than $26,400 wouldn't pay. -About 22 percent get tax breaks for senior citizens that offset their income. -About 15 percent get tax breaks for the working poor or low-income parents. -Almost 3 percent get tax breaks for college tuition or other education expenses.
Mike Jones September 30, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Go tell those people above to take some responsibility!
Big Family September 30, 2012 at 04:05 PM
"Its the economy stupid" James Carville


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