So far, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have packed in more flip-flops than a dorm full of college students heading off on Spring Break.|
When he was governor of Massachusetts, Romney not only supported universal health coverage, he touted a universal insurance mandate as one of his greatest accomplishments.
Now, he says he's against such things.
An evangelical friend showed me a 2008 letter that Obama sent her that touted his opposition to same-sex marriage.
But after Obama got elected, he said his position was "evolving."
Doesn't he know Evangelicals don't believe in evolution?
And of course, on Wednesday, he announced he favored giving gay people the right to marry. A cynic might say these men took stands based on political calculations rather than deeply held personal beliefs.
One can almost see Romney and Obama standing with wetted fingers in the air, waiting to see which way the political winds are blowing.
Don't get me wrong, everybody has a right to change their mind. But, when a politician does -- particularly in a manner that benefits them politically -- it's hard not to view the change with a jaundiced eye.
And before you think I'm picking on Democrats, it's worth pointing out that Ronald Reagan, that great paragon of conservative virtue, supported abortion rights when he was governor of California but then opposed them when he ran for president.
Yes, there is plenty of hypocrisy to go around.
Even here in the Land of Lincoln, politicians are known for their double-speak. Remember how Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign said he supported the death penalty when he was running for office, but then days after getting elected he signed legislation abolishing it?
And then there was Rod Blagojevich. If doublespeak were an Olympic sport, he'd be a gold medalist.
Each time a politician waffles, public trust diminishes.
When does flip-flop become a lie? Well, my view on that is, well, um, evolving.
Scott Reeder is an Illinois Statehouse reporter.
Rock island, IL Details
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