Friday, October 22, 2004


We Can't Call Them Flip-Flops...But They Are

It's sad that propaganda works as well as it does, and the way it does. Karl Rove, the least scrupulous man in American politics, needed a very simple label to pin on John Kerry as soon as it was clear that he had won the Democratic nomination. Following one of the cardinal rules of propaganda, he accused his opponent of doing something that his own man actually does much more often. You know: flip-flop. If you paint the other guy with the brush you yourself deserve to be tarred with, then his counter-accusations look like defensiveness and even mimickry. First heard, more often believed.

Arthur I. Blaustein helpfully lists some of Bush's actual flip-flops:

"...Kerry's positions have, in fact, been largely consistent; and...Bush, far from being the steady, conviction-driven leader of Republican imaginings, is by far the greater flip-flopper. Rove succeeded because the news media fell for his flip-flop flim-flam. How else could Bush's flip-flopping have become the best kept secret in American politics? This is remarkable, given the sheer quantity of examples. Here's a partial list of Bush flip-flops, with their presumed motivations.
So much for Bush and his 'steady leadership.' Kerry has been a model of consistency by comparison." (Arthur I. Blaustein)

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