Noted Centrist columnist for the Washington Post, Matt Miller, had an interesting reaction to the 1st Presidential debate:
“What interests me most is Mitt’s audacity. Wednesday night at long last came the full-throated return of the Rockefeller Republican many suspect is Romney’s true political nature, if indeed he has one… On taxes, health care, education, regulation and more, Romney came across as deeply informed, experienced and reasonable, and as a powerful and articulate critic of the economy’s weaknesses on Obama’s watch.”
But did Romney come across as deeply informed, experienced, and reasonable because his sudden transformation into “Moderate Mitt” meant he “lied 27 times in 38 minutes,” as the left leaning blogosphere is want to claim? We’ll leave the specifics up to the fact checkers, but Romney and Obama’s respective political “evolutions” over the last several years got us thinking… Have our standards as voters changed? Do we want our politicians to “evolve”?
As recently as 2004, America had ‘had it up to here’ with “flip floppers” like Democratic nominee John Kerry, and while his somewhat wooden personality or mediocre line of messaging might have been ultimately responsible for his loss to George W. Bush, the “flip-floppper” label endures. Fast forward to 2012: Barack Obama is widely lauded for “evolving” on Gay Marriage… Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination for President by running a hard right tack, completely counter to his past views on many social, fiscal, and political issues, and suddenly “evolution” and flip-flopping are okay?
And in a timely fashion, the latest and greatest example of “political evolution” occurred last night, as Mitt Romney’s ’47% Damage Control Tour’ released their “greatest hits” compilation on Hannity, the number one single of course titled “I was completely wrong.” In short, Romney made an about face on the ’47%’ comments he’d previously doubled down on just weeks before, in perhaps the most bald-faced flip flop of 2012. Someone must have finally noticed the negative polling numbers… or thought that after a debate win, Romney was in the clear to waffle again!
Here’s one reason why as a nation, our collective standards for flip-flopping seems to have relaxed in 2012 — now everyone’s doing it! As Romney rightly points out in the above clip, running for office today is completely different than even four years ago. Anyone in a crowded room with a smartphone can become a “tracker,” and with hundreds of speeches given during campaigns, candidates are bound to contradict themselves several times. While that seems like a lame excuse for Romney to make on the ’47% remark’ and his recent “evolution”, it does beg the question — have our standards as voters for “flip floppers” changed?
We believe they have, and the fact that the “rules of the game” have completely changed in this way is startling to say the least. After all, Barack Obama hasn’t made good on several unfulfilled 2008 campaign promises (Mitch McConnell and the Financial Crisis be damned), and Romney has been on both sides of almost every major political issue in his career, yet the vast majority of Americans will cast a vote for one of the two on November 6th.
So as independent voters, what can we do? For one, hold them accountable! Cast your vote for President on November 6 for someone who hasn’t contradicted themselves hundreds of times during the last few years, or vote for Obamney and enjoy four more years of “evolution.” Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and President Romney or President Obama will see the light and one day evolve into an independent voter!