Steadfast stay the course policy making is often overblown. As some have said about George W Bush, ‘you’ll know he’ll say the same thing Wednesday that he said Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday.’ The real world is not static, learning institutions and learning individuals will adapt to changing reality and changing understanding of reality … or suffer the consequences. Thus, developing more nuanced understandings and being able to see multiple angles (positive and negative) of complex situations, complex evolving / changing situations, now that is generally a strength.
But, McFlipping and McFlopping to pander to different audiences, to seek to represent oneself via a truthiness that doesn’t seem to meet the real situation, to abandon seemingly core moral positions for momentary advantage, this is a far different thing.
When it comes to Global Warming and the Climate Crisis, John McCain is McFlip in favor of doing something and in favor of “green technology” and McFlop in failing to show up for 100% of the relevant votes in the Senate.
McFlipping, McFlopping all over the mat …
When it comes to torture, McCain is McFlip in arguing against US forces or entities using torture but is McFlop when it comes to the end game to stop “harsh interrogation techniques”.
When it comes to lobbyists, McCain is McFlip in arguing against them but McFlop in terms of being in bed with them.
When it comes to religious extremists, McCain is McFlip in saying that he would never embrace them, but McFlop when it came to a political expediency of seeking out the reality-denying right-wing base.
When it comes to Iran’s activities in Iraq, McFlip asserted that Iran was training (Sunni) Al-Qaeda and then McFlop corrected McFlip to say that Iran was support Shiites in Iraq.
When it comes to Bush’s Tax Increases on the Unborn (inappropriately referred to as “Tax Cuts”, McFlip McCain said in 2000 ““There’s one big difference between me and the others–I won’t take every last dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy.” McFlop McCain in 2008 “Obviously, I’m for decreases in taxes. … Oh, yes, sure, the wealthy, the wealthy. …
On issue after issue, McFlip, McFlop, McSame … which brings us back to the central issue.
McFlip, McFl0p and a Warming World
Senator McFlip has been a sponsor of Global Warming legislation, something he has often mentioned.
I have been to Greenland, I have been to the South Pole. I’ve been to the Arctic and I know it’s real. I believe that we’ve got to go back to nuclear power. We’ve got to do alternative energy. We’ve got to have a cap in trade proposal which Joe Lieberman and I have proposed.
Senator McFlip has spoken quite strongly on Global Warming issues at times.
I believe climate change is real. I think it’s devastating. I think we have to act and I agree with most experts that we may at some point reach a tipping point where we cannot save our climate. I don’t think we’re there yet, but the overwhelming evidence is that greenhouse gases are contributing to warming of our earth and we have an obligation to take action to fix it …
McFlip has even laid blame on the fossil fuel industry for inaction, for “why has it taken so long, Senator?”
Special interests. It’s the special interests. It’s the utility companies and the petroleum companies and other special interests. They’re the ones that have blocked progress in the congress of the United States and the administration. That’s a little straight talk.
Yes, McFlip gets much credit for his Straight Talk when it comes to Global Warming, speaking tough even in the face of a Republican Party that seems determine to reject reality. The Republican Base seems to trust their hatred of Al Gore more than what the data, science, and the weather all around us (US) say to those focused on reality-based policy-making. McFlip is on the record as to the need to invest in renewable power to deal with Global Warming, even in face of special-interest opposition.
Senator McFlop, however, has managed to garner a zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters (2007) on his environmental record, including missing every vote where he might have voted against “petroleum companies and other special interests” so as to provide resources for those “green technologies” he claims to so strongly favor. Yes, McFlips Green Straight Talk Express is McFlop’s Dirty Energy Non-Action Machine.
Just a few days after McFlip spoke about those “fossil fuel industries”, the Senate voted on a measure to provide $13 billion for renewable power over the coming five years. And, that bill had provisions to pay for this: recouping unjustified tax subsidies to the big five oil companies. The vote for cloture (to allow a simple majority vote on the measure) failed: 59-40-1. What is that “1″? Senator McFlop, who couldn’t be bothered to show up to vote on the measure, assuring that “the special interests” (reminder, the mentioned “petroleum companies”) again blocked action for those “green technologies” McFlip tells us he so passionately believes in deploying. It happened again less than two months later and two times around in a two month period, Senator McFlip has a chance to be the deciding vote in favor of “green technologies” and the planet is left wanting, with as Senator McFlop is MIA: missing in action.
McFlipping, McFlopping to November
Evolving one’s position in face of facts, of a changing situation, that is statemenship. Crassly shifting positions for political advantage, abandoning fundamental ethical stances for to pander to an unthinking audience, that is McFlip/McFlop/McDangerous.
A key element of the Republican “win” strategy will be to figure out how not to anger those in the Republican base that favor ideology over reality (like those living in the Black Hole of Denial on Global Warming) while seeking to confuse those who live in the reality-based world that McFlip/McFlop/McSame is somehow reasonable on a wide range of issues, not least of which is Global Warming and energy issues.
McFlip, McFlop, McSame, McDangerous …
When it comes to fostering an Energy Smart course through the Perfect Storm of Peak Oil and Global Warming, one really has to wonder if, at the end of the day, after all the McFlipping and McFlopping, John McCain would simply be a McFlop.
PS: McFlip is not meant as a racial reference in this discussion.
Update: A quite parallel piece is So You Want to Talk About John McCain.