November 16, 2004

My god! Are they all flip-floppers?

Noam Scheiber makes a few remarks on Peter Canellos' recommendation (discussed on MoJo) that Democrats nominate "known entities" for president. Best of all, he points out that Dick Gephardt, who supposedly could have beaten Bush, "was known to be every bit the flip-flopper Kerry was." True enough. During the primaries, even Howard Dean, the Montpelier Mule, was accused of flip-flopping—it was the main line of attack against him, in fact. The same goes for Wesley Clark. Odds are the "flip-flop" salvos would have been fired against whoever the nominee was.

Then again, not all flip-flops are created equal, and Kerry's unexplained big one—on Iraq, the biggest issue of the day—trumps all minor flip-flops on abortion, Medicare caps, or what have you. And the $87 billion remark of course sealed the deal. You can't blame the RNC entirely here. That's why I think Kerry is too permanently damaged, too negatively defined, to run again in 2008. But honestly, who knows? Perhaps in four years, when Foggy Bottom is in flames and Iran is lobbing nukes daily at Saudi Arabia, Kerry's "global test" and whatnot will seem like eminent wisdom.
-- Brad Plumer 6:59 PM || ||