THE FLIP-FLOP IS ON THE OTHER FOOT THIS CYCLE

In the latest installment of my Baltimore Sun column I discuss the surprising number of policy reversals by John McCain in just the past month. The theme of the column draws heavily from Cliff Schecter’s new book, The Real McCain, in which he writes: "A conditional friend to conservatives, an appealing maverick to independents, and a noxious Bush apologist to Democrats, McCain is a unique blend of allegiances and enmities in American politics. What conservatives misread as disloyalty to the cause isn't that at all; what moderates and independents value of McCain's free thinking isn't that, either."

Though it’s hard to find somebody with as encyclopedic knowledge of McCain as Cliff, the ever-diligent Steve Benen of the Carpetbagger Report may be the one challenger. Steve, you see, is making a list (and checking it twice) of McCain’s bottomless beach basket of flip flops. So far he has identified—you may need to take a seat here—a whopping four dozen policy position changes and reversals, which he lists here. As I conclude the Sun column: "In 2004, Republicans characterized Democrat John Kerry as somebody who changed positions--a candidate with no policy core, no ideological mooring. This time around, with John McCain at the head of their ticket, it appears that the flip-flop is on the other partisan foot."

--Tom Schaller

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