Tuesday, August 31, 2004

OK, you know what?

Effective immediately, the only way I want to hear about Presidential candidates and their "flip-flops" is if I happen to reading a story about the footwear they bring on a vacation to Myrtle Beach. Otherwise, I don't care. I just logged into AOL and saw a headline, "Bush flip-flops on War on Terror?"

I know, he said something like, "I don't know that we can win the war on terror", which does on first glance seem a fairly odd thing to issue from his lips, but I have an idea of what he was getting at, and it's not that big a deal and I don't think it's exactly a "flip-flop" in the sense that he believed one thing yesterday and now proposes something exactly the opposite. Now, if he'd said something like "I think Bin Laden should get a pardon", that would be a "flip-flop".

So much of all this "flip-flop" crap is all artificial, anyway. It consists of poring over every word and every act in a candidate's public life, looking for any instance when Action A can be interpreted as being at odds with Statement B. Well, you know, we all do this. Nobody is perfectly consistent from one day to the next, and I'm sick of all the stupid political gamesmanship inherent in pretending that our guy is resolute whilst the other guy is an amorphous blob of poll-driven "beliefs".

Besides, sometimes you actually need to flip-flop. If I am resolute in my belief that a ten-pound Thanksgiving turkey should be baked for nine hours at five hundred degrees, well, I'd hope that my family members would be praying to every God, Saint, Eath Mother, and Cosmic Power that might be listening for me to "flip-flop".

I know, a lot of this is just political gamesmanship, like attack ads; but it would be really nice if our media would quit following the bouncing ball so eagerly. Our press corps reminds me of the sheep at the end of Babe, with the winning candidate being whichever one manages to yell "Baa! Ram! Ewe!" the loudest.


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