Boss: "We've had a bad year, but management is committed to staying the course."
Dilbert: "Question: Did you just say our leaders are receiving huge compensation packages to keep doing what doesn't work?"
Boss: "No. The way I said it, they're visionaries."
Dilbert: "So...They keep doing what doesn't work...and they see visions?"
There is more to this than just a simple jab at Bush (Or Bushes, really, since they have both beaten that "stay the course" line into the ground during their respective Presidencies). The Republicans have been really big on this "Consistency" issue regarding John Kerry. Their thinking is that the "waffle" monicker worked so well on Clinton, they should use it again.
First off, the Bush administration shouldn't be throwing stones in glass houses. Second of all, there's a big difference between (a) changing your mind due to new evidence and (b) changing it due to the political winds. Unfortunately, an example of (a) is Bill Clinton's push to allow homosexuals into the military. Personally, I loved the thinking behind this: It told Republicans he wanted to stop the legislation of morality in our society and bring more focus on important issues like the economy and health care. The thinking was sound, but the strategy behind it was not. The military, a longtime Republican stronghold, balked at this move and brought their force to bear. In the end, Clinton relented to political pressures, implemented that silly "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy, and the Republicans tasted first blood. The rest is history.
The fact is, Kerry probably does both (a) and (b) at one time or another, as most politicians do. Ideally, you get someone into office who has done more of the former than the later, and I think Kerry fits into that category. Human beings (presumably) have brains in which to think out our problems in order to look at all the facets and possible solutions. The dangerous option is to have someone who states they have a singular vision and that nothing but nothing will change that. If that were exactly what we needed as a country, then we could get a damn computer to do it. And anyone who has watched the old "Star Trek" series knows what happens to civilizations where the computers take charge.
The biggest flip-flop that the Bush commercials keep talking about is the decision to go to war. Some people questioned the whole war rationale for a number of reasons, but Kerry made the call based on evidence that only later turned out to be seriously flawed. I didn't think he was right to do it, but he still did it and he'll have to live with that. Now that he has realized what an error it was (and is now seeing how poorly Bush has run things since the successful initial invasion), he's coming out to say that he was wrong and the war was wrong. Good for him. It would be nice to actually have a president who actually acts humble as well as talks about it.
In the case of the Iraq war, The facts are these: Bush is the one who instigated this war on false pretenses and Kerry is one (of many) who agreed to it based on that evidence.
But if we're talking about waffling, let us not forget the biggest waffle of all, folks. Burn it into your minds before election day:
"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01Bush's bigger context for that second quote was that since Bin Laden's chief sponsor (Afghanistan) had been taken care of, he was less of a concern in their view. That is cold comfort for the many families of victims who see that infamous bearded image as the one person responsible for their shattered lives. So much for "Dead or Alive", and so much for closure.
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02