Jennifer Rubin, over at Race42008, wrote a summary of the 2008 candidate responses to yesterday’s SCOTUS decision. At one point, she said:

Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani issued statements applauding the decision. Romney made no mention of prior support of campaign finance reform but his ringing endorsement of the Court’s decision was clearly welcome news to the conservative base which seems less concerned with consistency than with vocal support for their favored positions. Giuliani delayed comment until he had actually read the opinion and only after a review issued a careful statement making clear that on this point – issue ads in the heat of campaigns– he sided with the Supreme Court. As he did on partial birth abortion he seems to be taking reasoned steps which strengthen his position with conservatives without a wholesale repudiation of prior views.

Like support for comprehensive immigration reform, prior to running for President, all the major candidates were supportive of BCRA-style campaign finance reform. Indeed, Mitt Romney even went much, much farther. Now all but John McCain have backed away. And many conservatives pundocrats have demanded that he pander and flip-flop too.

So the pattern is clear. Run on some positions your whole life, then change them to win the nomination. Then what?

Is that a healthy way for a political party or a political movement to behave? What does this say about our intellectual class?


6 Comments

fredo · June 26, 2007 at 11:32 AM

You raise an intersting question Eye, “Is it a bad thing when politicians can change their views to suit the public mood?”

Of course, Jennifer Rubin’s point was more interesting: “Is it a bad thing for politicians not to bother justifying their position in the face of the conservatives on the Supreme Court declaring it unconstitutional, as FDT is doing in this case?”

What’s worse, articulating your views when they’ve changed, or not to bother articulating them at all?

eye · June 26, 2007 at 12:45 PM

It is clear what Fred is doing. He’s just ducking. He will get whacked if he pops his head up. Romney hypocritically attacked him last time

karasoth · June 26, 2007 at 6:24 PM

I think Fred’s position isn’t a bad one “I didn’t think it would end up like it has. I felt the money grubbing in politics was bad and thought this might fix it.”

I don’t mind some one saying it was a mistake

The Right’s Field » The Party of Pandering · June 26, 2007 at 12:26 PM

[…] That unmeasurability seems to be just enough to trigger conservative activists’ willing suspension of disbelief. And not just with regard to Romney (though he exemplifies the process). There’s a Kabuki quality to the Republican candidates’ ritual performance of conversion to whatever it is the base wants them to think, and the base seems happy enough to play along. But Soren Dayton, spoiling Romney’s speechwriter’s careful work, has another way of expressing what’s happening: everyone has been pretending that “pandering [is] better than authenticity.” […]

Patrick Ruffini :: Flip-Flopping’s Fine By Me · June 26, 2007 at 11:33 PM

[…] As a jumping off point, Soren Dayton contemplates what happens when flip-flopping becomes the new normal: Like support for comprehensive immigration reform, prior to running for President, all the major candidates were supportive of BCRA-style campaign finance reform. Indeed, Mitt Romney even went much, much farther. Now all but John McCain have backed away. And many conservatives pundocrats have demanded that he pander and flip-flop too. […]

Bluey Blog | Robert B. Bluey » On My Radar: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 · June 27, 2007 at 5:44 PM

[…] • 4 Lessons GOP Candidates Can Learn From Bush – Matt Lewis, Townhall • Pandering better than authenticity? – Soren Dayton, Eye on ‘08 • Fortune Portrays Hillary Clinton as Corporate Sweetheart – Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute • Indicted lawyer gave generously to House freshmen – Michael Brady, Majority Accountability Project • Huntsman and Shurtleff Need to Step Up – Utah Rep. Steve Urquhart  Posted at 5:43 PM in Miscellanea         Save to Del.icio.us         Share on Facebook […]

Comments are closed.