Easily the most renouned political flipflopper in the last few decades was the Democrat nominee for president in 2004, Senator John Kerry, who will go down in history as the man who wanted it both ways on the Iraq War and ended up losing that election in part because he tried to flimflam the electorate.
His classic line is usually quoted as, “I voted for the war before I voted against it” but his flip-flopping went far beyond that equivocation.
He voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in October, 2002, supported President G.W. Bush in May, 2003 and later that year contended he merely voted to “threaten” Saddam Hussein, then, 5 months after that declared to Chris Matthews that he was anti-war, saying emphatically that “I don’t believe the president took us to war as he should have, yes, absolutely.”
As he should have?
It’s not nice to try to fool Mother Nature and even less nice to try to fool the American people.
There’s a whole lot of fooling, flim-famming, flip-flopping in progress during the current election cycle chiefly on the part of Democrat candidates on the November ballot and mainly involving Obamacare.
Those Democrats who voted for the misleadingly-titled Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2009. PPAHCA aka Obamacare, heve been scurrying about seeking cover and have been downplaying, i.e., attempting to hide that vote. Those few Dems who voted against the measure are proudly touting their opposition as if it were a badge of honor. Those, like West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin who weren’t in Congress to vote yea or nay, are busily engaged in Kerry-esque flip-flopping.
Let’s face it, with some 70% of the populace fully aware by now that Obamacare stinks to high heaven and with the president’s support crumbling faster than an abandoned West Virginia coal mine, the choice is simple for Democrats: Either fess up and say they think Obamacare is the greatest thing since the creation of West Virginia apples, concede that their president’s legacy issue is an abomination, or to “pull a Kerry” by trying to have it both ways.
Governor Manchin has chosen the third option in his race to defeat the GOP candidate for United States Senate, John Raese.
According to Raese, Manchin ”lied by saying that he opposed the unpopular Obama healthcare overhaul,” when he told the West Virginia Gazette last month that, “I wouldn’t have voted for the final version of that thing with the way that it came out,” a blatant untruth.
As Raese put it, Manchin “was for it before he was against it. I find that odd.” It would seem very odd or, at best, disingenuous. Either way, it’s a patent falsehood.
Only seven moths ago during a videotaped speech at a March 13th National Governor’s Association Conference, the governor had said, “I’d be for it. You have to move this ball forward.” On that occasion, and thank God for videotape, Manchin, who backed candidate Obama in 2008, unctuously congratulated him: “You need to praise this president and this administration for sticking with this as long as they have. I’ve not seen this much commitment in anything else that we’ve gotten in the political process.”
That speech preceded the passage of the PPAHCA, which weighed in at some 600 pages longer than Hillary Clinton’s earlier abortive proposal to take over America’s health care system, preceded the widespread public tumult that today is demanding repeal of Obamacare, and preceded Obama’s 29% approval rating as of October 10th (Rasmussen).
Maybe if some Dems had deigned to read the monstrous bill they would have voted against it. And, maybe not.
John Raese, president and CEO of Morgantown-based coal and limestone producer Greer Industries which employs a thousand people, takes a markedly opposing view from Manchin’s: ”We certainly have so many news clips of him saying that he is for Obamacare, saying he is for healthcare reform, saying a lot of initiatives that are in Obamacare are good for West Virginia.
Raese went on to say, ”As you know, I say we need to repeal Obamacare as fast as we can. If Governor Manchin’s really [not] for Obamacare–like now that he’s done a 360–he ought to offer the same statement I offer: Let’s repeal it. Instead, he just wants to tweak it a little bit.”
Some things are beyond tweaking, especially 2000 page monstrosities such as Obamacare.
Recent polls have shown John Raese pulling ahead of Governor Manchin by as many as five precentage points largely due to the Obamacare issue and Raese’s suggestion that a vote for Manchin is, indirectly, a vote for Obama’s agenda.
Raese strongly opposes Cap and Trade legislation which would be “disastrous” for the coal industry, staunchly supports Second Amendment guaranties for Americans’ right to keep and bear arms, cutting Washington’s needlessly restrictive regulations and red tape, ending the practice of “earmark” pork, and making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
On November 4, 2008, West Virginians cast 387,466 ballots for McCain versus 303,857 for Obama. On November 2, 2010, West Virginians will have another chance to just say no to Barack Hussein Obama, to Obamacare, to the president’s other myriad schemes, and to flip-flopping by voting not for a rubber stamp but for a clear alternative, John Raese.