In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 21, 2008 / 18 Tamuz 5768

Sometimes a flip-flop can put you on top

By Kathryn Lopez

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I hate flip-flops. That is, I hate the shoes. They're impractical. Unsafe, even. But I really hate the political use of the term, usually leveled as an accusation. It's gone from being a legitimate, shorthand descriptor to being a nonsensical dismissal. Don't dress them in the darn things, but let politicians flip-flop, already. If, of course, by "flip-flop," one means a prudent and authentic change of mind. Now, that's probably just a flip, but I guess then we'd be looking at things rationally.

The Washington Post, in fact, just recently encouraged a flip, accusing Barack Obama of a "foolish consistency" on Iraq. The Democratic Party has put itself in a position where it appears to be rooting for America's defeat in that troubled land. As the General Petraeus-led surge strategy has worked there — a gambit the Dems heartily opposed, going to outrageous and disgraceful lengths — they can't bring themselves to acknowledge and embrace success and adapt their outlook and platform to reflect the new reality. Obama wanted to withdraw from Iraq when it seemed a disaster and he's for withdrawing from Iraq now. A leader might take the time to look at the facts on the ground. Instead, Obama reiterated his trustworthy standby of a position before his long-anticipated trip to Iraq.

Earlier this summer, conservatives encouraged John McCain to change his stance on drilling for oil in Alaska. America needs energy security and this means we need to stop relying for oil on countries that hate us. Thankfully, he dropped his stubborn and pointless opposition to offshore oil drilling. Given high gas prices, given the public's new focus on this issue, it seemed clear that a real executive would acknowledge the new factors and plot a measured change of course. If he changed his position, truly believing the drilling would help, it would be progress, even if pushed along by the election.

The "flip-flop" accusation label hit former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hard during the Republican primary earlier this year. By the end of the cycle, most citizens knew only two things about Romney: that he was good looking and used to believe things he no longer does. What most folks didn't consider was the narrative. Did Mitt Romney change his position on gay marriage? He sure did. Did Mitt Romney go from defending legal abortion to opposing it? Absolutely. But consider how it happened:

Successful multimillionaire businessman Mitt Romney runs for governor of the Bay State to fix the economy there, a job he knows something about. Other issues, at the time, paled in comparison for him. Fast forward, he's in the statehouse. The legislature decides it's going to fund an unprecedented human cloning effort with Harvard University, his alma mater. So he seriously studies what's going on, he brings in experts. He didn't let himself get swept up by the snake oil salesmen (remember John Edwards announcing that Christopher Reeve would be alive if not for George Bush's refusal to fund embryonic stem-cell research?). He realizes that "Brave New World" is not just a novel, but something his state is about to budget for in a whole new way. When Romney actually took the time to figure this out, he changed his mind about abortion, cloning and other destruction of innocent human life. Ditto for gay marriage. Once forced to confront the issue, once realizing the lengths activists will go to make sanctified same-sex unions legal, once the supreme court of Massachusetts instituted same-sex marriage there, he changed his mind.

Good for him. They say it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Well, it's even harder for a grown man in public life to say "I was wrong." He has. Good for him.

It's not a disingenuous flip-flop for me to take that point of view. I did, in fact, refer to John Kerry now and again as a "flip-flopper," a waffler. But John Kerry believed two things about the Iraq war during the same campaign. John Kerry didn't know what he wanted his Iraq strategy to be, and so his elucidation of policy was nothing but a muddle in which he would manage to have two positions at once.

Some "flip-flops" aren't, in other words. As long as your core is clear — as long as you have one — a mature leader can learn. Both presidential candidates would be wise to do so here and there. At least one of them isn't going to take the beating Romney did during the primaries. And it helps that the other one's middle name with them is "maverick." So be one yourself, look at the facts and see if you don't agree. Can the rest of us throw out all the "flip-flops"? The shoes and the now-meaningless label?

Comment by clicking here.


© 2008, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.