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Monday, December 08, 2003

Top 10 Howard Dean Flip-Flops

One aspect of Howard Dean's appeal supposedly rests on his rock-solid convictions and penchant for truth-telling. However, as the Carpetbagger Report noted in September, this does not represent the Howard Dean reality:

Yet, despite these examples, I would argue that Howard Dean has flip-flopped more times, on more issues, than any of the Dems running for president. It's a continuing problem that may ultimately come back to haunt his campaign. In fact, it's so bad I decided to make a list.

I'm not talking about Dean's mistakes or apologies. I don't care that Dean mysteriously called Latin America "the most important hemisphere in American history" last week. It's easy to overlook the fact that Dean, when asked last month if he supported gay marriage, said, "I never thought about that very much." It may not matter that Dean said Saddam Hussein's fall from power is "probably a good thing" earlier this summer. No one will remember that he falsely accused John Edwards of avoiding talk of his support of the Iraq war before an anti-war Dem audience in California.

Carpetbagger Report, which pointedly is no fan of the current administration, then gives Dean a thorough fisking. I don't want to repost the entire article, but here are a few highlights:

6. "Regime change" in Iraq

In March, before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Dean sounded a lot like Bush on the possible war, suggesting that disarming Saddam Hussein, with or without the United Nations, should be America's priority.

According to an interview with Salon's Jake Tapper, when Dean was asked to clarify his Iraq position, Dean said that Saddam must be disarmed, but with a multilateral force under the auspices of the United Nations. If the U.N. in the end chooses not to enforce its own resolutions, then the U.S. should give Saddam 30 to 60 days to disarm, and if he doesn't, unilateral action is a regrettable, but unavoidable, choice.

When the U.N. chose not to enforce its resolutions, Bush followed Dean's position and launched a unilateral action against Iraq.

Since then, Dean has held himself out as someone who has opposed the war all along.

As I posted earlier, Dean's truth-telling leaves a lot to be desired. Now his supposed rock-hard convictions look an awful lot like convenient political positions, although I would say that point 5, Cuban Sanctions, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt after Castro's brutal crackdown on dissident; that changed a lot of opinions, a re-evaluation that was long overdue on the left. Make sure you read the entire post. Hopefully, the Carpetbagger Report will maintain access to this post. (via FratersLibertas)

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08:04 PM in DeanWatch, Presidential Election | Permalink

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