The Grand Tradition of Flip-Flopping

Politicians change their minds for all kinds of reasons. Here are a few of them

Donald Uhrbrock / Time & Life Pictures / Getty

The grand tradition of flip-flopping: Politicians change their minds for all kinds of reasons. Lyndon Johnson spoke out against Trumans early efforts on racial equality and as Senate majority leader helped pass a civil right bill in 1957.

The line of politicians who have had a change of heart about the war in Iraq keeps getting longer. Republican Senator John Warner, who voted in October 2002 to authorize the use of force there, now wants the troops to start coming home. Democratic Congressman Brian Baird, who opposed the war, wants to give the surge a chance: "Progress is being made and there is real reason for hope." But politicians are often anxious about changing their minds. They know opponents are waiting to hammer them as opportunists or just plain confused, as Mitt Romney, dogged by accusations of flip-flopping over...

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