Obama & McCain: Tacking versus Flipflopping

During the past couple weeks, left bloggers, myself included, have begun to pile on Obama for appearing to tack right in preparation for the general election. That’s right, tack.  As the sailors out there are aware, tacking is a tactical as opposed to strategic move.  A shift in tactics, or tacking, helps you get to your original destination, albeit while making adjustments to account for prevailing winds.  That is what Obama has been doing.  You see it on campaign finance, perhaps the Iraq War (but not really– see Cleveland debate), perhaps even late term abortions and FISA.  (note, despite what the MSM says, no flipflopping and no tacking on death penalty for child rapists)

You can trust the person tacking because it means they remain open minded while also committed to their stated mission and objectives.  They merely are adjusting to shifts in their own thinking (yes, it happens), and the real world along the way.  Stated another way, a person who fails to tack is susceptible to ideological rigidity (think Bush) or empty headed plodding (think BUSH).

In the alternative, flipflopping or changing course during a political campaign ought to make for a wary voter. Changing course raises the red flag of political expediency and cynical maneuvering to enhance electability.  John McCain has shifted course on tax cuts, campaign financing, immigration, even on the war on Iraq.  Further, there is a blurry line between changing course during the campaign and lying outright. Not too long ago, McCain said he couldn’t balance the budget; today he says he can. He now claims he will balance the budget by lowering taxes and winning the war in Iraq during his first term. This exceeds changing course and enters into flat out delusion, another trait the voter ought be wary of.


To be clear:

Obama= tacking=trust

McCain=changing course/ flipflopper= be wary


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