Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Politi-flicks: The Flip-Flop on the Other Foot

While past Democratic Presidential candidates have found themselves successfully degraded as "flip-floppers" by Republicans, we're 21 months before the 2008 election and already the tables are turning -- starting with John McCain and Mitt Romney.

The apotheosis of the negative flip-flop ad was the John Kerry windsurfing classic. By simply flipping right-to-left the footage of Kerry practicing a solo and inferred elitist sport and providing a couple unexplicated examples of votes he'd made in the Senate, they smeared -- or rather, labeled -- him good.

Now filmmaker Robert Greenwald (Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers) has put out a Web video cataloging video records of Sen. McCain's reversals, one of them within the same episode of Hardball. Before the commercial break: okay with gay marriage. After the commercial break: not okay with gay marriage.

Particularly on that issue, one feels for McCain's struggle between his tolerant feelings and his soul-selling deal with the devil to win the Republican religious voting bloc. He was ripped by that very group back in 2000 when he was smeared in South Carolina and lost the nomination to the Bush/Rove machine. That nomination, he thinks, is his if he can just capture that group this time, desperate, whatever it takes. He can practically taste the nomination -- will Jeb out or a late-inning replacement, it's his turn in the party, it surely is, just as sure as it was Sen. Bob Dole's back in 1996.

Dole lost to a Clinton.

Poor ex-Governor of Taxachusetts, Mitt Romney. His religious problem is his Mormanism, which fundamentalists reportedly distrust. He would never have been elected head of that left-leaning Northeastern state had he been a Movement Conservative. In fact, Romney was Pro-Choice...before he was Anti-Choice.

Will the Religious Right see through his Massachusetts windsurfing? It doesn't help that he once held a fundraiser for a(n unsuccessful( Democratic candidate.

So Hillary, Barack, John E. Or one of you others we'll be seeing on the Primary Trail, at least until the first couple contests are decided. When one of you gets the Party trophy, are they going to be able to smear you with the flip? Or will you be inoculated -- because some Internet-savvy filmmaker like Robert Greenwald flopped it all back on them?

As always, Politi-flicks is cross-posted to The Daily Reel.

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