Goodbye Flip-Flopping, Hello 'Evolving'

Howard Kurtz: It's too late for John Kerry, but now all the cool kids are doing it

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 3, 2013 1:54 PM CDT

(Newser) – John Kerry once got nailed for saying he voted for a measure "before I voted against it"—he was called a flip-flopper. But that was the old days. Now, politicians have a "linguistic escape hatch" to avoid such accusations, writes Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast: They just say their views are "evolving." "I mean, who could be against that?" Kurtz asks. "It is practically professorial rather than a shameful cave-in." Evolvers include everyone from Sean Hannity, who "evolved" on immigration following the election, to the president himself.

President Obama said his feelings on gay marriage were "constantly evolving"; apparently, GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski also has "evolving" views on the issue. When Bill Clinton recently backed ending the Defense of Marriage Act he signed, a former aide said he'd "evolved." The truth, per Kurtz: "It's not so much that they have evolved as that they have seized a politically safe moment to do what they already wanted to do. Or, to put it more gently, they had to wait for the country to evolve" on the issue. Click for the full piece.

In this April 2 photo, John Kerry speaks at the State Department in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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