The bottom line:
Only a few years in politics (from 2002) - That was a rapid period of consolidation
So-called _______ ‘flip-flops’ came after thoughtful investigation.
Well-considered change based on facts and increased understanding. They definitely were not "flip-flops".
It would not be smart to elect a President who did not engage in this process, which he is totally committed to and which is one of the reasons he is so phenomenally effective.
This flip-flopping thing is nonsense - a story created by the opposition. It is a label that has been stuck on him.
And, from that erroneous belief, there is a derivative that he will "pander", implying he will not operate based on his (consistent) principles - but he is one of the strongest adherents to doing what is right and effective that I've ever seen in my life!
Use your reasoning and discernment to see what he will do.
Voters deserve to know more than what a spliced-and-diced commercial suggests.
Who but the most-barnacled ideologue hasn't had a change of heart due to new information (abortion), additional insights due to experience (Romneycare) or circumstances (a national versus a state election)?
Romney has become a more-conservative candidate because of his shifts, while the narrative that he is merely politically expedient rather than principled seems to be a contest between the pot and the kettle - and is not based on truth.
The seemingly "contrasting" views of what he has said are distorting and often even a blatant lie.
But the public has learned the stories and tends to just repeat what is learned, with few looking deeper.
See what it is that you can rely on. (I also give my assessment.)
Let's take a look.
We must do the right thing: get people health care.
Obamacare is bad law, etc.and I will repeal it.
Evaluation: That is not a flip-flop! What applies to a particular state doesn't apply to all states - and he never supported it for all states! He also specified "no new taxes" and that it must be a "free market" based bill.
The only "mandate" was cost sharing for free riders (those who could afford insurance but used state's free health care). The one reference in the bill to Planned Parenthood was to have it be on the Connector Boards (insisted by the 85% Democratic legislature). The pay for abortion clause was not in the bill, but the courts inserted it later. It prevented a massive loss of funds by Mass. and it helped to address a very broken system.
What he will do: It is hugely clear that he will immediately exempt the states and then do what he can to repeal Obamacare. You can rely on that.
Background: People get health care already, but the uninsured through emergency rooms or through medicaid. The question is only can we do it more effectively. He worked through a Democratic legislature and created what would work better, with high satisfaction ratings.
Conclusion: Not even close to a flip-flop. ObamaCare is not fitted to individual states and is very costly and not at all the same.
We were going to be in a free fall that would cause the collapse of not just a few banks and Wall Street but banks all over the country, affecting not only a few jobs but all the jobs in this country. That's what we were facing and the TARP program kept that from occurring.
Evaluation: That makes eminent sense. It does not make sense to harm the country by holding onto ideology that says the government should not intervene and/or hate for the big organizations. It wasn't for the big organizations, it was for the country and very wise. All cool heads supported it, though some make it political - it is practical. (Bush, Paulsen, Obama, McCain, any reasonably analytical and knowledgeable person supported it, as did those countries that did it in their own country!!!!!)
It is nonsense to complain about this or assume that big government is supported by those who rationally supported this exception and came up with the appropriate solution.
What he will do: He will minimize government but do the right thing if it is valid to do. No one need worry about his allowing excess government involvement! Nothing to worry about here!
STIMULUS (What would be effective?)
As an economist myself, there are instances where we need to take unusual measures to solve unusual situations.
I think a stimulus program is needed. We need to move quickly. These are unusual times.
What the President created with his $780 billion plus program was something that grew government but did not grow the private economy.
Evaluation: In no way is this a flip-flop.
AUTO INDUSTRY BAILOUT
Should the government bail out GM? The former governor says "absolutely not."
Fact: He proposed it go into bankruptcy, but people assumed that meant "let it die" - that was an utter falsehood or just an erroneous assumption or misunderstanding. People failed to understand that GM would simply use bankruptcy protection to reorganize and come out with less debt and a better operating plan. What occurred under the government alternative was identical to what would have been done in bankruptcy!!!!! To paint him as heartless or stupid is a rather ignorant thing to do.
Not a flip-flop.
What he would do in such a case: Assure that the right thing was done, so that GM would survive, but have it done by private sources, based on its long term viability.
A change of view, and not of principle, is not a flip-flop. It is only a change of view based on experience and investigation in this case.
It seems that this is more how things happened: Though personally I am pro-life, I also believe in the right of a woman to choose, and not be imposed upon by others who believe differently. I will honor the wishes of the citizens of the State Of Massachusetts. (Seems reasonable to me! A wise man does not fight battles he cannot win. As a strategist I would say that was wise in terms of his being appropriate to be the governor representing those people - and it gave an opportunity to improve things and to do the massive rescue he did.)
Note that the two principles (what's right versus not suppressing others by imposing on them what you believe) that run into each other from seemingly opposite directions are not actually contradictory. It seems that he would govern according to those who elected him, representing them as he promises to do (such as in the inaugural swearing in). I like the idea of a President who is not suppressive and honors the right of others to make a selection that they think is suitable for themselve. This also means he will govern secularly, without interference from church or beliefs, though still being able to use persuasion where he can.
Almost 20 years ago, before the 1994 brief run for the Senate: I believed that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I believe that since Roe v Wade has been the law for 20 years that we should sustain and support it and the right of a woman to make that choice. I will honor my word in that regard.
I have my own beliefs, and those beliefs are very dear to me. One of them is that I do not impose my beliefs on other people. Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative who was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that. (And, indeed, he hasn't.)
"Every piece of legislation which came to my desk [as] governor, I came down on the side of preserving the sanctity of life." 2007
The misinterpretation: He does not say he is not pro-life. He is saying that, given the fact that abortions do happen, we want to avoid the dangers of driving this underground - and we should save lives. He seeks to discourage abortion and encourage putting the child out for adoption, but he recognizes the reality of the situation and he adapts to the legal requirements to produce the best results.
What he will do: He'll support pro-life but not killing people via poor medical treatment. Surely that would fit humanitarian and conservative values alike.
Another touchy, emotional issue, so one must separate that for a moment and look at the facts - and then make the conclusion! And then the emotion will be a good one, I think.
"Firmly in support of protecting the LGBT community from discrimination, but never in support of same-sex "marriage". He supported benefits for same-sex couples, such as health insurance and family leave time. (Well, duh, do the conservatives want to oppose them and discriminate and hurt them? Me thinks that almost all of them don't want to hurt anybody, though they don't want to support what they believe is inappropriate behavior. I think that people on both sides need to respect the beliefs of the other side and not to make the other side evil.)
"I believe that the Clinton compromise [Don't Ask Don't Tell] was a step in the right direction. I am also convinced that it is the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military. That goal will only be reached when preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians is a mainstream concern, which is a goal we share." (Though because of the obvious possible effect during a war, it might be a problem of upsetting the ability to execute well, so he proposed it be altered after the conflict was over, as did many of the generals even though those who wanted openness ultimately. Notice that when the mainstream appeared to be ready, then that law was repealed.) I know that conservatives are not for discimination and mistreatment or unfair treatment!!!! So this is not an issue
The question for conservatives and all of us is whether that is the most workable given that homosexuality exists and it always will. It is not reasonable for conservatives to think that hiding it is a cure or in any way supports their desire to not allow for it. It simply is a question of how to deal with it in a practical, reality-based sense - and to make things work for gay and non-gay soldiers, in the inevitable clash of beliefs and what people are comfortable with. That is neither a liberal or a conservative issue. It is a "what works" issue. And from there it is just a matter of opinion. (And those of us who favor gay rights more must not do to those who believe differently what many of us are doing to them - making them wrong for their beliefs. Instead, what works is seeking understanding and working together toward a solution.)
In Massachusetts, the court made gay marriage legal. He asked for either a vote in the legislature and to then later put it to a vote of the people - both of which would have the possibility of changing that law that permitted gay marriage - but the 85% Democratic legislature did not permit that.
What you can count on: He would support a ban on gay marriage (the M-word issue), as marriage is for a man and a woman. AND he would support non-discimination and equal rights for same-sex couples, for who in his right mind would choose the opposite. It is not condoning it, but merely, given its sure existence, dealing with it fairly. (I think it is unworkable for some so-called conservatives to try to eradicate the non-eradicatable behavior or to make them wrong, as only a bigot would do.)