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Gingrich Brazenly Flip-Flops on Libya Intervention (Video)

Gingrich Brazenly Flip-Flops on Libya Intervention (Video)

I’m sure there’s been plenty of conservative commentators struggling with the Obama administration’s decision to participate in the U.N. no-fly zone over Libya. However, it requires a certain moral flexibility to enthusiastically declare support for such an action, only to do a complete 180 on national television weeks later, just days after the no-fly zone was established. Of course, when it comes to moral flexibility, former Speaker of the House and potential Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is second to none.

Watch (more after the jump):

Thanks to Talking Points Memo or combining the clips.

In case you were concerned that their edit cut out Matt Lauer’s follow up question, forcing Gingrich to explain his stunning reversal, you needn’t worry. Nothing like that occurred. And as Kevin Drum explains, we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for Gingrich’s supporters to question him either. Drum looks at it from the perspective of the flip-flopper, weighing the potential consequences:

Back in the day, I remember a lot of people saying that it was getting harder for politicians to shade their positions either over time or for different audiences because everything was now on video and the internet made it so easy to catch inconsistencies. But that’s turned out not to really be true. Unless you’re in the middle of a high-profile political campaign, it turns out you just need to be really brazen about your flip-flops. Sure, sites like ThinkProgress or Politifact with catch you, and the first few times that happens maybe you’re a little worried about what’s going to happen. But then it dawns on you: nothing is going to happen. Your base doesn’t read ThinkProgress. The media doesn’t really care and is happy to accept whatever obvious nonsense you offer up in explanation. The morning chat shows will continue to book you. It just doesn’t matter.

And that’s got to be pretty damn liberating. You can literally say anything you want! And no one cares! That’s quite a discovery.

Sad, but true. For a closer look at the differences between Gingrich’s Libya intervention positions, check out David Weigel’s March 23 Slate post. Weigel digs into the transcripts and points out that Gingrich flip-flopped on multiple levels:

Anyone want to try and reconcile these two interviews? It’s not just the flip-flop on intervention — the flip-flip on whether humanitarian needs make the intervention justified or not is breathtaking. Either that’s a standard or it isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with a public figure or politician changing his or her mind about a particular issue. But in Gingrich’s case the chasm between positions is so wide, it effectively exposes the former Speaker for what he really is: an unelectable, professional Obama critic. Steve Benen put it best:

I don’t doubt Gingrich will remain a media darling, invited onto national television on a daily basis to present arguments unchallenged, but that doesn’t change the fact that no one should take this pseudo-intellectual clown seriously.

Related on Care2:

The Death Panel Lie – Conservative Dishonesty in the Health Care Reform Debate

Gingrich Ignores History, Calls Obama – Chavez Encounter a Display of “Weakness”

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Image from Flickr.com user, ajagendorf25 ~ By way ofCreativeCommons.org

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34 comments

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11:35PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Sorry, have to think!

11:34PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Once again a blog of someone else to take the light off of what is NOW happening, the questions should be to the President himself Aaron, not make this about Newt cause right now he is a nobody, what we have is something going on now, with alot of money we do not have for this, write a blog about that because it is now not the future. Oh bambe did nothing wrong right, i say run for cover, i guess we will get why next week, have to thing about the best outcome now.

11:26PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Wow he is running for the top position in this country, why are you not asking the one who now is there, what in the he11 we are doing there in that country?. If this is the case why are we not in China or Iran, why is it that we are there i ask again. This leader was for it and now he is not, which is it libs WHY are we there, i know the man is evil and should be brought to justice here. If that is why we are there then i say yes, but it is not they say he can stay WHY? They lied to us and said no troops on the ground then who is sending the tomahawks to the site they need to be sent??? Why are we being lied to again, we it be when one gets caught on the ground and they give us the video of them asking for help to be free? This is an illegal action we have taken period, an a call for the sos and this current man to taken out of office now. Forget Newt he is not in the office, he is just a what-a be and will not get the pass from the independents.

10:18PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Newt has always been a slimy reptile. I wouldn't know where to begin to list his displays of "moral flexibility".

9:50PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Obama said that Gaddafi had to go... That's no longer the case. Talk about a flip-flop. It's hard to follow a leader that has no clue. The community organizer is in way over his head and it shows.

9:27PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

So he was for it before he was against it. Politicians always hold firm to their beliefs. Except when they don’t. Like Newt and his marriage “vows”.

8:26PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

So what's the surprise- he is a TWO FACED LYING son of a biscuit. That people like this are elected tells me what's wrong with the US.

2:39PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Gingrich always was a weirdo.

2:18PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Not the first time he flip/flopped on something. Just ask his ex-wives!

1:43PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Newt was a lunatic in the '80's, is still a lunatic. He will tell his audience what they want to hear and change his tune on the same day to a different audience. An accomplished compulsive liar, he is also delusional.

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