John Kerry flipflopped on the war, but I think that's actually working to his advantage. I'm reminded of what a pollster named Jeff Levine told Matt Bai of The New York Times Magazine recently about responses to survey questions:
''The pauses people have can be very telling,'' Levine said as we eavesdropped. ''There's an emerging school of survey research that actually times the length of the pauses. The finding is that there's a very strong correlation between the time it takes to answer the question and the strength of a person's belief.'' (The longer the pause, the weaker the respondent's attachment to the answer.)
''You saw a lot of pauses on a question like, 'Was it worth going to war in Iraq or not worth going to war?''' Levine pointed out. ''People don't feel comfortable picking one or the other.''
I can live with this -- complete rejection of a war that unseated a guy like Saddam is further than some people can go, yet many of these people hate the unholy mess of the aftermath, hate the cost in money and lives, feel betrayed by the lies that got us in, and so on, and that's good. Even if voters are responding better to the "evolving" position on the war of Kerry than to the pure opposition of Dean or Kucinich, it's still a rebuke to Bush and a rejection of Bushism.