By Patrick Appel
What if "staying" means a rather small group of advisers remain in Iraq to help train their army? The point is that McCain's core message has been that our policy should be based on actual conditions in Iraq, and setting a date for withdrawal that we adhere to no matter what would not be responsible. And if we do stay, it would only be because it is not costing us all that much in terms of life and treasure. He's been fairly consistent on this. He's acted as if the details will always be in a state of flux, dependent on local conditions. So why should we expect the details of his comments to always remain the same?
I don't expect the details of McCain's or Obama's comments to remain the same. But I do think it is worth noting the shifting. And I applaud McCain's change in rhetoric over Iraq. Positions should change as the political climate and circumstances change. We give entirely too much credence to the charge of flip-flopping.