Does Shamelessness Pay Off?

Paul Waldman believes in the political value of shamelessness:

One thing they understand very well at Fox, and in the conservative movement more generally, is the political value of shamelessness. As long as you say what you're saying with conviction, it doesn't matter how absurd or hypocritical it is. You may not get the majority of the public to agree with you, but you can get a good number. ... As a result, conservatives may not win every argument, but they almost never get routed completely.

The general amnesia of the American public aids this in the short run. But Beck's ratings reveal, it may not be a good long-term strategy. And as Jonathan Bernstein notes:

My guess would be that as an overall effect the FNC/shameless strategy is a net minus. When pundits can pick up and drop arguments at the drop of the hat without worrying about long-term consistency, it may make it easier to appear to be winning at any moment, but at the cost of actually fighting for policies they believe in.

Seth Masket provides an example of shamelessness backfiring.