Earlier today, Trish wrote about the GOP’s concerted efforts to revise a 2004 campaign tactic and characterize Barack Obama as a flipflopper. On MSNBC’s “Countdown” last week, in anticipation of this new line of attack, Keith Olbermann went looking for instances in which John McCain had flipflopped and found 30 instances in which he’d done 180-degree reversals on a wide range of important issues.
Here’s the transcript:
OLBERMANN: Over the weekend, Senator McCain said, quote, this election is about trust and trusting peopleâ€˜s word and, unfortunately, apparently on several items, Senator Obamaâ€˜s word cannot be trusted. Our third story tonight, judging candidates based on their consistency. You see where Iâ€˜m going with this?
 The signing of the G.I. Bill not the only time Senator McCain was against something before he was for it, or vice versa or both. You may want to get pencil and paper and write these downs. On political reform,  McCain last January opposed a grassroots lobbying bill he once supported. In 2006, the â€œNew York Sunâ€ reported that his presidential ambitions led McCain to reverse his support of a campaign financial bill called McCain/Feingold.
 Last October he said he would vote against the development, relief and education for Alien Miners Act that he co-sponsored, and  then said he would vote against an immigration bill that he introduced.
 In 2006, he said on â€œHARDBALL,â€ quote, I think that gay marriage should be allowed. Then after the commercial break he added, I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal.
 On abortion, 1999, publicly supporting Roe v. Wade, privately opposing it in a letter to the National Right to Life Committee.  In the 2000 debates, he would change the GOP platform to permit exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. May 2007, no he wonâ€˜t, ABCNews.com reported.
 Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, flipped.  Military action against rogue states, flip.  Negotiating with Kim Jong-il not acceptable until President Bush did it last week.  With Fidel Castro acceptable in 2000, not 2008.  With terrorists appropriate when Colin Powell went to Syria and in 2006 when McCain said sooner or later weâ€˜ll talk to Hamas, but not appropriate now.
 Unilateral action against suspected terrorists in Pakistan; confused leadership when Obama suggested it, not when Bush did it.  Warrantless wire taps; six months ago, presidents had to obey the law, not anymore.
 Torture detainees, no way, except for the CIA.  Hold them indefinitely, wrong in 2003, the right move in 2008.  The Iraq war, the right course 2004, stay the course 2005. Today, McCain has always been a Rumsfeld critic.[*]
 Tax cults for the rich. In 2001, he could not in good conscious support them. Now he can.  The estate tax; 2006, I agree with President Roosevelt who created it and who had passed away. In 2008, most unfair.
 This month not for privatizing Social Security, never has been. In 2004, he didnâ€˜t see how benefits will last without it.  In February, promised a balanced budget in four years by April, make that eight years.  In May, glad to look at the windfall profits tax. By June, that was Jimmy Carterâ€˜s big idea.  In 2000, no new off shore drilling. Last month, it would take years to develop. This month, very helpful in the short term.
 The Bush fund-raisers McCain called coyotes breaking the law in 2000. By 2006, they were co-chairing McCain fund-raisers.  Buddy Jerry Falwell, an agent of intolerance in 2000.  The Reverend Hagee in, then out this year alone.
 In 1983, opposed Martin Luther King Day. Today, not as much.  1986, opposed South African divestment. This month praised it.  In 2000, defended South Carolinaâ€˜s confederate flag as a symbol of heritage. Two years later, McCain calling it, quote, an act of political cowardice not to say the flag should come down. Quote, â€œeverybody said, look out. You canâ€˜t win in South Carolina if you say that.â€
McCainâ€˜s campaign says his positions evolve.  Ironically, in 2005, McCain said alternatives to evolution should be taught in school. Evolving the opposite position he had taken in 2000.
*I wasn’t sure whether to count this one, so the total could be 31.