Cross-posted from Newsworks
What is the definition of a flip-flopper?
It’s interesting to explore the origin of the term. Famed New York Times columnist William Safire wrote about a U.S. politician in the late 19th century who was refereed to as “the Florida flopper” by an opponent. Safire noted that the “fl” sound appearing twice is an indication of ridicule, which is why “flip-flop” rolls off politicians’ tongues so nicely.
Safire also noted that the doubling of the sound worked well in other two-word phrases used to disparage someone, including “wishy-washy” and “higgledy-piggledy”.
Ironically, those are all words I would have used to describe President Obama’s over-calculated and highly-political stand on Gay Marriage prior to this week. Obama, who once came out in support of gay marriage before deciding to run for the U.S. Senate, had let politics get in the way of his personal beliefs, even as society’s acceptance of same-sex unions has changed drastically.