More Fun with Alan Keyes

And the flip flops just keep on coming. It seems that our Man of Principle has discovered that there are a lot of farms in Illinois and decided to backpeddle on some of his rhetoric from an earlier presidential campaign. The AP reports:

On his first campaign trip into Illinois farm country, Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes said Thursday he no longer favors abolishing the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Keyes in 1996 had called the department an "expensive top-heavy bureaucracy that was not actually contributing to the good of the farmers." But he said Thursday things had changed under Republican leadership in Washington and he now favors keeping the department.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that his conversion took place at the Illinois State Fair, presumably right after viewing the blue ribbon winning hog. And I'm sure this is a principled stand on his part, a reluctant change of mind based solely upon his intimate knowledge and study of the changes in bureaucratic structure at the Agriculture Department since the Republicans took over. It couldn't be a convenient change of position in a desperate attempt to gain some votes in a campaign. After all, he is a Man of Principle. Then again, he didn't exactly help his credibility in claiming to know anything substantive about the issue when he didn't even remember what he had said in the first place:

Keyes initially denied ever saying the Agriculture Department should be combined with other federal agencies. "I am sure that's a misquote," he said.

When pressed on the issue later, Keyes said he had double-checked and now recalled opposing the Agriculture Department when he ran for president in 1996.

Which explains why he's been studying the bureaucratic problems at the Ag department lately, to reexamine the position he didn't remember having taken. Fill in your own "I've got a bridge to sell you" joke where appropriate.

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