Today's example: ABC reports that Paul Ryan "now supports Mitt Romney's softer position [on abortion] now that he shares the GOP presidential ticket because 'it's a good step in the right direction.'"
Paul Ryan is an intelligent man. True, Paul Krugman has demolished the idea that Ryan is a serious man when it comes to national economic policy (he just plays one on the floor of Congress), but he is certainly intelligent. So, what is he doing making a dumb statement like the one that ABC quoted?
What does Ryan mean that changing his position is "a good step in the right direction?" Does he mean that he realizes he's been wrong, that women should be given control of their own bodies when they are pregnant due to rape or incest? Apparently not, because if he felt that way, he and Gov. Romney would have called for the Republican platform committee to soften the plank on abortion.
Ryan must meant that by adopting Romney's position--whether or not he believes in it--he hopes to increase the chances that he and Mitt will be elected. Now, there's nothing wrong with wanting to win--if Ryan didn't he should find a new line of work. But he has presented his stand on abortion as one of principle. And it's not a good idea to let the voters know that you'll abandon principle to get elected, especially when you do it with such ease. People might get ideas about a candidate like that. They might think he is just another politician--a thought that will reduce the likelihood that the Republican team will be the people's choice in November.