‘As consistent as human beings can be’

Several weeks ago, in one of the more amusing political claims of the year, Mitt Romney boasted, “I stand by my positions. I’m proud of them.” Given Romney’s record of abandoning every policy position he’s ever taken, it was hard not to marvel at his shamelessness.

Soon after, Romney reversed course, acknowledging he has changed his positions, but insisting that this is a good thing. “In the private sector,” he said, “if you don’t change your view when the facts change, well you’ll get fired for being stubborn and stupid.”

Now, Romney has reversed course again.

Mitt Romney, under fire from all sides on the strength of his political convictions, said Thursday he has been as consistent as a person can be during his political career.

“I’ve been as consistent as human beings can be,” the presidential candidate said in a meeting with the editorial board of New Hampshire’s Seacoast Media Group.

Just so we’re clear, Mitt Romney is now flip-flopping on flip-flopping. How very meta of him.

As for the substance, if Romney believes he’s been “as consistent as human beings can be,” he’s (a) lying to himself; (b) lacking any sense of self-awareness; or (c) believes human beings are completely incapable of consistency.

For what it’s worth, there are a couple of good sites devoted to tracking Romney’s flip-flops — Multiple Choice Mitt and Which Mitt both have accurate and worthwhile content — and I don’t envy their tasks. Given the frequency of Romney’s reversals, I would imagine these sites have trouble keeping up.

Indeed, Timothy Noah recently did some research to find if Romney had any — literally, any — core and unshakable beliefs that he’s maintained throughout his career. The only one? The fact that Romney wants to be president. Everything else, including every position on every issue, was optional.

The result is a shameless, craven politician who’s flip-flopped — including, apparently, on whether or not he flip-flops — like no other American politician in a generation.