THE HARD-TO-EXECUTE FLIP-FLOP-FLIP…. We must never forget that Republican leaders in Washington are people of principle — weak, malleable, easily-abandoned principles.

In the Bush era, for example, GOP officials considered the budget reconciliation process a routine and inoffensive legislative procedure. During the fight over health care reform, those identical Republicans decided that the identical process was an outrageous abuse, an insult to American democracy, and ultimately, cheating.

Now that there’s a GOP House majority, wouldn’t you know it, some leading Republicans have decided they kind of like reconciliation after all.

Look who’s suddenly all for passing things in Senate with 51 votes.

In a new column entitled “Democrats can’t filibuster ObamaCare repeal,” Karl Rove argues that Republicans can use the budget reconciliation process to repeal the health care law with 51 votes. That’s the filibuster-proof process that allowed Democrats to tweak revenue and spending measures in the greater health care law, which Republicans at the time compared to Chicago-mob style politics.

On March 1, 2010 Rove himself called that “changing rules midstream.”

It’s not just Rove. Former Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who recently retired, went from loving reconciliation, to equating it with organized crime, to loving it again.

All of this, by the way, comes a month after congressional Republicans decided “deem and pass,” a legislative procedure that drove the GOP to apoplectic hysteria last year, really isn’t so bad after all.

Anyone counting on shame to discourage Republicans from engaging in the exact same tactics they recently denounced is bound to be disappointed.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.