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Barack Obama is expected to join John McCain and a mess of Senate Republicans in voting to expand the government’s surveillance powers sometime today. The Democratic nominee previously opposed President Bush‘s initiative, so his favorable vote would mark the, I dunno, one-millionth flip-flop by Obama—at least according to Republicans who were already tittering with excitement over his recent shifts on guns, abortion, welfare reform, the death penalty, Iraq, election financing and negative campaigning.
So how much will these perceived switcheroos affect the election? All you have to do is turn on your favorite cable news network to find someone who will gladly pretend to already know the answer to that important question. But some advantages created for Republicans are clear.