Foreign policy works against Democrats, Obama
Contrast Obama's position on Iraq with David Kilcullen's in the post below. Kilcullen also opposed the liberation of Iraq, but instead of relying on some original sin argument rolled up his sleeves and helped to find a way to clean up the mess the war had become. As he said there is a difference is crying over spilled milk and cleaning it up. You can't clean up a problem by running away from it.
There is one unexpected gift that John McCain's presumptive nomination brings to the GOP. McCain was certainly not my choice, but if any other Republican candidate were running, it's unlikely we'd be seeing as much emphasis in the campaign on foreign policy, and Obama's unfolding incompetence in this area might have escaped essential scrutiny.
Democrats were no doubt looking to capitalize on the Iraq issue before it became apparent that the success of the surge had exceeded all but our most optimistic expectations. Because McCain is perceived as one of the most ardent proponents of the surge and Obama fiercely opposed it, Obama finds himself caught in a trap over the entire issue.
Obama's arguments, echoing the perennial anti-Iraq-war line Democrats have been peddling for years now, that we shouldn't have attacked Iraq in the first place are falling flat, given the radical reduction in violence levels the surge has produced. He is reduced to him-hawing, sputtering, spinning and misrepresenting his unequivocal opposition, which he was earlier showcasing -- during the Democratic primary season -- to contrast himself with chief rival Hillary Clinton.
In the process, Obama's worst attributes are coming to the fore: his pride and arrogance, which paralyze him from admitting any real weaknesses, such as his egregious foreign policy judgments, and his astounding shortcomings as a would-be commander in chief, starting with a profound naivete, inexperience and either ignorance or fundamental dishonesty.
Although liberals generally confer a presumption of sophistication and erudition on fellow left-wingers, they have to be shaking their heads in disbelief, wondering just what their nomination contest has wrought. They can't help but realize that Obama is proving himself daily to be woefully unprepared for the presidency.
They thought they had problems when Obama's sordid associations were dominating the news but were surely confident that once substantive policy discussions recaptured the stage, these associations would diminish, as the messiah's brilliance and charisma would wow and mesmerize us. They're probably wishing right now they only had to deal with the Jeremiah Wrights, William Ayerses and Michelle Obamas.
He is compounding his problem by refusing to admit he was wrong. He can't really do that because his campaign has been based on his judgment about Iraq in 2002 and late 2006 forward. He leaves out the period from 2004 until Octover of 2006 when he opposed a precipitous withdrawal and basically supported the Bush administration position.
One thing Bill Clinton got right in the primary campaign was Obama's fraudulent claims of consistency on the Iraq issue. Now Obama has trapped himself into consistency on being wrong about the surge and people are noticing because of his trip to Iraq.