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.
Can't you just imagine what high-level Democrats are saying behind closed doors about their disappointment over this imploding one-time national political phenom? If any of them had the intellectual honesty they demand in others, they'd be doing mea culpas over their derision of George W. Bush for far less.
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