Barack Obama's lectures on Iraq are insufferable. If you ask Obama, every social ill, international crisis, economic hardship, or spilt glass of milk is somehow traced back to a war that "should never have been authorized, and never been waged." Compounding conservatives' frustration is the reality that John McCain never seems interested in defending America's original effort to topple the Hussein regime. McCain's reluctance to do so is understandable to a point, considering the current unpopularity of that decision, but his unwillingness to expose Obama's credibility gap on the larger question is vexing.
The heroic sage mantle Obama has claimed on this issue is absurd. He was neither courageous nor prescient on the war in Iraq. When the war resolution passed Congress in 2002, Obama was a part-time state senator representing an overwhelmingly liberal, antiwar district. It seems obvious that a man in his position condemning a controversial war initiated by a Republican administration was not even remotely a profile in political courage, his repeated self-congratulation about his “courage” notwithstanding. Are we really to believe that a man whose local political career was launched at the home of an unrepentant leftist terrorist was really sticking his neck out in opposing the Iraq war? It's remarkable Obama's managed to get away with this self-serving fairy tale for more than a year.
This storyline ultimately led Obama to publicly proclaim that opposing the war was the single most "gut-wrenching" decision he's ever made in his entire life. If that's so, how is he remotely qualified for an office that demands far more difficult choices on a daily basis? Apparently we're supposed to admire him for agonizing over whether to rhetorically condemn a Congressional war resolution on which he had absolutely no vote. What bravery! The notion that a community organizer-cum-local politician somehow had the geopolitical expertise to identify and reject the faulty intelligence that fooled Washington's best and brightest—including his running mate—is laughable. But don't let common sense get in the way of a good narrative. His pristine judgment is not to be questioned.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography