With Hillary Clinton's lead growing, Barack Obama appears to be overreaching to keep the spotlight and highlight their differences.
His suggestion that sex education begin in kindergarten seems a great leap forward even for a liberal Democrat. While Barack says it must be "age-appropriate" sex education, one need not be Roger Ailes to imagine what the GOP oppo-research boys can do with this one.
In the CNN-You Tube debate, Barack, asked if he would meet with the leaders of Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, Iran and North Korea in his first year as president "without precondition," blurted yes.
Should he get the nomination, imagine an ad twinning photos of Obama and Fidel (or brother Raoul), Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong-Il and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, titled, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at Barack's House?"
At the Woodrow Wilson Center on Wednesday, Barack attacked Hillary from both flanks. By giving Bush a blank check for war, said Barack, with Clinton in mind, "Congress became co-author of a catastrophic war."
Then, Barack stepped smartly to his right and assumed the stance of tough-minded realist who opposes the Iraq war because he wants to fight the real war, against al-Qaida and Islamic terrorists. Obama pledged to send 7,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan and, if Pakistan does not go after al-Qaida in its border provinces, to slash U.S. aid and send in U.S. troops to chase down the terrorists.
"There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans," said Barack. "They are plotting to strike again. ... If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."
Now a threat to intervene in a friendly country against the will of its government is serious business, especially when it is a nation of 170 million Muslims, seething with anti-Americanism, which has atom bombs.
If Barack is talking abut covert operatives and special forces slipping into Pakistan, or surgical strikes with Predator drones, that is one thing, best done quietly and with the complicity of Musharraf.
But if Barack is talking about sending U.S. ground forces into Waziristan or Baluchistan, why would this not leave us in another mess like Iraq, with the U.S. Army bleeding and no way out? Would not Osama bin Laden rejoice in a border crossing by U.S. troops into Pakistan, enraging the Pakistani nationalists as well as the border tribes?
After half a decade of fighting in the Islamic world, has not the lesson sunk in with the hawks of both parties? U.S. troops in an Arab or Muslim country are more likely to create an insurgency than quell one.