In the earlier post, I mentioned The Post‘s endorsement of Obama. As I said, The Post‘s editorial board believes, as I do, that Obama has been persistently wrong about Iraq, but they rationalize that away:
Mr. Obama’s greatest deviation from current policy is also our biggest
worry: his insistence on withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq on a
fixed timeline. Thanks to the surge that Mr. Obama opposed, it may be
feasible to withdraw many troops during his first two years in office.
But if it isn’t — and U.S. generals have warned that the hard-won
gains of the past 18 months could be lost by a precipitous withdrawal
— we can only hope and assume that Mr. Obama would recognize the
strategic importance of success in Iraq and adjust his plans.
As if that’s not enough, in the very next passage they ALSO rationalize away his position on trade — you know, the thing I was trying to get readers to take a fresh look at by mentioning the Colombian FTA in our endorsement:
We also can only hope that the alarming anti-trade rhetoric we have
heard from Mr. Obama during the campaign would give way to the
understanding of the benefits of trade reflected in his writings. A
silver lining of the financial crisis may be the flexibility it gives
Mr. Obama to override some of the interest groups and members of
Congress in his own party who oppose open trade, as well as to pursue
the entitlement reform that he surely understands is needed.
Here’s the thing about that: I think Obama is an honest man. I hope he’s just boxed himself into a rhetorical corner on Iraq, and I seize hopefully on his statements about other global hotspots as an indication that maybe Iraq is just an anomaly with him. But trade? Sorry, but I’m afraid I have greater faith in Sen. Obama’s veracity than some of his supporters do. He really does believe some of the bad stuff he says — for instance, about judicial selection.