Lately, the e-mails have been on an Obama vs. Obama theme, dredging up alleged inconsistencies in public statements he has made. The topic doesn't interest me much because it's always possible to find inconsistencies if you sift long enough through all of the words of someone who has been running for president as long as Obama has, and especially if you aren't too picky about context.
But it seems that the RNC cares less and less about context. Most of the statements I have been getting aren't even contradictory in their own terms. Here is this morning's, for example:
Today, Obama Claimed He Would Buck His Party By Increasing The Size Of The Military:
Obama: "I've said that we need to increase the size of our military, which politically, if it got to the floor, probably would pass. But there, as you know, [are] a whole bunch of folks on the left who think that that is a waste of money. I think it's important for us to do." (ABC's "This Week," 9/7/08)
But In October 2007, Obama Told The Caucus For Priorities That He Would Cut Military Spending:
Obama: "I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems, and I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending." (Sen. Barack Obama, Caucus For Priorities Response, 10/22/07)
Setting aside the dubious claim that Obama would "buck his party," where's the contradiction here? He wants to make the military larger while cutting waste and certain programs. Contradiction?
In His Interview With Bill O'Reilly, Obama Called Iran A "Major Threat":
Obama Called Iran A "Major Threat." Fox News' Bill O'Reilly: "Is Iran part of that component?" Obama: "Iran is a major threat." (Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," 9/4/08)
But Obama Has Said That Iran Does Not Post A Serious Threat To The United States:
Obama Said Iran Is "Tiny." Obama: "I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela - these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Pendleton, OR, 5/18/08)
The RNC, apparently, can't understand the difference between saying "Arnold Schwarzenegger is tiny" and saying "Arnold Schwarzenegger is tiny compared to Mount Everest."
UPDATE: The context makes the first item even worse for Republicans. The reference to future combat systems should have been to Future Combat Systems, a program that McCain also has opposed.