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Tonight, Barack Obama betrays Michael Moore

It’s a sign of something, I suppose, that even when I agree with Michael Moore I still find him irritating. So it goes with his open letter to President Obama, urging the president to call off his proposed troop increase in Afghanistan and instead bring the soldiers home.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.

Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you’re doing it so you can “end the war”) will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you’ve said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone — and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout “tea bag!”

I agree: Continued war in Afghanistan is not worth the blood or (non-existent) treasure we’ll spend there. Still, you’ve got to ask Michael Moore a serious question: What did you expect?

It’s true that Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 against the Iraq War. But he also campaigned on fighting the Afghanistan War more effectively than President Bush. He was very explicit about this. Anti-war liberals should not be surprised, but they are — probably, I think, because they expected his “tough on Afghanistan” rhetoric was just a ploy to seem tough in case his GOP opponents decided to deploy the standard “surrender monkey” campaign against him.

We keep doing this to Obama. He told us in the campaign that he didn’t believe in marriage rights for gays and lesbians, yet there has been a constantly repeated hope — in referendums in California and Maine — that he might lend his voice in support of gay marriage campaigns. It never happens. And liberals end up surprised, again. There are other examples of this sort of thing.

During the campaign, Republicans warned us that we didn’t know the real Barack Obama — that he’d take office and reveal the radical-almost-Communist reality beneath the moderate mask. The heck of it is that liberals apparently suspected nearly the same thing. But everybody was wrong.

Barack Obama will surprise us on occasion by taking more moderate or more conservative stands than we expected. He will never, ever surprise us by doing something more liberal than we expected. He was never trying to win over the Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party. And he still isn’t. We shouldn’t be surprised.