Back when he was running for president, Barack Obama liked to talk a lot about how we had to negotiate with our enemies as well as our allies, and how we could disagree without being disagreeable, and so on.
Everybody just assumed he was saying these funny things to differentiate himself from grumpy old John McCain, who hated everyone, but that if he ever ended up in the very unlikely position of actually running the country he would revert to common American type: refusing discussions with everyone except our closest friends, shouting a bunch of bellicose threats at any nation that looked at us sideways, and in general projecting American Strength by acting like an intractable jerk to our fellow world citizens.
It looks like Obama actually meant all that hippie claptrap after all! Just in the past few days we've seen news reports that he would like to reach out to moderate members of the Taliban (are there any?) and thaw relations with Cuba. Then there was the incendiary news that he exchanged secret mash notes with Dmitri Medvedev trying to enlist Russian help in talking Iran down from its nuclear ledge.
So what's Obama's goal here, besides completely freaking out the millions of Americans who agreed with Hillary Clinton and John McCain that we should not establish diplomatic relations with anybody outside of Great Britain and maybe France without preconditions?
Is he trying to silence forever the many paranoid basement-dwelling typists who sit at home eating Fritos and forwarding wingnut conspiracy emails about Barack Obama's dangerous socialist tendencies and Kenyan birth certificate? After all, what's the point in being a fringe crazy if all of your most insane fantasies end up coming true?
The alternative explanation seems too simple to be true: like many campaign promises Barack Obama made, this is another one he's keeping.
Rhetorician and Cuban cigar collector Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.