So this makes three things America’s Greatest Patriot has in common with Obama: They both oppose the war, they both lead their own cults, and neither one understands that Afghans aren’t Arabs. But never mind that. I’m sure I’ve asked this question before but I’m compelled to ask again. Does Ron Paul realize that he voted for the war in Afghanistan? We’re used to seeing pols repudiate their war votes, but at least when Hillary and Edwards do it they feel obliged to feign remorse and lament the error of their ways. Paul, by contrast, plows right on ahead with his lecture, seemingly oblivious that he himself is partly responsible for supposedly playing into Osama’s hands.

That’s at the end of the clip. The beginning of the clip is devoted to him wondering why we’re going around arresting terrorists in foreign countries. Yes, really. Watch the whole thing, though, as I think these few minutes come closer than anything else I’ve seen to explaining why so many conservatives conceptualize him as a leftist even though his policies are very far right. It’s not that he thinks the war is a mistake; so does George Will and so did William F. Buckley and their conservative credentials were fully in order the last time I checked. It’s that he can’t concede any sort of progress against the enemy, so dogmatically does he adhere to his isolationism. It’s no neocon fantasy that Iraq has been a disaster for Al Qaeda, unless the Guardian and people like David Ignatius (and jihadi propagandists?) now qualify as neocons. Apart from losing ground on the battlefield, they’re losing ground ideologically too, which belies not only Paul’s claim that they’re stronger than ever but that he understands the enemy better than the Republican mainstream, blinkered as it is by jingoism. He’s actually worse — considerably worse — than Obama is in this area. Watch the clip and tell me I’m not right.