Apparently a McCain aide has tried to claim that Obama’s position regarding genocide is inconsistent or insincere based on the following two statements:

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

“Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Obama a year ago.

Let our children come here and know this history so they can add their voices to proclaim ‘never again.’

Obama today, at Yad Vashem

I’m going to give Tucker “Out Of” Bounds the benefit of the doubt and resist the conclusion that he’s just a mean-spirited jerk who will stoop at nothing to get in a shot at Obama. Instead, I propose that the remark merely demonstrates an lack of logic and reading comprehension. “Humanitarian problems” does not equate to genocide. Even “potential genocide” does not equate to genocide. I can’t find an actual transcript of the AP interview, so I don’t actually know what criterion Obama was referring to. Neither do any of the dozens of others who’ve commented despite being unable to provide a direct quote. The exact words do matter. There’s no inconsistency involved in making two statements at two different times and places about “humanitarian problems” or “potential genocide” on the one hand and (unqualified, manifest) “genocide” on the other. Unless and until someone can definitively identify the precise context of the first remark, bashing him for any perceived inconsistency is premature, fallacious, and irresponsible.

P.S. The next pundit to talk about “walking back” a statement will be “walked back” behind my house and soundly beaten. I’ve seen that silly phrase used entirely too much this week, first applied to Maliki and now to Obama.