Empty Suit

Romney’s latest foreign policy pronouncements continue his pattern of criticism without substance and position without difference.

Romney’s positions mirror Obama’s.  He did offer to “lead from the front”.  What that appears to mean is more military spending.  He promises to “roll back President Obama’s deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense”.  The only cuts that fit that description are part of the sequestration “poison pill”.  That was the ransom Republicans got in return for raising the debt ceiling.  The President is using this “poison pill” exactly in the way that it was designed, to force both sides to come up with something better.  He is holding the defense department hostage in EXACTLY the same way that Tea Party House Republicans held the financial standing of the whole country hostage – but Republicans don’t like it when  the weapon they created is used on them.  So we have this fiction that the President wants to cut defense and weaken the country.  If Romney wants to sell that fiction, doesn’t he at least owe the country some explanation for where the money is going to come to make up the difference in the debt deal?

Romney’s attempt to connect the recent anti-American violence to some fundamental weakness in American policy is naive and dangerous.  The Obama administration has quietly been getting the job done.  Somali piracy contained.  Yemen training bases destroyed.  Gaddafi was overthrown.  Iran isolated and sanctions causing domestic unrest.  Al Qaeda decimated.  New democracies and reforms are emerging.

Romney feels that rhetorical swagger and simple affirmations of American Exceptionalism will dissuade Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, frighten terrorists into submission, and create loyal peaceful Arab democracies.

Bush’s simple answer to a complex world was democracy.  He equated spreading democracy with spreading peace.  He then invaded Iraq to prove his point.  The result was an Iranian nuclear program and the worldwide spread of al Qaeda.

Simple answers don’t work because they almost always ignore unintended consequences.

Now democracy is finally blossoming in the Middle East and Romney says it’s dangerous.  Punish Egypt because they elected the Muslim Brotherhood.  Arm the Syrian rebels even though al Qaeda has deeply infiltrated them.   He did say that we should only give arms to those Syrian rebels that “share our values”.  I’m curious how he is going to sort them out, or prevent a “values” rebel from handing his US rocket launcher to his al Qaeda cousin.  We went down this road once already in Afghanistan where we ended up both training and arming bin Laden and the first generation of al Qaeda.  We should try not to repeat that mistake.

Romney didn’t even mention the two biggest problems in the Middle East- an unstable nuclear Pakistan and a post-withdrawl Afghanistan.

Foreign policy is complex and young democracies need our help to peacefully grow.  Democracy is messy and it doesn’t always go the way that you want it to.  Venezuela is a perfect example.  But if we believe what we say we believe, we have to hang in there and help when we have an opportunity.

Romney has not demonstrated that he has the patience or the depth of understanding to encourage the growth of democracy.

He is looking no further than the next month.  He desperately wants to win this election and will do anything and say anything that he thinks will help him do it.

10 Responses to “Empty Suit”

  1. Keith says:

    Here’s where we are today. Liberals are left with Romney’s a liar. I should say die hard liberals of which you appear to be. mainstream liberals are wondering what happened to Obama in the debate. you simply say Romney lied had nothing to do with Obama as no comments that you’ve made indicate your disappointed in the slightest bit in his performance.

    You virtually share this opinion on your own polling suggests less than 20% of the people who watch the debate came away with that impression. Pulling also suggests that Romney came away from the debate view would more favorably babe by a very significant percentage Obama’s favorability though always it’s been I was little changed . This is due to know the perception or narrative or caricature of Romney that has been built in the media. when TVs were turned on and people watched and listened to him unfiltered simply not the impression most were left with . Polling is polling and this is
    Has happened before but if something doesn’t change quickly for Pres. Obama it will go in the wrong direction .

    The situation with the ambassador in Syria and your lack of comment has not gone unnoticed. The head of the DNC last night said the administration didn’t lie they were giving wrong given wrong information that doesn’t mean it’s false or they were lying . Senate testimony yesterday would suggest that they were never given the information that the problem occurred because of the video in the 1st Pl., State Department officials simply do not agree with what the administration said . Please compare and contrast this situation with the situation in the Bush administration leading up to the war in Iraq . Bush lied was the theme of the 2004 campaign . Your ability for nuanced research would not be put to the test as this does not go very deep . Please explain why this situation if possible is different than that

  2. Keith says:

    Jeff I recently purchased an iPhone for and had tried to speak into it for the last post after review and reading the last post I would suggest it doesn’t do a very good job I will refrain if possible from using it in the future

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    If is any comfort to you, yes I was disappointed in Obama’s performance and it may, as I think I posted earlier, cost him the election.

    We are close enough to the election now that I’m not sure there is much value in trying to parse the polls. It is going to be a very close election where turnout will likely tell the difference. Most of the electorate has already made their minds up.

    I think you meant Libya rather than Syria. I don’t think that we have a consulate in Syria.

    We just don’t have all of the facts with regard to Libya. There are some who are saying that there wasn’t enough security. There are some who are saying that the amount of security was consistent with the size of the delegation. There are some who are saying that the amount of security at all consulates was reduced because of funding cuts. What we know now is that it appears to have been a terrorist attack rather than mob violence. It also appears that the government is cooperating in the investigation, but that Libya in general remains a dangerous place.

    The difference between Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the attack on our Libyan consulate is both wide and deep.

    Iraq was a PREMEDITATED attack. It is what Romney has threatened for Iran.

    Libya was a surprise attack for which we were obviously not prepared.

    If there are any parallels it is between the 911 attacks for which there were clear and present danger signals that the Bush administration ignored and cost the lives of over 3000 innocent citizens and Libya where there may have been actionable intelligence which was ignored and it cost the lives of 4 government officials.

    Both are regretable, but Bush was reelected in 2004.

    You planning to hold Obama to higher standard in 2012 than you held Bush in 2004?

  4. Keith says:

    The administration said it was the video

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    According to Biden, that was the information coming from the state department and the CIA in the early hours following the attack.

    As more information became available, the administration updated the reports to confirm that it was a premeditated attack by a terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda. Since no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, it’s going to take some time to make sure that there is enough information from credible sources to confirm that this was a premeditated attack.

    There are several ongoing investigations which will reveal what actually happened and whether or not it could have been prevented. At the moment, it appears that the transition from a US security force to a Libyan security force for the Libyan Embassy is state department SOP and these decisions did not rise to the level where the President or the VP got involved. Same thing happened post 911 when it became clear that the Bush administration took their eye off the ball regarding domestic security.

    Here is a little history of embassy attacks under previous administrations.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/09/14/krauthammer-whitewashes-bushs-history-to-bash-o/189890

    Clearly this isn’t a new phenomena or the result of some larger perception of US weakness.

  6. Keith says:

    The administration continually said it was the Video. The state department has clearly said, “we didn’t say that.” Even after the administration knew it was a planned attack they STILL blamed the video.

  7. Keith says:

    Today Hillary did the noble thing and fell on her sword and she she was responsible.

    Candidate Hillary said of GW, the buck stops there.

    some items for thought;

    1st, candidate verse governing

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/apr/29/barack-obama/obama-regrets-2006-vote-against-raising-debt-limit/

    2nd, oh yeah?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released–chart-prove-it.html

    16 warmer and now 16 not…… wuz up wit dat?

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Please post something to support your claim that the timeline is out of whack.

    My opinion is pretty much summarized by this LA Times editorial.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-benghazi-20121016,0,3098668.story

    The REAL question should be was the attack preventable. The REAL answer is NO. Even if the security contingent that rotated out had remained, they would have been overwhelmed and MORE Americans would have been killed.

    We aren’t talking about the REAL issue though.

    What we ARE talking about is the claim that Obama somehow lied by sharing the intelligence information in the order that he shared it. So let’s go down that road a little bit. Let’s say that he DID lie. So how do we hold him accountable?

    History should give us guide, as I’ve already posted. The way we held Bush accountable for the security mistakes and lies in his administration that led to 9/11, the unjustified invasion of Iraq, outing a CIA agent, lying about torture and renditions, lying about domestic surveillance, lying about justice department firings, lying about his relationship with Ken Lay, and lying when he told us that deficits don’t matter was to re-elect him.

    So if you are suggesting that treat Obama in the same way, I guess I’ll have to agree.

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    OK so Obama changed a position that he took in 2006.

    Here is a complete list for Romney.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/may/18/politifacts-guide-mitt-romneys-flip-flops/

    Now you are going to cherry pick climate change?

    As long as we are referencing fact checkers, let’s see what Factcheck.org says.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2012/03/santorums-science/

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