Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Mitt Romney’s intro to foreign policy was just a misplaced mendacious talking point

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As an American, I wanted Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to issue statements that would reflect well on the United States after the attacks in Libya and Egypt. They’re not even close to being ready for leadership on foreign policy.

I posted this on Facebook in a way to show a true non-partisan stand, one that presidents and presidential candidates should weigh before launching potentially troubling statements. People, sadly, expect a bit of this bravado on domestic issues where nothing is particularly at stake. Somehow, for international incidents, especially one as disturbing as the attacks in Northern Africa, we have a different standard.

Liberals on Facebook gave me a “like” for my statement, but didn’t submit comments on the statement. Conservatives weighed in disturbed that Obama had “apologized” as Romney noted, and why should we have a commander-in-chief who apologizes for American stands. One of them has a son who will join the Marines, so her concern is a bit more personal.

I had started this exercise in a way to show non-partisanship in a time of international crisis. I don’t mind my Facebook friends who criticize Obama. The funny part is that liberals don’t like to criticize the president, even when he needs to hear that.

I can understand some of their fear. After all, the criticism of Obama from the right gets daily airings, whether they are fact-based or not.

Whatever you might think of me or my politics, I can sincerely handle criticism of the current president. And I truly meant what I said about Romney and Ryan about their statements. Short of a Hail Mary x 100, either Obama or Romney is going to be president. And I’d like to have a president who can handle the dangers that still lurk outside our borders.

Romney dropped the ball by going too early, by adapting a political point to a situation where it didn’t even apply, and criticizing the president for something he or anyone else did not do in the middle of an ongoing situation.

I wasn’t crazy about John McCain’s foreign policy but had a reasonable assumption that he knew what he was talking about. Okay, so he still thought Czechoslovakia was still a country in 2008, and he was a little obsessed about war. So maybe McCain isn’t a good example.

Mitt Romney had kept his domestic policy as vague as possible, but he does have somehow somewhere a domestic policy. His foreign policy has been hidden better than his undisclosed tax returns. To make the debut of thinking about foreign policy on the early morning of September 12 in the middle of an ongoing situation where American diplomatic people were killed — irresponsible is only the beginning of where to start.

Getting back to my conservative friends on Facebook, I asked them in the most pleasant tones I could muster in print to please show me proof that Obama or anyone else had done what Romney had accused them of doing. After all, if what Romney said was true, that would be the easiest thing to find on the Internet. Still waiting for that proof.

Of course, in reading this, you could supply this proof in the comments section. I will go even further and if someone submits a moment where Obama or any embassy did what Romney is describing, I will go on Facebook and disclose this.

The talking point that was pounded into our head during the Republican National Convention was that Obama was an apologist. There isn’t any basis in reality, just like the accusations of Obama being a socialist. We would have a better society if we had the same standards for lying on domestic issues as we do for international problems.

The fact that Romney’s initial statement and his double-down follow-up matched the talking point is discouraging and depressing. The lie didn’t even fit the scenario, and Romney didn’t wait until all the facts were in to start the lie.

Romney said “it’s never too early … .” If Romney gets to be president, he will find that being too early will get this country in trouble overseas. If he really wants to be president, Romney needs to learn that lesson between now and November 6.


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