Politicizing tragedy is what Mitt Romney excels in, so naturally, he took this moment in history to criticize the President.
Foreign policy bumbler Mitt Romney had yet another bitter break with reality, during which he projected his blatant foreign policy incompetence onto President Barack Obama.
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal “The Price of Failed Leadership”, Romney called President Obama a failure at foreign policy for failing to act. Attributing our “hands being tied” to a failure to act on time, Romney wrote:
Our tough talk about a red line in Syria prompted Vladimir Putin’s sleight of hand, leaving the chemicals and killings much as they were. We say Bashar Assad must go, but aligning with his al Qaeda-backed opposition is an unacceptable option.
Somehow, if Romney were in charge, none of this would be happening because cowboys. Notice how he never tells us what he would do. But even when Romney is specific, he can change course within hours.
In 2012, Colin Powell noted Mitt Romney’s “moving target foreign policy, “I mean, it’s a moving target. One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On almost every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Governor Romney agreed with the President with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign. And my concern, which I’ve expressed previously in a public way, is that sometimes I don’t sense that he has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have, and he gets advice from his campaign staff that he then has to adjust to modify as he goes along. ”
Powell’s comment brings back the painful memories of Mitt flip flopping on almost every single issue. The only thing he seemed consistent on was that single mothers were the cause of America’s woes. Speaking of his views on women, Romney lumped former Secretary of State, former Senator, and former First Lady Hillary Clinton with the President in an obvious 2016 play. Romney wrote:
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident: It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure, I submit, is due to their failure to act when action was possible, and needed.
Romney, the fellow who couldn’t even manage to be a competent guest at the London Olympics without causing an international stir and making a fool of himself to the point that London officials were publicly mocking him, thinks that Obama and Clinton are failures.
Romney, who ran to the press before any facts were in just to take a gleeful I-win-because-people-died walk of shame hours after the Benghazi attack, attacked Clinton and Obama because they wait for information.
Romney continued, “Some simply cannot envision the future and are thus unpleasantly surprised when it arrives. Some simply hope for the best. Others succumb to analysis paralysis, weighing trends and forecasts and choices beyond the time of opportunity.”
Romney sees waiting for facts as not being prepared, which might explain some of his blunders. It also helps to understand his position when we recall that 17 of Romney’s 24 special advisers on foreign policy served under Bush. So, his attempt at a barb, “Able leaders anticipate events, prepare for them, and act in time to shape them,” actually translates to: Claim there are WMD, act before the facts are evident.
That Romney saw this as a good time to air his bitterness yet again at losing an election is just par for the Republican course these days. There is no patriotism or unity when Republicans lose the White House. Everything is an opportunity to dance on the grave of their previous patriotism like hungry, jealous hoodlums looting during a tragedy.
Republicans see foreign affairs as static. Romney is trying to take some kind of victory dance, as if nothing had changed since the Cold War. He is the person who claimed in 2012 that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe, totally forgetting about al-Qaeda. It’s always the 80s when it comes to Republican foreign policy. Now Romney wants to pass this love affair with the Cold War off as foresight, as if time had stood still in the interim.
The only time Republicans get off of Russia is when they are fear mongering the public with other enemies that will kill us all asap, unless we hand unchecked power over to the Republican president.
It seems very distant from Mitt Romney’s mind that there are actual people involved in foreign affairs, and these situations are not black and white. The man who couldn’t handle being a guest at the Olympics without putting his foot in his mouth believes that he could handle much tougher nuances just fine. Just give him the red button already, because it’s his turn.
Someone might want to interrupt the former Governor’s fantasy, and when they do, they might kindly point out that this is partly why he lost to Obama. Romney doesn’t see what is; he sees what he wants to see. He fought a fictional Obama in 2012, and he’s still doing it now.
Image: Mitt Romney smiling during presser about the Benghazi attacks, just hours after they happened.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.