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Monday, October 22, 2012

Mitt's Deflated Foreign Policy

Romney blimp
Hey look, it's giant metaphor for Mitt Romney's foreign policy positions ahead of tonight's presidential debate:

An airship promoting Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Florida drew attention for other reasons Sunday when it was forced to make an emergency landing just north of Miami.

According to WSVN-TV, the blimp, bearing the banner, “America Needs Romney,” was caught in high winds on its way back to a local airport, forcing it to the ground near a residential area in Davie, Florida.

“It was getting lower and lower,” one resident said. “It was totally going down, it was just losing altitude. The wind was just taking it and taking it.”

Team Romney took a double-whammy this weekend, as the Obama administration announced a major diplomatic breakthrough with Iran and the Republican version of the Benghazi attack collapsed under the weight of reality. Their foreign policy blimp went crashing down. Team Romney is furiously trying to spin good news into bad, but I seriously doubt anyone other than the base will bite. As is so often the case, good news for America is bad news for the GOP -- which means this weekend was a disaster for them.


This is especially true when you consider that the subject of tonight's debate will be foreign policy. Mitt's FP plans have been as sketchy as the rest of his platform. For the most part, his foreign policy positions seem deeply reactionary -- i.e., everything Barack Obama does is wrong.

Yet Pres. Obama will be able to take the stage tonight and announce a foreign policy victory and a vindication, since a lot of people go light on news consumption over the weekends. Romney's foreign policy blimp is deflating rapidly. President Obama ended the Iraq War (something Mitt Romney likely wouldn't have done), likewise ended Osama Bin Laden, and has restored America's reputation around the world. Barack Obama has had a remarkably successful geopolitical first term.

For the most part, when Romney ventures out of his shell and speaks about what he'd do differently, it's typical Republican bellicose bluster. You're going to "get tough" with China? Great. Now what's that mean, exactly? He won't tell you. Why? Because he's trying to avoid taking the subject to it's logical conclusion and, as a result, sounding as idiotic on the subject as Donald Trump on oil prices. This tough talk plays well with the teabagging base, who seem to identify schoolyard bullies with heroism somehow, but it scares off everyone else who see it leading to war. Even if you're not a fullblown pacifist, it's not very likely that you're real comfortable with the idea of war as the answer to everything.

Yet that's the neoconservative approach to foreign policy that Romney has adopted. You know, that whole Bush foreign policy. The same one that brought us 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, the subsequent snipe hunt for phantom WMD, created enemies and adversaries around the globe, and brought us the shame of torture. From his statements on the subjects, it's hard to see how Mitt Romney would've done anything different. After all, people who recognize the failures of the Bush administration doesn't hire former Bushies to shape their foreign policy.

In the end, it may be that Romney's main foreign policy criticisms crashing to Earth was just gravy. It may be that just pointing to Romney's foreign policy team would've been enough. When it comes to geopolitics, Mitt Romney is George W. Bush. And, as far as the average voter is concerned, Dubya automatically loses any foreign policy debate.


[image source]