Romney’s Foreign Takeaways
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  • QET

    Did you mean to say “to the right of Olympia Snowe”?

  • Jim.

    So Romney has to learn to what extent he needs to be Tolerant of the Diversity (or lack thereof) in international media?

    Pretty much.

    Anyway, it’s great that you mentioned connections between religious groups as critical aspects of positive foreign policy. A Romney presidency would certainly be able to handle those far better than the anti-religious Left.

  • ms

    Part of the reason I, and many other people I talk with, feel so at sea right now is because everything has become partisan. There is no right and wrong any more, everything is relative depending on who says or does it. This may be reality, but if so, I don’t see how we can get beyond the partisan impasse. What happened to fair-mindedness? Why is no one willing to grant those from the other party the benefit of the doubt? Why does every issue have to lead to locked horns?

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “but he isn’t encountering anything like the hurricane of hatred and resistance that George Bush had to face every day.”

    Please, Bush terrified nations from Pakistan to Libya after 9/11 and they hated him for rubbing their faces in their own weakness, while Obama is seen as a kowtowing weakling who can safely be ignored or treated with distain as foreign nations see fit.

  • thibaud

    Poor Republicans. I feel your pain.

    Even RealClearPolitics’ Tom Bevan is embarrassed by Romney’s foolishness.

    Last night, RCP put at the top of its daily list the ridiculous Romney editorial in National Review about the “culture” of the Palestinians, North Koreans, East Germans and other subjugated peoples.

    And now Romney’s walking back his absurd remarks on FOX!

    He said it. But he didn’t say it. He means it – but he doesn’t mean it.

    Will Romney even break the 200 EC vote mark in November?

  • thibaud

    Mead is trying to be calm, fair-=minded, judicious here, but it won’t wash. Mead writes: “this was hardly an exhibit of unparalleled, bumbling incompetence.”

    Actually, the bumbling and incompetence were indeed without parallel for a presidential candidate’s trip abroad.

    In planning his itinerary Romney chose the equivalent of a 20 meter hurdles race, with the hurdles as high as his ankle. All he had to do was make nice to his hosts, mouth some platitudes, and then collect another check from pro-Israel donors and write a puff piece editorial about the Special Relationship or somesuch for the amen choir at National Review.

    Instead, the bumbling incompetent insulted his hosts, tooted his own horn at their expense, reignited the Israel-Palestinian issue and put it in the center of the campaign.

    Romney managed teh unthinkable: he got the conservative Prime Minister and the conservative Mayor of London and the conservative UK press to denounce him as an idiot, a boor, a barbarian lightweight.

    “Mitt the Twit.”

    From the pro-US conservative UK press.

    Has anyone alive today ever seen such an appallingly incompetent debut on the world stage by a US presidential candidate?

    Mr Mead, have you?

  • thibaud

    “Much of the criticism Governor Romney encountered this week was unfair”

    Hmmm. Does anyone here teach his or her children that it’s a good idea to visit your best friend’s house for dinner and spend the evening telling them what lousy cooks they are, that their glass isn’t crystal like yours?

    Or that when there’s a bitter argument going on at school, a parent should jump in and start telling everyone that one kid’s mentally deficient and deserves everything he gets?

    Romney’s bigger problem is, so to speak, cultural.

    He has no manners and no common sense. His ego and self-absorption are far greater than his opponent’s.

    Poor Republicans. Worst candidate they could have nominated – except for all the others.

  • Kenny

    Romney’s trips to Poland and Israel were successes with critical key voters in the U.S.

    The foreign media is too ignorant of U.S. politics to know that while the U.S. media knows it but will try to spin events otherwise.

  • jdm

    If he wins in November, he will face four long years of unrelenting, bitter criticism at home and abroad. He will be the target of orchestrated disinformation and propaganda campaigns. Enemies and opponents (not always the same thing) will seek to turn global and domestic public opinion against him, exploiting every blunder and manufacturing blunders where no real ones exist. He will be judged by entirely different standards than President Obama…

    And right on cue, VM’s resident anti-Republican steps up to confirm this. Too funny.

  • thibaud

    “He will be judged by entirely different standards than President Obama”

    How pathetic.

    Surprising to see a supposedly worldly old hand like our host joining the Coalition of the Whining.

    Honest conservatives like Dr Krauthammer and Karl Rove have pointed out Romney’s spectacular stupidity and incompetence. GOP operatives have publicly voiced their disgust with Romney’s “whining.”

    Here’s John Weaver:

    “There is no whining in politics….Stop whining and release your tax returns.”

    Only the amen choir here and a few sycophants like National Review’s Lowry are still defending this fool.

    Why are you?

  • Mike M.

    It’s certainly true: if Romney wins, those foreign “elites” who are predisposed towards extreme socialism and anti-Americanism will suddenly and magically rediscover their full-throated outrage over U.S. foreign policy.

    The real question is why we should care. A reasonable person might think that with much of Europe going down in a debt-driven economic death spiral, they would have far more important things to worry about than the mean things Romney said about London’s preparation for the Olympics.

    For that matter, we here is the U.S. have far more serious and important issues of our own that need to be dealt with than whether or not the Europeans approve of our election results. Should Romney win, I for one hope that intends to address our structural issues in a far more serious manner than the current president has without overly concerning himself with his overseas approval ratings.

  • thibaud

    PS – not “anti-Republican” here.

    Just anti-Tea Party/libertarian nuttiness. A big difference.

  • Kris

    We are still more than three months away from the election, and although political junkies have been absorbed in the election story for more than a year now, most of the voters who will actually decide the issue (that small number of true swing voters) aren’t focusing on the campaign just yet. And there will be many “gaffes”, real and press-manufactured, on both sides before the end, many empty controversies, many cotton candy scandals (fluffed out to look gaudy and impressive but thin and unsubstantial in reality) before the polls close. Romney’s overseas trip will be lost in the mists of time long before anything in this election really matters.

    And indeed there will be time, there will be time for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions.

  • Mark Michael

    This was an excellent post IMO. Captures the foreign & domestic media reality exactly.

  • Mick The Reactionary

    @thibaud says:

    “PS – not “anti-Republican” here.

    Just anti-Tea Party/libertarian nuttiness. A big difference.”

    You appear to passionately hate Flip-Flop Mitt. As is your right.

    So, in your opinion, is Romney a Tea Party nut or libertarian fanatic?

    Pls explain.

    Do you base your opinions on facts or pure emotions?

  • thibaud

    Actually, Romney’s stumbles in the 25cm Hurdles bode ill for the really high hurdles our special Olympian’s going to face in October.

    Contrary to the pleadings of John Weaver and Karl Rove and nearly every other experienced GOP operative, Romney still refuses to release those tax returns.

    They’re going to be REALLY hard for Der Flipper to parse when the good citizens start paying attention.

    An IRA measured in the tens of millions. Caymans Island “blocker” accounts. Uh-huh.

    Team Obama will be happy to fill in the blanks – I’d bet dollars to donuts that some friendly moles inside Nassau and Georgetown will spill the beans on Romney, oh, around October 30th or so.

    This is going to be really painful to watch – and not just for Republicans.

    Embarrassing for America as a whole that a major party would nominate such a mendacious, tax-dodging fool.

  • Mick The Reactionary

    @Mead:

    “What Governor Romney and his team encountered is the strong headwind that any Republican to the left (ed: RIGHT?) of Olympia Snowe can expect to encounter when dealing with foreign affairs. Much of the global press is, if anything, to the left of the U.S. mainstream media, and the conventional wisdom among global elites is closer to the views of George Soros than it is to those of, say, John Bolton.”

    Global elites have zero direct impact on most American voters, the left is excluded. Of course Soros and Carlos Slim just pay American newspapers and propaganda groups so they do exert considerable influence.

    Ronald Reagan had just as hostile, if not more so, media, global and domestic. That did not impact him that much because of his incomparable communication skills, intellect (how ironic that he was considered stupid in his time) and well thought-out believes.

    Since Reagan Repubics had 2 Presidents, Bush I and Bush II.
    Both were poor communicators, especially GWB.

    Both did not have well defined, well thought-out convictions. Especially elder Bush who was somewhat of a flip-flopper.

    While elder Bush has a decent enough intellect, there are serious doubts about GWB. Beside his grades and MBA from Harvard there is no indication that GWB is smarter than your average 7-11 store manager.

    There is no doubts that Romney is extremely smart, at least in brain computing power. He is below average political communicator.
    He is incurable flip-flopper, it appears his only deeply held believe is in Mormon religion and Mormon family life style.

    It is obvious Romney will have much harder time than Reagan in communicating to American people or to foreign friends and enemies.

    Will he do much better than little Bush and at least as well as Papa Bush?

    He should be able to assemble a competent team that should help. Something that both Bushes failed to do.

    GHW Bush has failed because he thought of himself as part and parcel of ruling bi-partisan Washington establishment and could not think media are his mortal enemies.

    Younger Bush has failed because he trusted personal loyalty above competence (tried to appoint a flaming mediocrity Harriet Miers to Supr Court), never could find a good communicator to compensate for his own incompetence.

  • Romney’s trip “…was hardly an exhibit of unparalleled, bumbling incompetence…. no lasting damage was done either to U.S. foreign policy.” That sets a world record for lowering the bar. Can we please have a candidate from whom we can demand a little more?

  • thibaud

    Mick – Romney has revealed some more facets of his character in the last few months. We knew that he lacks any real convictions, but he was generally viewed as highly intelligent, balanced, “comfortable in his skin.”

    His behavior with regard to his tax returns, the mendacious-mandate farce, his British hosts and the Israeli-Palestinian issue has revealed some character attributes that make it hard for me to have much respect for him.

    First, he’s a whiner. This is very rare in politics, which every pol knows to be a rough and unforgiving sport. Romney is not only a whiner about Obama, he’s a serial whiner. It’s really embarrassing.

    Second, he has no manners. This is bizarre, given his background and upbringing. In my experience, people from Bloomfield Hills MI who were formed at Cranbrook Academy generally know how to behave graciously in others’ homes and how to navigate international circles without offending people left right and center. This one’s not just embarrassing; it’s weird.

    Finally, I seriously doubt the man’s judgment. He’s no doubt demanding his VP aspirants release excruciatingly detailed tax records going back many years – his dad did so, and he himself did so when McCain required it of him four years ago. I doubt that he’s broken the law, although that can’t be ruled out.

    But it’s phenomenally stupid for a rich man and master of gaming the tax code whose campaign strategy is based in large measure on his platform for TAX REFORM to not be transparent about his own tax returns. He can’t be so stupid as to think Americans are that gullible, can he? Does he really think the process will not vet him as much as he’s vetting his own VP candidates?

    He’s either

    a) being very stupid, or

    b) hiding something he knows he should be ashamed of and that will doom his candidacy, or

    c) both a) and b).

  • thibaud

    Mick – re the TP/Norquist nuts, I’m fairly close to Francis Fukuyama. Read his despairing essay here about “Conservatives and the State”. Harsh but on target.

    Norquist and the TP loons are destroying the Republican Party and will cripple America in due course if they’re not beaten back the way an earlier generation purged the GOP of the Birchers.

  • Jim.

    @thibaud-

    Romney is about as far from a Tea Partier as you can get, in the GOP. When WRM said, “to the left of Olympia Snowe”, it was a freudian slip. To call the former governor of Massachusetts “Center-right” only works if you’re using European calibration.

    Honestly, if Romney loses in November, there’s going to be a huge wave of “I told you so”‘s sweeping through the Republican Party. (“GHWB, Dole, McCain, and Romney lost, Reagan and GWB won”). The GOP Establishment will have no choice but to hunt for a TEA Partier who is able to articulate American values as well as Reagan… but may settle for winning with another GWB.

    If you like moderation in Republicans, you need to pray for a Romney victory.

  • Boritz

    Texas is a two party state: Republicans and the Tea Party. The Democrats are a third party there.

    In California it is the Republicans that are the third party after Democrats and more Democrats.

    Read Victor Davis Hanson’s “Road Warrior” article about the truly frightening descent of California. At the same time the Texas economy is far outstripping the national average in providing jobs.

    Yet I’m supposed to survey the national scene and conclude that the Tea Party is going to wreck the country.

  • thibaud

    Romney’s ideology, whatever it may be, is beside the point. He’s an empty suit .

    The only thing this self-absorbed and dimwitted boor really believes in is his numbered personal accounts.

    As to the Tea Party, the tide’s already turning. See Ryan Lizza’s superb New Yorker article in which Paul Ryan protests vigorously that he’s not “some bizarre individualist” or a “hardcore libertarian”.

    Ryan unlike Romney has enough good sense (and humility) to recognize that his silly plan has already produced one electoral disaster (the NY special election) and will produce many more for the GOP unless he starts walking it back.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/06/120806fa_fact_lizza#ixzz22Miec8HX

  • Swearjar

    Wow – that thibaud bloke likes to talk!

  • Jimmy J.

    Thibaud has memorized and is using Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” That means always remembering:
    1.Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
    2. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
    3. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
    4.Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

    Thibaud is doing all the above with his commments here. It is an extension of the activities of the MSM, Axelrod, Obama, and company. Always read anything from people like Thibaud with the above rules in mind.

  • thibaud

    Jimmy – So David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Charles Krauthammer, John Weaver, and Karl Rove – ie all the people ridiculing Romney’s manifest stupidity recently – all these men are Alinsky radicals? Right.

    Jimmy, which GOP goofball would you have preferred to the Cayman Islands goof?

    Bachmann?

    Rick, uh, er, uh…. Rick what’shisname?

    Santorum?

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