I have a phrase for Mitt Romney…and other Presidential candidates who want to score points BEFORE having ALL the facts. In many cases, without EVER getting all the facts: “No comment.”
Please don’t rush in where angels fear to tread.
President Obama did that too. He commented on President Bush’s policies on terror — then walked into the Oval Office and found that HE too, had to embrace some of the policies he’d criticized. Is the naval base at Guantanamo closed? NO! Sometimes we talk and end up with coal when silence is golden! (Nobody knows that better than I.)
It is easy to run our mouths (again, like me) when we DON’T have to walk the walk, when we’re NOT sitting behind the starting gate. But try to balance securing trade agreements and continuing to beg Chinese support FOR sanctions against Iran (which Romney pressed the Obama Administration to do – not even realizing that the U.S was ALREADY doing it) with America’s NEED to appear to support dissidents…and it becomes far less easy to talk the talk.
Obama chastised Romney and the GOP when they blasted him in March for NOT starting a THIRD WAR in the Middle East. Obama said then:
“…those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities. They’re not commander in chief…and when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war; I’m reminded of the decision that I have to make, in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impact that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy…this is not a game…there’s nothing casual about it.”
But then Romney has about as much Foreign Policy experience as a pancake.
Remember when FOREIGN POLICY was the Republican’s “Litmus Test” for President.
When George Bush was in office, Republicans could NOT run on “The Economy” which was beginning its downward slide. It was NOT “The Economy, Stupid” it was: “Foreign Policy, Moron!”
They painted George Bush as the barnyard jock of Foreign Policy. He turned out to be Foghorn Leghorn. Republicans were STILL gung ho on foreign Policy when John McCain ran against Obama.
Foreign Policy was so big an issue, it torpedoed Sarah Palin. As soon as she said: “I can see Russia from my house!” she was toast. OK! Tina Fey said that on Saturday Night Live, NOT Palin. Palin said of Russia: “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
Nobody asked Palin about the economy. (We automatically knew she didn’t know, anyway). They – unfortunately for her, fortunately for us – asked her about The Bush Doctrine: a phrase used to describe the foreign policy principles of president George W. Bush.)
In her first major interview as the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was stumped when asked about the so-called “Bush Doctrine,” unable to answer whether she agreed with the six-year-old U.S. policy of military preemption.
Asked by ABC News’ Charlie Gibson whether she supported the Bush Doctrine, Palin stared blankly for a moment before turning the question back on Gibson. “In what respect?”
The ABC anchor responded, “Well, what do you interpret it to be?” clearly testing her knowledge of the policy that has been in place since September 2002, before the Iraq war.
Palin’s ABC Interview: Stumped On Bush Doctrine, Seems To Contradict McCain On Pakistan: The Huffington Post | 09-11-08
John McCain was being touted as a MAVERICK???
But now, NOW that they have a candidate whose foreign policy experience is his Mormon service in France, republicans are now putting their emphasis on the ECONOMY. (I’m NOT criticizing Romney’s Mormon service. I think service is a concept that MORE young people should get involved in. President Obama signed the “Serve America Act ” – April 2009 – which supports National Service programs like Americorps.)
Apparently these days, you can’t have a president who’s strong on BOTH. Gotta be Economy OR foreign Policy!
Here’s how Republicans decide: “You love me: foreign policy…you love me not: economy! Love me…love me not….”
Look at your daisy now. Your last petal says: The Economy! Of course it’s a game. POLITICS is a game, an obfuscating game with moves like ‘Fudge’ and ‘Prevarication.’
So when it suits Republicans “The Economy” is de rigueur for the job description as Commander-in-Chief. And depending on their candidate, then they scratch out business experience and highlight “Foreign Policy” as part of the job description!
I expect either party to nominate their mascots one year then try to convince us which mascot will make the better President: “Elephants have close family ties, Family Values! Donkey’s are hard working and Steady, Non elitist!”
So Mr. Romney: If YOU were negotiating with China today, and you needed to kiss their political a- – (not much choice, whether Republicans talk tough or not), what would YOU do?
Would you JEOPARDIZE any chance to negotiate trade and other agreements with China (What do you think Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are doing over there? Looking for Reed Krakoff knock-offs?) OR would you support the dissident AND further piss off China who’s already smarting over its loss of face…and lose potential co-operation? Merely asking…
You could grab Chen and bomb Tiananmen Square to force the Chinese to co-operate…
YOU COULD TRY TO DO THE DIPLOMATIC SHUFFLE, like our capable Secretary of State and the Obama Administration have been doing – and see if you can salvage BOTH.
With your VAST foreign Policy experience, Governor Romney, WHAT would YOU do?
I note YOU the great Capitalist businessman (Obama being the liberal anti-business Socialist/Communist) blasted the U.S embassy in China for:
- “placing economic concerns above Chen’s freedom…”
- “we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack.” In Africa too…? Sudan alone will keep you occupied for another 50 years, at least! And we’re not talking any old freedom, either – we’re talking “religious” freedom! Islam against Christianity. Mr. Romney…? When should America deploy?
NOW, if it is true that China will indeed allow the dissident to leave and come to New York University then BOTH China and the U.S. CAN SAVE FACE!
That is “Diplomacy”, Mr. Romney. Let’s hope that is what comes to pass and NOT your either…or!
All your talk of never apologizing and thinking you can ride roughshod over China…this Bush Doctrine of ‘Unilateralism’ did NOT work for Bush – and it will NOT work for you.
Finally, maybe all these “illegal Immigrants” you want to send home should become activists. Instead of slaving here cleaning toilets, picking lettuce…working on your yard? Maybe they should indeed go back home – stage a sit-in against drug cartels in Juarez, Mexico. Then when they start getting shot and disappearing, it would be OK for them to come seek asylum (not Amnesty) in America and attend law School free, housing free, monthly checks free, medical free, everything free?
NYU is just a way for everybody to get what they want: China, Cheng, State Department!
How about THAT, Mr. Romney?
And finally, HOW do you propose to bring the following countries in line with US sanctions against Iran…one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil.
- India. It cannot do without the oil it imports from Iran.
- Turkey. Will only enforce United Nations approved sanctions. Imports a-third of it’s oil from Iran. US has tried strong-arm tactics.
- Japan. Depends on Iran for 10-percent of its oil. Agreed to buy less…
- China. World’s biggest energy consumer. Iran’s biggest buyer. Supported UN sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program but says US sanctions against Iran are improper and ineffective.
- Russia. Like China, holds a veto on the United Nations Security Council. Important trading partner with Iran, vehemently opposes oil sanctions.
Or do these issues no longer matter as much as Romney’s dog?
Next posting Monday