Maybe Mitt Romney Needs Bill Kristol Advising Him…

Ordinarily, I would not recommend Bill Kristol as an adviser, but here was Mitt Romney one day ago:

Chen took refuge at the embassy after escaping house arrest. He rejected a deal to keep him safely in China and now says he wants to leave the country. Chen has said he feels abandoned by the U.S. American officials have said they didn’t pressure him to leave.

“If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration,” Romney said. “We are a place of freedom, here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack.”

The State Department said this week it conveyed no implicit threats and the issue of violence never came up in its discussions with Chen. They told him that China had agreed for him to reunite with his family if he left the U.S. Embassy.

Romney suggested U.S. officials were motivated by the politics of Chen’s case. He said U.S. officials “willingly or unwittingly communicated to Chen an implicit threat to his family” and accelerated negotiations for his safety because of scheduled high-level talks in the country with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their Chinese counterparts.

And here’s what turns out to be some very sensible advice from Mr. Kristol:

And as it happens, here is the situation as it stands one day later:

The US says it expects China to allow prominent dissident Chen Guangcheng to travel abroad soon.

The US state department said Mr Chen had been offered a fellowship at an American university, and it would allow his wife and children to accompany him.

Earlier, Beijing said the blind activist could apply to study abroad - paving the way for a resolution to a tense diplomatic stand-off with the US.

So, basically, the outrage lasted about a week, would you say?  At the embassy for about six days, then let out, then, voila! a perfectly reasonable and legal way for him to travel abroad appears! In real terms, this situation lasted an actual day for Mitt Romney, as in, he read a thing in the paper to criticize, pronounced it a “dark day for freedom and a day of shame” and now is just kind of looking awkward and clueless. Again.

The name of the SuperPAC supporting him, Restoring Our Freedom, kind of bothered me, but now it makes sense. I was always thinking, “Well, the future hasn’t happened yet, so, where did it go that it needs restoring?” But now I get it. Romney can’t win on his history, and he sucks at current events. So, the future it is!

Inspired by Bill Kristol’s sensible advice, I’d like to embellish it just a smidgen:  I don’t think running by reaction is a good sign. To continue with YAFB’s reflection on the echoes from the 2008 general election—except this time to point out how Romney’s fecklessness reminds us of the kind of criticism that Sen. McCain rightfully earned four years ago—jumping right on top of Russia’s aggression against Georgia by grandstanding.  Well, actually, in Romney’s case, it’s a bit more pathetic than offering promises he can’t keep; he’s actually concern trolling. He doesn’t know what the hell he’d do, but he’s very sure Obama will fail…

And oops. Troll opportunity over. Until the next one. And then the next one.

Take his claim that we shouldn’t be applauding job recoveries until unemployment is at 4%. That’s a troll.  We haven’t seen that since the Clinton Administration. (And the article at the link helpfully points out, unemployment in Massachusetts never was as low as 4% while Mitt was in office.)  An improvement is an improvement. There’s no sign that Romney has any plan that would get unemployment to 4%—he’s just trolling.

Take his also dumb, unsupported claim that somehow, the ACA will lead to the government taking over half of the economy.  Does that even make sense? Massive, unsupported claims?  Trolling! (Or is this the kind of thing he has to say to get Michele Bachmann’s endorsement?)

But even if Romney wants to continue his fantasy vision of finally making trickle-upon  down economics work, this time, maybe, at last—fine. The showing his ass over foreign policy? Not so fine for his campaign, and not so fine for the president, who actually has a job right now that involves our national security and continuing foreign relations. You know, a real job.

There’s no likelihood Romney would take advice from me, of course And most likely, the only thing Kristol could bend his ear on is something dumb. You know, like choice of running mate. After all, he recommended something dumb to McCain. But you can’t help but think, maybe Romney does not take this job seriously and does need to talk with someone. He’s two-faced. Maybe he can talk to himself.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 05/04/12 at 11:02 PM • Permalink

Categories: NewsPoliticsBarack ObamaElection '08St. McSameElection '12MittensHealth Care

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Lots of anti-Romney ugliness from the Freepers:

Mitt Romney’s Eldest Son Has Twins Via Surrogate

☞ LINK

Comment by Bob Stanley on 05/05/12 at 12:16 AM

Listening to “Oh Well” from the original 1960s Fleetwood Mac and reflecting on Romney’s continued stepping on message.  He bats his messages out with his badminton racket wondering why the unemployed don’t just borrow $20G from the ‘rents and start a new biz.  Bingo, unemployment problem solved.  Oh well.

The US state department said Mr Chen had been offered a fellowship at an American university

but…but…affirmative action!  That’s not freedom, dammit!

btw the link in “we shouldn’t be applauding job recoveries” is the same as McCain on Georgia.

Aside from his habitual wharrgarble tendencies, McCain’s attitude to Georgia was colored by the fact that his senior foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was a lobbyist selling his services to the Georgian government.

Similarly, aside from Mitt’s decision that his trump card in the campaign is to channel Palin on the basis that if Obama does something—anything—it’s by definition BAD and the facts be damned, his foreign policy team has disinterred the old neocons. Add to this his saber-rattling toward the US’s major investor the Chinese government during his campaign so far, mix in the usual screw-ups from what may turn out to be the most accident-prone campaign team in history and the fact that Romney’s outsourced plenty of jobs to China in his time (and there’s the little matter of those patriotic Olympic flag pins he boasted about that were made in China), and he may go some way to assuaging the disappointment we all felt that the GOP wasn’t going to provide a more comedy-friendly contender to see us through the long summer ahead.

Why, he has some more entertainment thoughtfully lined up for us today:

At Ohio State University in Columbus, where Obama is set to speak around 1:25 p.m. ET on Saturday, Romney aides are planning to circle the candidate’s campaign bus. The campaign will also set up a phone banking operation staffed by Romney supporters and volunteers in a parking lot near the rally site at Ohio State.

I think his campaign slogan should be:

MITT ROMNEY: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

That empty Foreign Relations Advisor slot in The Romney Campaign is turning into an abyss . . . don’t jump, Willard.

Thanks Rebecca—I fixed the link.

YAFB—ya mean, he’s not just going to be trolling Obama, but his supporters are now going to be trolls, too?

And here we all were worried about a zombie epidemic.

Rmoney’s supporters surrounding the presidents bus has the makings of something really ugly, or something really campaign-killing - and I don’t mean killing Obama’s campaign. 

A bunch of frenzied true believers from the Rmoney camp acting crazy around the Obama bus is just the ticket to winning over that much-vaunted independent vote, don’t you think?  Jebus, what an idiot with idiot advisors…

A bunch of frenzied true believers from the Rmoney camp acting crazy around the Obama bus ...

Maybe they’ll join hands, chant “OMMMM,” and try to levitate it.

Though on past form, it’ll be the braindead professional chorus of “OO-S-A OO-S-A OO-S-A ....”

Take his claim that we shouldn’t be applauding job recoveries until unemployment is at 4%. That’s a troll.

I was surprised he leapt straight to 4% - most of the trollish detractors have been droning “No president ever got reelected with 10% unemployment”...“none ever got reelected with 9% unemployment”...“None ever got reelected with 8% unemployment”... etc.

Things have reached a pretty pass when Bill “I Have Been, Am, and Will Remain Wrong About Everything” Kristol is shown to be wiser and more sensible than the candidate.

Meanwhile, Mitt’s middle-school-student slogan (“We are a place of freedom, here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack.”) invites such rejoinders as, “How, then, will you stand up to the freedom-denying regimes in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, and—what’s that place called, again?  Oh, yeah—Israel?”

“How, then, will you stand up to the freedom-denying regimes in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, and—what’s that place called, again?  Oh, yeah—Israel?”

Easy! By having a really slippery non-definition of “freedom.” It’s pretty much the entire point of the term, like they used to (and still) do with “family values.”

“How, then, will you stand up to the freedom-denying regimes in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, and—what’s that place called, again?  Oh, yeah—Israel?”

He never does respond to that kind of challenge and apparently feels he doesn’t need to. It has nothing to do with what he’s doing. This trolling analysis is brilliant because it really captures the radical strangeness of that. Once State figured out something to do about Chen Guangcheng, Romney would just not bring it up again, unless he could come up with a way of criticizing the solution to replace his critique of the problem. The only meaning of a particular criticism is its function in today’s news cycle. For many of his followers, they are perhaps close enough to dementia that the varying critiques of a given Obama policy from day to day are all just basically the same thing anyhow. And no, it really doesn’t sound like a very effective approach.

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