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.