Tell Me, Who Are You?


I hate to be a Patsy Pile-on (okay, I lie, I love to pile on once a suitable target is acquired), but I just wanted to elaborate a little on Romney’s journey to some countries he, by rights, should not have been able to screw up in.  This trip wasn’t really about Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and how he related to leaders around the world—it seems in hindsight that it was more about allowing him to do some cultural signifying to the base.  From that perspective, what were perceived as gaffes—weren’t. He conveyed the themes he intended to:

United Kingdom=Anglo-Saxony (Whatever that’s supposed to mean—but I think it’s just “The middle two letters in “WASP”.)

Israel=Judeo-Christian values (Pronounced in that fashion that lets you know that the other Abrahamic faith is silent.)

And Poland=Anti-Communist (Because Soviet Union, you guys!)

Put them all together they spell “Mitt Romney is an Anglo-Saxon, Judeo-Christian kind of guy who isn’t a Communist,.” (Unlike, you know.)

So, if you think that US foreign policy is about representing this country’s interests while participating as something like a “first nation amongst equals”, say, with grown people expectations about how other participants on the world stage may act and react to the things you do and say as a world leader, you might roll your eyes and wonder how this clod got his crust. But if your idea of foreign policy is “Eat American Exceptionalism BITCHEZ!” you might have actually thought that any poor reaction Romney received was because other people are just so…p.c. and shit.

In real-world terms, I tend to agree with the commentary of Suddeutsche Zeitung that Romney has sort of disqualified himself from potentially meaningfully carrying out any Middle East policy because he has already provided Islamic nations with reason to think he can’t or won’t deal with them in good faith. He made particular statements about Palestinian vs Israeli culture in an economic sense that bore little relationship to the historical or current political background--which he a) tried to backpedal from, b) which were actually nearly verbatim from his book No Apologies (giggle, snort, no, really), and which he then c) doubled-down on in a National Review op-ed piece.

Nice, right? So, instead of a one-term Massachusetts governor with no foreign policy trying to show that he is so capable of being better than, say, She Who Needs Not Be Named, he shows that he still has to pander to the Republican base. Which is possibly what some people might call wimpy. At this blog, it’s been regularly iterated that he is an example of “Profiles in Something Other than Courage.”

As a presidential challenger, he should be presenting his resume and showing what he has that would make him better than President Obama. As it stands, he reminds me of when the polls were regularly showing that a “Generic Republican” might beat Barack Obama, even if no single Republican candidate stood out. At this point, Mitt Romney may as well change his name to “Jan Eric Whyte-Guy” for all the good his experience does him. As we find out who he is, we start to suspect we understand what he is a little better.

I know some people might not see that as a problem for his campaign—but I think for someone who wants to be president, it’s a BFD.  Some may look back and wonder if he was even properly vetted.

(Cross-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/31/12 at 11:17 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersElection '12MittensNuttersSarah PalinSkull Hampers

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Romney has always had only one path to victory: be the candidate of the out party during an economic crisis. He secured his party’s nomination, which is pretty much all he needed to do. But he’s such an awful, awful politician that he may very well squander this golden opportunity.

Supposing Obama beats Romney (please god!): What happens to the GOP then? Will they assume that they didn’t go full metal wingut enough and nominate some tea party loon next time? Or will they do some soul searching and go back to being the party of plutocrats and scolds?

I’m beginning to think that Romney is such a peculiar hot mess of a politician (and his little team, too) that he could very well suck the energy right out of his base. 

The Republican base is already in schism and although the Party knows this is a major problem, they will put on their game faces during the campaign because . . . what else can they do.  There has to be some percentage of the base that is secretly revolted and embarrassed by who they’ve had to “let in.”

That explains a lot of the frenzy with which Republican governors have ripped into the states’ government to throw the game in their favor. Because “throwing the game” may very well be their only chance.

And finally, if race were not an issue, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

First, kudos for including “Bob.”  The Sub-Genius must have slack, and this helps provide it.

Second, to my surprise, I agree with this:

As we find out who he is, we start to suspect we understand what he is a little better.

“Surprise” because normally I might think it a sort of op-ed cliche.  But it’s proving to be true.  I had no idea how repellent Romney is, nor how buffoonish he is on the stump.  I don’t really like the use of the word “who” in any important context, since it only points to either a name or a position.  But “what” he is has become clearer indeed over the past few months. 

During the primaries someone described a stand-off between Gingrich and Romney as being a contest “between a guy nobody likes and a guy everybody hates.”  No wonder.

Will they assume that they didn’t go full metal wingut enough and nominate some tea party loon next time?

Yes.

It’s the only move they’ve had since the Gingrich revolution: For any given situation, get stupider and angrier and dig your heels in harder.

I object to the inclusion of the late lamented Max Headroom.

It’s the only move they’ve had since the Gingrich revolution: For any given situation, get stupider and angrier and dig your heels in harder.

Yeah, they’re still mad at John McCain for being too moderate and for not dying before Election Day so Super Sarah the Power Palin could take up the mantle of presidential candidate.

I expect them to nominate Chuck Norris in 2016.

Ha, Norris would be a great one! Norris/Nugent ‘16.

The only thing stopping that is that as-yet-unviolated “whose turn is it” principle driving the selection of the Redoublechin nominee. Although I’m hard-pressed to decide whose turn it’s supposed to be next.

Let’s not overlook the apparent ignorance or just arrogance of his staff.  I suspect the “kiss my ass, this is a holy site” will resonate in some minds for a while.  Just not the right ones.

The “kiss my ass” thing really was a gem. I think the Romney campaign really is wall-to-wall cobags.

Comment by Xecky Gilchrist on 08/01/12 at 04:12 PM

(okay, oops, THAT guy is RNC, but that only reinforces my broader point that Republicans are all cobags.)

The Max Headroom/Mitt Romney Comparison has been out there for awhile, but it is unfair—Max is far more natural!

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