I think Romney did as well as could be expected in the second debate — although I keep wanting him to bring up the Russian microphone episode, along with Barack Obama's dissing of Russia and China's foes, Lech Walesa and the Dalai Lama — both of whom happen to be fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipients. (I mentioned all of the above several weeks ago during my televised debate with a member of the mainstream media — Newsweek's Paris Bureau Chief, no less.)
Indeed, what I really want the governor to do is tie the individual in with the general, and that means not only emphasizing the Benghazi debacle for the catastrophe it truly is, but tying an individual event like the Libyan attack in with Obama's foreign policy in general — to show it is not an isolated event but inherent in Obama's world view — as well as tying foreign policy (in general) in with economic policy. In other words, a winning strategy for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would not simply be attacking specifics, but also pointing out the underlying patterns.
From bumps on the road on the issue of economic recovery to bumps in the road in America's Mideast policy through four Americans getting killed being not optimal and blocking out any noise regarding Israel and Iran: All those quotes — especially the first two — ought to be put together in one nation-wide ad. And how about America being able to “absorb” another 9/11-sized attack? (See also Dick Durbin.) That choice of phrases show how unconcerned the Chicago politician really is about anything not linked to himself and to his leftist ideology and, indeed, how cold-hearted, as Ed Driscoll puts it, Barack Hussein Obama turns out to be.
You would not know it if you read the mainstream media, but far from rescuing the United States (or its reputation) from George W Bush's "disastrous" foreign policy and thus being the embodiment of Smart Diplomacy, Barack Obama's antics (or refraining from acting), have managed to snub one ally after another, time and again, from the British to the French, from the Poles to the East Europeans in general, and even from the Scandinavians to America's immediate neighbors, Canada and Mexico.
This goes from the dramatic (Fast and Furious or switching support from Britain on the Falklands issue in favor of Argentina (while erroneously calling the Malvinas the Maldives)) to (what would seem to be) the trivial, such as petty refusals to make any kind of effort to be original (and thus respectful) when dealing with foreign leaders; petty refusals to offer gifts of any consequence to such dignitaries as Britain's prime minister or to the country's Queen; and petty refusals, while on official (!) visits in foreign capitals, to even attend dinners with the countries' respective leaders, such as the President of France and the King of Norway. Needless to say, we all remember that Obama also refrained from meeting with a single world leader — going on The View and on Letterman was more important — during the September United Nations conference.
What all this amounts to is obvious egotism while refusing to take the office of president of the United States seriously (beyond the left's own ideas of how to use it) and refusing to do the very basics (and not even unpleasant basics at that (double-date dinner in Paree with Carla Bruni and her husband?)) of one's duty as leader of the free world.
Of course, this all puts the left's world view on display (something Mitt Romney must pound home during the next debate and over the next couple of weeks): Obama and the left must not submit to reality (yes, America has enemies, yes, diplomacy requires treating foreign dignitaries with basic courtesy, and no, you are deferential to noone — certainly not monarchs and autocrats and foes); reality must submit to Obama's leftist (and self-serving) view.
Because, in addition to all the above snubs (to America's friends), Smart Diplomacy means that Obama has sucked up to Moscow and Beijing, along with régimes like Tehran's and that of Caracas. The Apologizer-in-Chief has been deferential — whether to autocrats like Saudi kings or to America's enemies. Because it turns out that in the leftists' fairy tale world, there are no enemies. At least, not as foreign nations; a criminal band like Al Qaeda, perhaps… But the Soviets, sorry the Russians, are not enemies — never have been, really — nor are the Chinese; after all, all of us on this planet are brothers under the skin. As are Iran's mullahs. And Hugo Chávez. Who can all live together, quite diplomatically — just like we all do among suit-wearing dipomats in the hallowed halls inside the United Nations…
With the much-vaunted Reset touted so much, (pacifist) ideology has been triumphant to the detriment of reality, with Obama making showing "space" and "flexibility" for concessions to Putin and Medvedev, showing little interest in the human rights situation in Russia and basically ignoring such things as the Russian spy scandal and the Viktor Bout case as well as a NATO member selling sensitive military technology to the Kremlin — never mind arms sales to China.
We have seen many comparisons to America's 39th president. Indeed, Jimmy Carter similarly ignored the misdeeds of the West's traditional enemies, like the Soviets — who in fact, he (Carter) told us, were not our enemies (and whose misdeeds, if indeed they could so be called, were exaggerated) — in favor of weeding out horrific human rights offenders (real or alleged) among our allies (who in turn were not really our friends). Thirty years later, we — America, the world, and Iran's citizens — are still living with the results — which needless to say includes an Islamic Republic that is hostile to America and the West, a régime that sponsors terrorism while seeking nuclear warheads, and a government in Tehran that is more oppressive towards the Iranian people than the Shah ever was. (Sounds like something Obama may have duplicated in Egypt and perhaps in Libya…)
This is the leftist fairy tale: we are all friends and brothers under the skin, and given that "fact", if we (or if any of us) fail to see this in a fellow nation, the fault must lie not with their leaders but with us — or with those of us who see them as enemies, i.e., with conservatives. (Note: try taking the left's talking points to their logical conclusion…)
Thus, there is no real problem with Russia, China, Iran, or countries such as Venezuela, at least none that cannot be worked out by ever-deeper soul-searching — soul-searching on the American side, needless to say. This has led to what Frank Gaffney called the Obama doctrine:
• Abandoning our allies,
• emboldening our enemies,
• and diminishing our country
The only victories the Apologizer-in-Chief is concerned with is over America conservatives, over American military funds, and over the American Way of Life. In the Obama fairy tale (or, as even John Edwards (!) said in 2007, in his Never-Never Land), allies don't need defending and don't even need to be called allies, as we (and they) don't really have enemies (no one does); therefore enemies aren't really being emboldened (as there are no enemies for the Apologizer-in-Chief — who is therefore, and who as senator was in 2007, more than willing to meet with said (non-)enemies "without preconditions"), just encouraged to see us and everybody else in the avant-garde way that we now see them; and we aren't in need of standing out, before (non-existent) foes and friends, in view of the fact that in Obama's brave new world, "there are no senior or junior partners — we are simply partners."
And so a major French party's anti-Americanism is ignored, by the administration as well as by the mainstream media (!), as is the open letter to the administration of President Barack Obama from Central and Eastern Europe, signed by 22 intellectuals and former leaders from the region, including Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa, who are feeling "they are getting whacked".
The pretense of this fairy tale reality has gone to such lengths as hastily sending Russian spies to Moscow without garnering information about the Kremlin's spy ring beforehand and hastily announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden on the same day he was gunned down, before the documents discovered at his Pakistan home could be studied, and acted upon, by intelligence officers — never mind the Russian mike episode. Apologies have gone out to the Arab world, as we all know, but how many people realize that they even went out, before the Arab Spring, to Libya's Muhammar Gaddafi?
And then we get Benghazi: there are no enemies — unless it is us, ergo the murder of the ambassador must be due to the Mohammed-insulting videotape. Any other interpretation, unless of course it is due to Western hatred of and bigotry towards Muslims, can only amount to shameful politicizing.
To conclude: Mitt Romney must base his arguments on simple descriptions on the underlying premises and patterns of the Barack Obama administration and the leftists who embody them.
• A set of policies — foreign, domestic, and economic — based on leftist ideology, in other words, imaginary fairly tales
• Imagining that no country, large or small, is in the final analysis a foe, to America or to any of its allies — who aren't really that close friends anyway — and no disaster during the term of a leftists is really that big of a disaster anyway
• Anything going wrong in the world must somehow be the fault of America (or the West)
• A refusal by Obama to take his office seriously
• A lack of concern for anyone who doesn't support, directly or indirectly, his position and his (self-serving) world view or who can't be persuaded to jump on the bandwagon of supporters — for they can of course only be vile bigots and racists and other hatemongers.
Oh. And by the way — go see Dinesh D'Souza's Obama's America 2016.
- Related: Four years ago, I wrote a similar post for the Republican Party's champion: A Winning Strategy for McCain: Not Attacking Specifics, Simply Describing Patterns
Update 2 — Five Things I Wish Mitt Romney Would Say in the Debate