Kid Romney

In order to become president, Mitt Romney saddled up a snake and began campaigning against Barack Obama on the low road, mostly by insinuating that Mr. Obama wasn’t quite American enough for the American people.

Now, after last night, Romney has ditched the snake and got even lower to the ground.

In one of the most cynical moves possible, and from a man who wants to be the leader of the most powerful country in the world, Mitt Romney released a statement to the press last night at about ten o’clock, a statement that was, according to Politico, “initially embargoed until the 9/11 anniversary was officially over” at midnight.

That statement, released before all the facts were known about what happened in Libya and Egypt—we now know our U.S. ambassador to Libya and three staffers were killed—read:

I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi.  It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

Ah. That disgusting and irresponsible and unpatriotic and purely political statement follows precisely the narrative that the right-wing has been telling about Mr. Obama, ever since Sarah Palin accused him of “paling around with terrorists.” Mr. Obama, you see, not only pals around with domestic terrorists, he has sympathy for terrorists in faraway lands. He goes about the world “apologizing” for America. Why? Because he’s not one of us.

What triggered Romney’s amateurish response was a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Cairo, a statement condemning a “film” that is not only amateurish on a Romney-like scale, but according to The Wall Street Journal,

was directed and produced by an Israeli-American real-estate developer who characterized it as a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam. It has been promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans previously sparked deadly riots around the world.

The movie’s trailer was uploaded to YouTube and, according to “Pastor” Jones, “further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.” In other words, it pokes fun at the Muslim prophet, which by design is meant to inflame passions in the Middle East and make Jones, and his Israel-before-America friends, heroes to a weird cult of Christians who hate all forms of Islam.

Some radicals in the region, taking the bait from America’s haters, morphed the homemade film into a Hollywood blockbuster that was purposely released on 9/11 in order to insult Islam. So, we can conclude that there are idiots everywhere, some even willing to kill in the name of their religion.

The embassy statement, the one Romney said showed sympathy to those who attacked our “diplomatic missions,” was actually released before—repeat, before—those deadly attacks occurred. Romney jumped the gun, just to reinforce the narrative about the president, and made himself look the fool.

For the record, here is the entire statement:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others

The Obama administration made it clear this statement, released “shortly after noon” on Tuesday, according to The New York Times, was not authorized by the White House. And the Times also made the point that Romney was “apparently unaware of the timing of the first embassy statement.” Unaware? Yes, that pretty much describes Romney’s foreign policy consciousness.

As I said, the politics played by Romney on Tuesday night is disgusting enough, but what is serious about all this is what is happening in Israel, particularly how it appears that Benjamin Netanyahu is conspiring with his long-time friend Mitt Romney to push Barack Obama out of the White’s House and push the United States into a war with Iran.

Netanyahu, pissed off that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are trying to keep us out of a shooting war with Iran, launched what even Fox “News,” citing an Israeli newspaper, called,

an unprecedented critique of the U.S. government and others over their stance on the Iranian nuclear program…

Unprecedented, indeed. Netanyahu said:

The world tells Israel ‘wait, there’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.

Wait? Patience? Who needs patience when we are talking about getting America into yet another war in the Middle East? Huh?

If one were to survey right-wing media in this country, one would think that the Israelis were all of one mind on the subject of what to do about Iran. But that is far from true. Opinion is divided in that country about how to proceed. But Netanyahu, an American right-winger’s dream of an Israeli prime minister, is doing his best to slyly disrespect President Obama and force the United States to either act on its own to attack Iran or act in concert with Israel to try to destroy its nuclear facilities.

What is scary about Romney and the conservative intelligentsia here in the United States, is that these people are willing to outsource our foreign policy to Netanyahu and the Israelis. Apparently we don’t have interests in the region such that we can act—or not act for God’s sake—on our own without the permission of the Israelis. That is not only scary, it is, uh, un-American.

Romney’s foreign policy advisor, Robert O’Brien, said this on Tuesday, in response to the Obama campaign’s willingness to push Mr. Obama’s many foreign policy successes:

It doesn’t surprise me that they’re raising foreign policy because it’s another distraction from the Administration’s terrible economic record. They’re going from one shiny object to the next.

Yes, to Romney and his campaign, foreign policy is a distraction, a shiny object, a toy to be played with one minute and then discarded the next. And given what Romney did on Tuesday night, the American people should treat Mr. Romney like the naive foreign policy child he is and send him to his room on November 6.

This stuff is too serious to leave to the kids.


[Reuters photos]


  1. ansonburlingame

     /  September 12, 2012

    Well let’s cut through the spin and look at just a fact or two.

    A private American citizen(s) funded by a non-government organization makes a video and posts it on UTube or some social media that offends Muslims. The U.S. government essentially apologizes for the video and its publication. But that same government has yet to condemn, forthrightly the dead of Americans and the storming or two embassies by mobs of Muslims.

    Now I don’t really care if the the various pieces of our federal government cannot or will not talk to each other. We see far too many examples all the time about “confusion” in how to spin an event for sure.

    What Americans want to know is why did those mobs storm our facilities and what will America do about it as a result to prevent such from happening again, and again, and again, going all the way back to 1979 at least in Iran.

    Coincidentally, the President of Israel requests, again, to met with our President in about two weeks. Nope, sorry, too busy campaigning says our President, at least at first, it seems. Now we hear no request was ever made by the Israeli President to meet with our President but they talked on the phone for an hour!!!!!

    All of the above conincidentally happens while America is in the midst of remembering and mouring the events of 9/11. Is that a coincident?

    Well here is another timely coincident as well all happening last night on TV. Woodward’s new book, a real bombshell is discussed by that author. Very clearly, in the book which I have already read and in the interview, he blames our economic conditions today on the entire federal government.

    Our federal government is failing us right and left today, at home and abroad.

    And what does this blog try to do. Make political hay out of the various messes, dire messes that we are in today. As well I suppose none of you believe all the messes are the result of failure by our federal government. Nope you blame it all on the GOP.

    Now who exactly has their head in the sand or elsewhere???



    • Anson,

      If you mean Woodward’s interview on Charlie Rose, I saw it too. Very sobering. Very sobering indeed.



    • I was afraid, Anson, to read your response here because, being in such a foul mood as a result of your candidate’s crassness and cravenness and carelessness, I didn’t want to say nasty things to you after I read your defense of Romney.

      Well, as usual you don’t disappoint, in terms of stating facts that don’t exist, to wit:

      The U.S. government essentially apologizes for the video and its publication. But that same government has yet to condemn, forthrightly the dead of Americans and the storming or two embassies by mobs of Muslims.

      Now, as I said, I was afraid to read your response for fear I would say something really, really nasty to you. But anyone as ignorant as you obviously are doesn’t deserve my condemnation but my pity.


  2. writer89

     /  September 12, 2012

    I guess it does no good to ask you (Anson) to please stop stating things as fact that are not facts and then go ahead and build an argument around them. But for those who might read this and miss the bullshit:

    First of all, the U.S. did condemn the storming of the embassies. Hilary Clinton said:

    “All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.” In an earlier statement, Clinton said she condemned the attack on the U.S. facilities “in the strongest terms” and that following Tuesday’s events, the U.S. government was “working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions and American citizens worldwide.”

    Secondly, in case you missed the context of 9/11, those vicious attacks happened because of the United States’ unwavering support of Israel, and perhaps the U.S. government thought it might send the wrong message to the Arab world to be meeting with the current war-crazed Israeli Prime Minister on the anniversary of the attacks. Or do you think we should just partner with Israel and get it over with, nuke the entire Muslim world and make all the right-wingers happy? Would that satisfy the Muslim-haters’ desire for revenge?

    Screw Woodward and his book, by the way. He’s become another piece of the Republican echo machine. Our economic mess is the fault of the Wall Street wealthy and the corporations, who do have influence on some elements of the Democratic Party, but who outright OWN the Republican Party. So while there might be blame to go around (Clinton did sign the repeal of Glass-Steagall, much to his shame), the vast bulk of it goes to your guys. I don’t have my head in the sand, and propriety prevents me from pointing out where conservative apologists have theirs.


    • Writer,

      Thanks for countering the bullshit above.

      You wrote,

      I guess it does no good to ask you (Anson) to please stop stating things as fact that are not facts and then go ahead and build an argument around them.

      No, it won’t do any good to ask Anson to stop making up his own godddamn facts, and the argument of straw he builds around them.

      And you wrote,

      I don’t have my head in the sand, and propriety prevents me from pointing out where conservative apologists have theirs.

      Propriety and I are not on speaking terms this morning. Conservatives, and their many useless apologists that form the right-wing propaganda machine, have their heads so far up their asses that they can’t see that Romney is leading the Republican Party—the only vehicle that conservatives have to implement their reactionary agenda—into utter irrelevance.



  3. ansonburlingame

     /  September 13, 2012

    An international series of events similar to such events in 1979, but this time in at least TWO Arab countries are taking place before our eyes.

    The President of the U.S. gives a brief presentation in the Rose Garden then heads out to campaign in Las Vegas. He says “We will help Libya catch the killers”. Sure sounds like a law enforcement approach, right?

    What does the President say about the events in Egypt? Nothing other than blaming Romney for his statement condeming a press release from the American embassy in Cairo that was the ONLY official statement from the American government until it was retracted on twitter in the middle of the night, American time!!!

    We have now four dead Americans, rock throwing, fire starting, assualt rifle shooting, grenade launching, flag burning MOBS in two Arab countries and the President of the United States leaves Washington, DC to continue a presidential campaign, does NOT hold a press conference or even make a meaningful speech informing all Americans what our federal government is doing of will do in the near future.

    Send in 50 Marines and put two warships off the coast of Libya. Well thank God this did not happen after the coming fiscal cliff in Jan which the President does NOTHING about other than campaign as well. We at least still have 50 Marines to “send in”, at least today.

    Let’s see 50 Marines against……. in Libya alone and Lord knows what in Egypt. On yeah, Egyptians will now do their job to protect our embassy, right? Have YOU heard the Egyptian President say ANYTHING about what is going on in HIS country, yet?

    All of these events in Egypt, Libya and maybe looming elsewhere right now are still in flux. But I see it as very dangerous flux.

    So what does our President do? Campaigns for reelection outside of Washington, DC, mournes four dead Americans and their families, takes political pot shots at his opponent, and ……….

    It is the vacum of the ……. that has my attention right now. It is clearly, to me at least ANOTHER example, a dangerous international example of the FAILURE OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP in America, the underlying problem of all our current and increasingly dangerous messes, at home and abroad.

    Right now this White House and administration are HOPING that the Egyptian and Libyan governments get control of their mobs and protect the rest of American citizens in their country. HOPING for good things to happen does not do a lot to control Muslim mobs while we chastize Americans for exercising what we usually call free speech and expression of religious views, however detestible they might be.

    Let’s see, should we now legislate government controls on UTube?

    Na, we won’t try that until after the election but in the meantime we will send in 50 Marines and two warships (no aircraft carriers it seems are available in the Med right now), blame American extremists that WRITE and show VIDEOS (but no rocks or grenades yet), politicize an international crisis, and campaign for reelection.

    THAT is the kind of Presidential leadership we have seen for now almost 4 years and you want to continue down that path!!! I disagree and THAT is a real argument, no strawmans around (other than in the White House and this blog!!)



  4. ansonburlingame

     /  September 13, 2012

    Adding to the above, I pose a question for readers of this blog.

    Who right now is the greatest enemy of our President, the mobs in the Middle East killing Americans or his opponent in the coming election?

    Based on the Presidents actions in the last 36 hours since Americans have died, I suggest it is clear where his priorites reside, on the campaign trail.

    I suppose you also believe that is the kind of Presidential leadership you expect during an evolving international crisis with all sorts of long term potential effects.

    This “political mob” on this site are busy blaming Romney while Americans are being killed in the Middle East? Now look at your own priorities.

    Might I suggest the President sent the Marines (all 50 of them against a whole country) to the wrong place!!!



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