Lost amid the political gaming of Gov. Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Egyptian Embassy statement is the significant foreign policy declaration he made: That the United States is projecting pusillanimity around the globe, and that he will have none of it.
Once the Beltway crowd gets done agonizing over the Obama campaign-inspired question of whether Romney misstepped by wading into a crisis before a crisis was done, people in America will perceive and appreciate the contrast Romney was trying to draw with President Obama.
That is, this whole thing is a win for Romney.
I don’t think Romney acted too soon Tuesday night by criticizing the embassy statement, released earlier in the day, which sought to appease Egyptian protestors by sympathizing with their “hurt . . . religious feelings.”
The statement was a live issue, and needed to be addressed. It showed U.S. weakness in the face of danger, and even posited limits on free speech by criticizing those “who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
Abuse the right of free speech? Well, if something is being abused, then the abuse must stop! We can only take this First Amendment stuff so far, you know.
Did Romney in some way interfere with the administration’s response to the crisis? Please, ask a serious question.
And I have news for the Obama campaign and the White House, which they may not be aware of: THE CRISIS IS IS STILL GOING ON. Protests continued today in Egypt and new ones broke out in Yemen. American diplomatic posts are endangered everywhere lunatics are in charge or tolerated, which is a growing number of places.
If this crisis is too big for politics then WHY DID OBAMA DROP EVERYTHING AND HEAD OUT TO LAS VEGAS WEDNESDAY TO RAISE MONEY AND CAMPAIGN??
The protest by the White House that the embassy statement is some matter untethered from Obama, hovering by its lonely self out there somewhere in Egypt, rings false.
As the great Harry Truman once said, “The buck stops here.” And as the . . . not-as-great . . . Michael Dukakis once said, “The fish rots from the head.”
I don’t think the embassy would have put out such an obsequious statement, even under threat, were Ronald Reagan president. It just wouldn’t fit with the reigning gestalt in the administration.
But it sure fits Obama’s.
From his pandering Cairo speech in 2009 – which proclaimed Muslims the inventors of Algebra, and so forth – to his drawdown in Afghanistan, his military abandonment of Iraq, his failure to draw “red lines” with Iran, his desperation to negotiate with its bloodthirsty leaders, his many slights toward Israel – I’m getting exhausted here, so I’ll stop – Obama has sent a message of weakness to jackals who prey on weakness.
His own solicitude toward those who only understand toughness set the stage for the embassy statement. That was Romney’s point when he said: “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.”
Romney put out word that the United States would seek respect, not accommodation, with those who have America’s destruction on their minds. And voters will ultimately understand this, even as the mainstream media spins itself up over political timing.