09.13.12 5:00 PM ET
Romney's Jingoism On The Cheap
Reviewing Mitt Romney's attacks on President Obama over the sometimes-violent demonstrations around U.S. embassies over the past few days, Peter Beinart writes in his Daily Beast column that Romney makes it too easy for Obama's counter-attacks:
Romney’s foreign policy views might be summed up as “Bushism without money.” Bush’s foreign policy, especially in his first term, consisted of a hyper-aggressive, hyper-expensive effort to use the 9/11 attacks to extend American dominance of the greater Middle East without much serious thinking about whether such an effort could succeed. Romney can’t continue that effort because Americans are sick of it and the federal coffers are empty. What’s left is bluster and apple pie. Romney rarely discusses how long he wants to continue the war in Afghanistan, for instance, but he constantly attacks Obama for apologizing too much and not believing in America.
The embassy response was a good example of this jingoism on the cheap.
I like that: neoconservatism doesn't seem to hold much water in the age of austerity. The "no appeasement" mantra—manifested in Romney's deeply flawed "No Apologies" theme, which, as Beinart notes, was the title of his campaign book—ain't much without the big hammer to back it up. And Americans don't seem that keen on swinging the big hammer anymore, even if they could afford it. So the focus on Romney and criticisms of statement are justified: he's out of step with Americans, and even GOP precedent. And Romney directed it all himself. It's remarkable how bad at politics he really is.