Mitt’s Pancake Syrup

Middle East, Mittens, Obama Administration, Republican Party

Every now and then Tom Friedman hauls his head out of his ass and writes a good column.

For the first time in a long, long time, a Democrat is running for president and has the clear advantage on national security policy. That is not “how things are supposed to be,” and Republicans sound apoplectic about it. But there is a reason President Obama is leading on national security, and it was apparent in his U.N. speech last week, which showed a president who understands that we really do live in a more complex world today — and that saying so is not a cop-out. It’s a road map. Mitt Romney, given his international business background, should understand this, but he acts instead as if he learned his foreign policy at the International House of Pancakes, where the menu and architecture rarely changes.

Rather than really thinking afresh about the world, Romney has chosen instead to go with the same old G.O.P. bacon and eggs — that the Democrats are toothless wimps who won’t stand up to our foes or for our values, that the Republicans are tough and that it is 1989 all over again. That is, America stands astride the globe with unrivaled power to bend the world our way, and the only thing missing is a president with “will.” The only thing missing is a president who is ready to simultaneously confront Russia, bash China, tell Iraqis we’re not leaving their country, snub the Muslim world by outsourcing our Arab-Israel policy to the prime minister of Israel, green light Israel to bomb Iran — and raise the defense budget while cutting taxes and eliminating the deficit.

I would add that all that stuff didn’t really happen in 1989, either. Of course, Republicans have been playing the “we’re tough on security and they’re not” game since the end of World War II, and they’ve had a good run with it. Dems were first soft on communism and then soft on terrorism, according to the GOP. Looking at the actual history of the past century or so, I see no evidence that Republicans are intrinsically more effective at keeping America safe than Democrats, but they have managed to market themselves as the superior foreign policy brand lo these many years. And they’ve gotten away with that because Americans on the whole don’t travel much and don’t have a strong grasp of what’s going on in the rest of the world. Or much care, for that matter, as long as it’s not in their neighborhood.

I’d like to think that the young folks who grew up in the Internet age are less provincial and not so easily fooled. We’ll see. But my sense of things is that right now the general electorate is not in the mood to hear about bombing some Middle Eastern country if we can, you know, choose not to bomb some Middle Eastern country. Recent experience tells us that bombing Middle Eastern countries doesn’t really settle anything.

As far as Mitt is concerned, his hookup with the old Bush neocon gang was not something I would have predicted a couple of years ago. I had assumed he was more sophisticated about the world than that. And maybe he is, and he’s just playing the game because he thinks it will help him get elected. But if he knows it’s all a scam, that doesn’t speak well for him, either.

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 30, 2012 @10:20 am

    ‘The Great Mustache of Misunderstanding’ is right again!
    That reminds me – I really enjoyed the 1980’s.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 30, 2012 @10:54 am

    And anyone who listens to Neocons like Senor and Bolton, after they see these evil asssclowns gory rap sheets, is either delusional like they are, or an absolute feckin’ idjit who is doomed to relive their games of Risk with human gamepieces.

    Even acknowledging that they are anything but deranged tragedy-inducing bloody-handed lunatics, shows a massive defect in character.

    If a Neocon calls you, anyone of character would do the right thing, the smart thing, and that is hang the feck up on them, change your phone number, and make it unlisted.

    I think that most Americans are sympathetic to Israel (maybe too sympathetic, seeing how they treat the Palestinians). But, after over a decade of hemorrhaging blood and treasure in the Middle East, I think most would say that if Israel feels threatened, they should defend themselves, and not expect their bigger older brother democracy to fight their fight for them.
    The fact of the matter is that Iran is even less of a nuclear threat to us than it is to Israel. And after 30 years of hearing you Chicken Little’s shriek that the nuclear Iranian sky is falling in 2-3 years, or even 6-9 months, pardon the rest of us if we don’t don helmets and duck and cover again.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 30, 2012 @11:25 am

    Ralph Reed is on the Meet the Press panel.
    Ralph Reed?

    Jayzoos H. Bleedin’ Keerist, hiding his head in shame and weeping for humanity –

    What earthly, or heavenly, feckin’ reason is there to foist this lying Jesus-grifting scumbag on fellow Americans on a Sunday morning?
    Why does Disco Dancin’ David Gregory hate America?

  4. biggerbox  •  Sep 30, 2012 @11:33 am

    Bolton and Senor? I’d have more respect for Romney’s advisors if it was Michael Bolton and Senor Wences!

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 30, 2012 @12:19 pm


  6. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @12:46 pm

    What earthly, or heavenly, feckin’ reason is there to foist this lying Jesus-grifting scumbag on fellow Americans on a Sunday morning?

    🙂 Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess!

  7. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @12:51 pm

    biggerbox…Sometimes I kinda admire Romney’s advisors for taking on the challenge of trying to get him elected…fools rush in where angels dare to tread.

  8. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @1:04 pm

    Paulie is spending this sunday playing with his new downloaded packet of Power Point transitions. Wow..totally awesome! “I gotta call Eric and let him know how cool these things are”.

  9. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @1:07 pm

    Is Freidman endorsing Obama’s apology tour?

  10. moonbat  •  Sep 30, 2012 @2:17 pm

    …[Mitt’s] hookup with the old Bush neocon gang was not something I would have predicted a couple of years ago. I had assumed he was more sophisticated about the world than that…

    I just think for a Republican, it’s the only game in town. The moderates (Dick Lugar and others) have been pushed out. If you don’t embrace these guys (the neocons) you go nowhere. I also believe that whatever sophistication Mitt may have about the larger world – and his public trips overseas have only demonstrated that he has no sophistication – has been dwarfed and set aside by the louder and larger chorus of neocon advisors. He’s almost as dumb as W in this regard. And as dangerous.

  11. Stella  •  Sep 30, 2012 @2:38 pm

    Swami, angels fear to tread.
    So stop admiring the fools.

  12. maha  •  Sep 30, 2012 @4:13 pm

    I thought it was “fools rush in where angels fear to bread,” which is a food preparation tip.

  13. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @3:07 pm–election.html

    Behold America. The great awakening is coming. The new and improved Mitt Romney will be unveiled. A restart is not an admission of failure, it’s an acknowledgement that before you can get a parasite to listen to the truth, you need to get their attention.

  14. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @3:15 pm

    Stella … I hear ya, thanks…I’m not really a swami. 🙂

  15. Kyle  •  Sep 30, 2012 @4:23 pm

    I can’t believe it, a Friedman column that doesn’t name-drop his favorites product brands or feature faux-truthiness taxi driver quotes; and I agree with most of it.

    As for Rmoney, he’s another daddy-issues candidate like that last two Repuke presidential candidates; he has a blinding ambition to be President for the prestige of it. He’s so clueless I half expect him to fly to Berlin looking to repeat Reagan’s banal-posturing speech at the Wall.

    Just like his business career he will outsource stuff he can’t be bothered with like foreign policy, and the GOP foreign policy shop with the most clout with donors is the Bolton-neocon psychopaths, regardless of their disastrous track record.

  16. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @4:51 pm

    He’s so clueless I half expect him to fly to Berlin looking to repeat Reagan’s banal-posturing speech at the Wall.

    If he went to the Mexican side of the border and yelled, “tear down this wall”. I might consider the idea that reason had somhow penetrated his skull.

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  18. Tom B  •  Sep 30, 2012 @7:20 pm

    One of the many frightening things about Mitt is that people actually allowed him to manage money in the past. I wouldn’t trust him to manage my dog.

  19. Bill B.  •  Sep 30, 2012 @7:56 pm

    I can’t wait for the debates so we can see the new picture on the shaken Etch-a-Sketch! You know if Chris Christie shakes it, we will feel the earth move under our feet.

  20. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2012 @8:19 pm

    Maha, That Harper’s link was a great read.. frightening but great.

    I heard somewhere that we just reached the 2000 Americans killed in Afghanistan mark.

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