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« Why Is Diplomacy So Disrespected? | Main | Senator Paul's Foreign Policy Opus »

September 13, 2012

Comments

D.J. McGuire

"We have gridlock not because the parties split Congrss, but rather because political leadership in this country is focused solely on the acquisition of power in a way that we have never seen before."

That is completely untrue.

We have "gridlock" because Republican Congressmen are getting decent advice on the economy (i.e., listening to anti-Keynesians instead of Keynesians) for the first time in generations.

As for Libya, how exactly has Romney degraded "diplomacy"? He has ripped a statement from our embassy in Cairo - a statement so bad even the Administration itself ran away from it - and made clear he thinks the President's over all weakness is part of the problem. I don't see the egregious action here.

The president (and sadly, to some extent, Mr. Johnson) has confused weakness with diplomacy assuming the former is the latter. I fear you have done the same.

This here is the difference between classical liberals like yourself (who would like to think the world will leave us alone if we leave them alone) and right-wing liberals like yours truly (who understand that notion collapsed 200 years ago with the War of 1812).

Chris

On the contrary, I fully believe America needs to be engaged in the world, but our foreign policy should be decided by who gets the biggest ovation at AIPAC. Obama's Arab Spring decisions were terrible when we did not in Iran during their uprising but helped overthrow governments we propped up in Egypt and Lybia without actually knowing what we were doing. That's not strenth, THAT is weakness.

My essential problem is I'm not sure that Romney would actually do anything different. In an interview he did with NBC he said "I would have been more prepared." What does that mean? Essentially what Romney did was attack the president for a statement made by scared diplomats who were surrounded by furious Egyptians who had already broken through their outerwalls. Its easy to have muscles when your at home, but when you are surrounded by angry locals in a foriegn country with only a small group of marines protecting them you can better understand why they put a statement out like that. It is cowardly to attack those people, and by extension the President, for trying to do whatever they could to stop these people from taking the Embassy and doing harm to them. Its a frightening lack of judgement to attack surrounded diplomats in a hostile enviornment in a foriegn country and use it to beat up the President in the midst of a crisis.

There are two seperate issues - our involvement in the Arab Spring was a disaster from the beginning and we should have just stayed out of it. That's on Obama - though I doubt Romney would have done anything different substantially, and he hasn't articulated that he would. Second is Romney attacking Obama for tweets (TWEETS, for god sakes) by an Embassy staff surrounded by angry Egyptians in a foriegn country with minimal protections in the moment.

I don't know if you've actually LIVED overseas, not just visit, but I have. I was across the street from tanks firing on the Russian White House in 1993 spending three days underground on a gymnasium floor scared that something serious was going to happen. My family has been evacuated before while I was stuck here not knowing what was happening. For Romney to attack those diplomats who aren't sitting at home protected by our shores shows a fundamental lack of respect for diplomacy and a complete unpreparedness of understand how the world actually works.

Dan

"He wants to be president so badly, it unnerving."

Chris, you have precisely identified the problem with Romney.

I'm not naive. I understand that anyone who achieves a major party's nomination for president has to have a huge ego and has to "want" it. Has to have the fire in the belly to go after it successfully. And I'm not naive about the realities of practical politics and the need to tack to port and then to starboard from time to time (as opposed to a full etch a sketch). But there are occasionally elections where we see a presidential candidate who wants it so badly that he will do and say just about anything in an attempt to win the election. By behaving in such a fashion, such a candidate (no matter what other positive qualities he may possess) immediately proves himself completely unfit for the office. I think you have correctly seen Romney as falling into this category.

This is not a judgement based on whether or not one agrees with most of the candidate's positions or typically votes for candidates of that party. It is an issue of character that, to many of us, is critical in an office that has the unique importance and responsibilities of POTUS.

I concur with your views regarding diplomacy. It is vitally important and any politician who denigrates diplomacy is proving that he is as dumb as a stump. We sometimes have to fight wars, but God save us from the idiots for whom military action is the first answer to every problem. We advance our national interests through diplomacy and good intelligence and, when needed, the proper application of American military power. Only the worst kind of fools are always in a hurry to go to war before fully utilizing our other considerable assets. Oddly, so very many of these people have never chosen to place themselves in harm's way in service to their country. But they sure are gung ho to place other people and other people's kids there.

Tom Ryan

I agree with you that Mitt Romney is not the ideal Tea Party candidate. In fact, his statements make me cringe on a regular basis. But, here is the problem: If Mitt Romney is elected, the Tea Party will live to fight another day. If Barack Obama is re-elected, there is a very good chance that he will take the country past the point of no return. This election is different -- it's one of the country's most important elections since it's founding. Forget about the candidates, the choice is to save the Republic or to have it permanently altered if Obama wins his "last election". A vote for Romney is a vote to keep us on life support so that the patient can eventually be saved by the Tea Party. A vote for any other candidate is a vote to pull the plug on this grand experiment. If you are frustrated with the Republican party, then let's get in there and take it over. It's tough to sacrifice our ideals for the greater cause, but that is where we find ourselves. Please do the right thing.

Chris

Tom, if you think the Tea Party will "live to fight another day" with Romney as president and in charge of every professional arm of the GOP your crazy. I believe the Tea Party would be stronger once the yoke of Romneyism is removed. In many ways, the best thing for conservatism is for Romney to lose and allow true constitutional conservatives to finally take over the party.

As for sacrificing our ideals for the greater cause, I would argue that the greater cause is my ideals. I plan on sticking to them.

King Cranium

I had my libertarian moment, too, when I was about your age. Then it struck me once more that third party protest votes almost never have an overall effect on the system, for two reasons: (1) The two main parties control how elections work, so if you're really a fan of a minor party, understand the Ds and Rs won't let your candidate attain any real success, and (2) If you're protesting what the Rs are doing by leaving, why do you think they'll care what you think after you're gone? I'm going to break from my usual every-vote-counts peptalk, with which I try to convince family and friends to get out there to say that, thankfully, it's enormously unlikely Virginia will be like Florida '00, and correspondingly, your vote for Johnson will be vanishingly unimportant overall.

I disagree with your stance on the embassy comments as well. Matt Welch at Reason said it better than I could, but the United States Government should not be in the business of publicly condemning its own citizens for exercising their protected speech. I've been having debates with liberals and progressives on Twitter and FB about this for the past few days, and the people I'm debating seem to think free speech is super as long as we aren't trying to tell other countries our citizens get to say whatever they want, even if it hurts people's feelings. If the citizens of other countries can't accept that, then it's incumbent on the State Department to educate them on why it's important to us, and be actually prepared to defend our facilities abroad in the meantime.

Chris

I'm not voting Johnson to protest the system, I've voting for Johnson because he most closely allies with my beliefs on nearly every issue (accept abortion). Its a personal vote for someone I think is most qualified. And what does it say about our country as a whole if we don't vote for the party boss-approved candidate that our votes will be "vanishingly unimportant overall." If there is anything I am trying to protest, it is the mentality that if we don't vote for an R or a D our vote doesn't count or isn't important. That is scary that we have gotten to that point.

Loudoun Insider

I'm with you, Chris. I've had it with both parties, and if everyone who said they would vote for a third party candidate but they won't since it's a waste would actually cast that vote for a third party we might actually be surprised. I can;t vote for Obama, and i am just about to the point where I couldn't consider voting for Romney. I don't think Romney has any core convictions anymore.

Ed

Gary Johnson nailed the Reddit AMA http://ow.ly/dDO1P

David R

Gary Johnson has the best Foriegn Policy, Immigration Policy, and Economic Policy of the 3 candidates that will be on the ballot. Everyone needs to Jump off the Romney Ship now while there is still time and support Gary Johnson.

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