I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Romney's Foreign Policy Trap

Daniel Larison has an interesting PEW survey "Most Want The US Less Involved In The Middle East".
As you can see according to this survey Obama is probably to the right of not only most Americans but a majority of Republicans.  Thanks to his reckless neoconservative advisers Romney has placed himself to the right of Obama.  So what does Romney do tonight?  Do an etch a sketch and alienate his neocon supporters or stay to the right and scare off 72% of the Independents, 65% of the Democrats and 53% of the Republicans?
While the candidates do not differ from one another on policy questions as much as their campaigns want the public to believe, there does appear to be a significant difference between the incumbent, whose response to political upheaval in North Africa and the Near East is frequently faulted for its “passivity,” and the challenger, who seems to think that the U.S. needs to be even more assertive and involved in these developments than it already is. If most viewers perceive Obama and Romney that way, it is difficult to see how Romney’s message will be very appealing to most of them. The survey results clearly show that the public doesn’t favor a candidate pushing for a more activist and hard-line approach, and it’s not even a close contest. After the last decade, the only thing that is surprising about this survey result is that there is still any support for more involvement.
Romney has said that we should not have left Iraq and that we should stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.  In addition he has been very hawkish on Iran.  All of these positions are contrary to public positions.  As I said here Romney Foreign Policy sounds a lot like Bush 2.0. While Romney studies Neoconservative talking points I would hope that Obama is prepared with Romney's past Foreign Policy pronouncements.

Romney knows he's not going to win tonight according to Politco. Larison's reaction:
The greatest danger for Romney is that he sabotages himself by repeating attack lines that only hawkish ideologues find credible. That would show that he is either just mouthing their phrases or so intent on proving that he is a hawk that he doesn’t care how politically harmful their hard-line policies are. For example, if he returns to dated, nonsensical complaints about the Green movement protests or missile defense, he wouldn’t land any hits on Obama’s record and he would demonstrate how much he relies on the movement conservative echo chamber for his arguments. The less that he sounds like the candidate who delivered the VFW and VMI speeches, the better it will be for him politically. A reliable standard for judging how well or badly Romney has performed is to see how the most ideological neoconservatives respond to what he says in the debate. If they are extremely pleased by his performance because he echoed their views, Romney will have lost the debate very badly indeed.
Update II
When The Former Head Of Mossad Calls You a Moron…Or Why You Don’t Hand Over Foreign Policy To An Out-Of-His-Depth-Hack Guided By The Worst People In The World
Read it and Romney should too but he won't!

1 comment:

  1. This NPR description of the debate tactic called a "pivot" bears hearing again. I expect to see it employed by both sides tonight.


    And this from ABC seems right...

    Weighing in on the expectations for Monday's debate, CNN contributor and New Yorker political reporter Ryan Lizza told CNN's Athena Jones that while foreign policy is important, it's not "what's going to drive the vote."
    "So if you're Mitt Romney, every second you're talking about foreign policy is wasted. Which might mean that Romney tries to break out of that, tries to bring home some of the foreign policy issues to domestic economic issues. For instance, when you're talking about China, that's in some ways a domestic issue," he said.
    Lizza said Romney has a choice to make. He could try to attack Obama over the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack, a strategy he took during last week's debate but ended up making headlines over mixing up a detail in the timeline.
    "Or does he just put that aside, put those attacks aside and try to move on to some other issues where he has more of an advantage?"



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