The Angry Lightweight. What's worse than not having a coherent foreign policy? Mouthing off about it
If there is one apparent truism of the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign, it is that foreign policy doesn't matter. It's the economy, stupid. No one is interested in drones, Afghanistan, China, or the future of NATO -- or so say the political pundits. While such arguments are almost certainly overstated, Republican candidate Mitt Romney's campaign appears to buy into this construct. After all, how else can one explain the candidate's complete lack of seriousness on foreign policy in this campaign?
Beginning with July 24's speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) annual convention and continuing with his three-country trip to Britain, Israel, and Poland, the past week was supposed to showcase Romney's foreign-policy bona fides. Instead it has provided evidence that Romney may not quite be ready for foreign-policy prime time.
Indeed, Romney's first foray on the global stage has been an exercise in gaffe-making, needless provocation, and decidedly undiplomatic behavior. Honestly, who screws up a trip to Britain, America's perhaps most consistent and loyal ally? Whether it's insulting London's preparation for the Olympics, traveling to Israel and telling the Palestinian people they lack the cultural attributes to match the economic vitality of their occupier, or offering a veritable green light for unilateral Israeli attack against Iran, Romney's trips has raised far more doubts than they've squelched.
Foreign policy hurt McCain because he chose Palin and it was her clear lack of knowledge in foreign policy that tanked his campaign. Nobody reasonable could imagine her a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Romney's going to have the same trouble. His gaffes have proven he does not have what it takes to be Commander In Chief. His loose talk about war and insults in the Middle East should be worrisome to many.
If the Rmoney campaign really thinks "it's the economy, stupid" then they are fooling themselves. Hell, they can't even get that part right. His economic plan has zero specifics and his tax plan gives tax cuts to the rich while raising taxes on everyone else.