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Mr. Romney Reinvents History

Mitt Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life, for Thursday night’s session of his convention, around an extraordinary reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed. “That president was not the choice of our party,” he said. “We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.”

The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.

Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.

It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy.

For decades, the Republicans were able to present themselves as the tougher party on foreign and military policy. Mr. Obama has robbed them of that by being aggressive on counterterrorism and by flexing military and diplomatic muscle repeatedly and effectively.

Mitt Romney has tried to sound tough, but it’s hard to see how he would act differently from Mr. Obama except in ways that are scary — like attacking Iran, or overspending on defense in ways that would not provide extra safety but would hurt the economy.

Before Thursday night, the big foreign policy speeches were delivered by Senator John McCain and Ms. Rice. Mr. McCain was specific on one thing: Mr. Obama’s plan to start pulling out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014 is too rapid. While he does not speak for Mr. Romney, his other ideas were unnerving, like suggesting that the United States should intervene in Syria.

Mr. Romney reportedly considered Ms. Rice as a running mate, and she seems to have real influence. But Ms. Rice is a reminder of the colossal errors and deceptions of George W. Bush’s administration. She was a central player in the decision to invade Iraq and the peddling of fantasies about weapons of mass destruction. She barely mentioned Iraq in her speech and spoke not at all about Afghanistan. She was particularly ludicrous when she talked about keeping America strong at home so it could be strong globally, since she was part of the team that fought two wars off the books and entirely on borrowed money.

Ms. Rice said the United States has lost its “exceptionalism,” but she never gave the slightest clue what she meant by that — a return to President Bush’s policy of preventive and unnecessary war?

She and Mr. McCain both invoked the idea of “peace through strength,” but one of the few concrete proposals Mr. Romney has made — spending 4 percent of G.D.P. on defense — would weaken the economy severely. Mr. McCain was not telling the truth when he said Mr. Obama wants to cut another $500 billion from military spending. That amount was imposed by the Republicans as part of the extortion they demanded to raise the debt ceiling.

Ms. Rice said American allies need to know where the United States stands and that alliances are vitally important. But the truth is that Mr. Obama has repaired those alliances and restored allies’ confidence in America’s position after Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice spent years tearing them apart and ruining America’s reputation in the world.

The one alliance on which there is real debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is with Israel. But it is not, as Mr. Romney and his supporters want Americans to believe, about whether Mr. Obama is a supporter of Israel. Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama. Apart from outsourcing his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, it’s not clear what Mr. Romney would do differently.

But after watching the Republicans for three days in Florida, that comes as no surprise.

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stephley stephley 4 years
REALLY!!! The best you can offer is a campaign video??? Do you realize how tragically undermining it is for someone who pretends to be politically knowledgeable to cite a political ad as a source of valid information???? During Romney's term as MA governor, the state ranked 47th in job growth; it lost nearly 15% of its manufacturing jobs; there was not one measure where the state did well under him. Such as they are, any economic plans Romney & Ryan have offered screw the middle class in favor of the very - and talk about we've heard it before: We All Know That Trickle Down Is A Myth and Republican Tax Cuts Have Not Led to Jobs Creation.
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years
stephley stephley 4 years
No valid response, huh? There's nothing you can say to recommend Romney Ryan - a couple of lying empty suits.
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years
25 million unemployed, and those on fixed incomes are driven into poverty. Oh yeah some progress.
stephley stephley 4 years
Obama has not failed: millions of Americans have better health care protection; the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan (both supported by Romney & Ryan) is ending; the stock market is doing well. It is documented that the GOP leadership conspired to thwart this president from the day of the inauguration. More than one GOP leader has publicly proclaimed that it was a goal to see President Obama fail. The president does not control droughts - though a Congress that took action against climate change would help: the president does not control gas prices. You've been proclaiming Obama a failure since his inauguration. You have not credited him with one success in the past four years. You have steadfastly blamed the worst economic crisis since the great depression on everything except Bush, his tax cuts and his two wars. Those tax cuts were supposed to lead to greater prosperity for us all - you've never bothered to explain why they didn't. You want to replace President Obama with two men who are becoming more notorious every day for their lies - and their lies are blatant, so blatant even republicans have acknowledged them. Romney and Ryan are peddling the same old tired ass trickle down nonsense that's been failing the country for at least three decades.
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years
We KNOW Obama failed. We KNOW all he has is more of the same failed policies. Put that up against Romney, and you have no hope against at the very least some hope.
stephley stephley 4 years
The electorate has to look at the GOP's offering to determine if there's reason to believe they would do better: Ryan rubber stamped every crap move Bush made and is offering a budget plan that according to most economists, would crush the middle class. ' Romney's history as governor gives no indication that he can govern well - go look how well Massachusetts did under his leadership: Bain got federal bailouts, his Olympics did too; his history as a business person shows an egregious disregard for workers and the US: his political stances over the decade he's been running for president show he is often indecisive but tends to support any policy that favors corporations & the very rich over middle class interests. We don't have to try someone new, we have to get serious, get rid of the GOP led, well hated Congress, and support policies that will benefit Americans beyond the top 1%.
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years
It is those numbers i listed that are the chief concern of the electorate; 29 months ago, 58.5 percent of Americans were employed. Today, only 58.4 percent of Americans are employed. In other words, any job growth over the past 29 months hasn't even kept up with population growth. 25 million unemployed. That is the dismal record of the Obama administration. Talk about Bush all you want, but he is not on the ballot. The job was just too big for Obabam, and now we have to try someone new.
stephley stephley 4 years
The National debt clock in Times Square was unplugged on September 7, 2000 after two terms of Bill Clinton, a Democratic President. Exactly one month later a Republican President, George W. Bush, was elected. One year, 5 months, 21 days after his inauguration, the debt clock had to be restarted
stephley stephley 4 years
History is more than numbers frozen in time: it is the story of how the numbers came to be what they are. But Twitchy & PJ don't encourage facts and context, do they? You supported Bush's policies that drove us into the ditch, you supported McCain & Palin and their 'let's keep doing that' campaign, and now you are pretending they never happened and insist that Obama should have repaired, with his hands obstructed by the GOP, what it took Bush 8 years to demolish - and that we can elect two unabashed liars - who also supported everything Bush did - and re-instate Bush's policies and finish the country off. But as you've said you've had yours, so it's okay now to screw everyone else.
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years
You want history? Lets look at history, some statistics comparing when Obama took office and now. Unemployment: Then 7.8% - Now 8.3% Median Household Income: Then $54,963 - Now $50,966 Gasoline per Gallon; Then $1.85 - Now $3.78 (over $4.00 on West Coast) National Debt: Then $10,6 T - Now $15.9T (will hit $16 T during the Democrat convention.

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