A disgraceful week in politics

Last week saw the murder of an American ambassador and three others serving their country in Libya at the hands of terrorists, most likely affiliated with al Qaeda or a related group. It also saw the breaching of U.S. embassies from Cairo to Sudan and the burning of American flags everywhere from London to South Asia, not to speak of throughout the Middle East.

Let’s focus first on Barack Obama because he’s the president of the United States. Notwithstanding what can only be called the almost unhinged sycophancy of the press (“presidential”), the president did no service to himself or his country. Here are a few reasons:

• He was more focused on Romney and politics than on terrorism and anti-Americanism.

• He refused to provide any guidance to the American people about why our people were being killed other than “a film” for which he and his staff apologized.

• He refused to articulate more than a tactical response to the wave of anti-Americanism that he had promised his presidency would end.

All these are the responsibilities of the president, even if he is in a race for his job.

Now Mitt Romney, who did himself few favors either. Because he wants to be president of the United States, and every day should be about proving he’s ready. Where did he go wrong:

• No, it wasn’t the early condemnation of the Cairo Embassy’s shameless apology for a free-speaking moron in America; it was incoherence. If you want to play hardball, all to the good, but then explain where you’re coming from. And don’t keep changing your mind about whether you were right.

• Romney’s advisers. Seriously, why say this wouldn’t have happened under a President Romney? Yeah it could have. Leadership doesn’t eliminate the risk that people will hate and want to kill us. What it does do is ensure that America is minimizing those risks, articulating a clear vision and purpose in our foreign policy that serves our values and our interests.

• Romney’s big edge is competence. OK, prove it. Would his consulates have no security detail? Would his embassies ignore warnings that terrorists are active against them? Would his spokesmen inveigh against Americans before condemning terrorists? Gee, I hope so, but I didn’t hear it last week.

Chris Cilizza over at the Post decided that Romney had the “worst week in politics” last week. I disagree. The American people had the worst week in politics. We deserve leaders who have a vision for a Middle East policy that does more than react, more than kill people with drones; a vision for security, safety, and prosperity. Where the hell was that?

 

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

What's new on AEI

Defeating ISIS: AEI experts weigh-in before the president’s address on Wednesday
image Degrading, defeating, and destroying the Islamic State
image Wealth Building Home Loan: Building wealth through homeownership and retirement savings
image The $3 iPhone
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 15
    MON
  • 16
    TUE
  • 17
    WED
  • 18
    THU
  • 19
    FRI
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.