Neoconservatism Is Bad Politics

Apr 3 2012 @ 4:41pm

Jacob Heilbrunn questions Romney's foreign policy message: 

[F]or decades, the GOP has systematically played the patriotism card, attacking Democratic presidents as weaklings, unfit for the big time. But now the GOP has, more or less, exhausted that formula. It's returning to a prescription that led to trillion-dollar wars in the Middle East that the public loathes. Now it's champing at the bit, or pretending to champ, to attack Syria, Iran, China and who knows who else.

Anyway, Obama is already ramping up America's military presence in Asia. In essence, Obama is calling the GOP's bluff. He can pose as tough and measured—the man who took out Osama bin Laden, wound down two unpopular wars and, perhaps most important, did not launch a new one in Iran or anywhere else. Romney, by contrast, appears to be intent on depicting Obama as a wimp and seeking out a "No. 1" foe, which can evidently be Iran or China or Russia, depending on Romney's mood that week. But it won't work. 

Michael Crowley echoes

Obama can tout his success in Libya, drone strikes in Pakistan and the under-appreciated absence of a successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil since he was sworn in. Not to mention one of the best applause lines of all time: “Osama bin Laden is dead.” Romney has his work cut out for him.

But he can always just lie. It has worked for him so far.