The Scariest Gaffe From Romney in Third Debate

One question from moderator Bob Schieffer in the third presidential debate was somewhat interesting and the answer given by Mitt Romney was very startling.  This is the exchange I am referring to:

Bob Schieffer

What if — what if the prime minister of Israel called you on the phone and said: Our bombers are on the way. We’re going to bomb Iran. What do you say?

Mitt Romney

Bob, let’s not go into hypotheticals of that nature.

Debate #3
Debate #3

Romney essentially dodged the idea of this question (along with Obama, in all fairness) but we should ask: is that a good thing?  It would seem the answer is no when considering history.

A president, or any leader of an organization for that matter, should be ready for the unexpected, particularly the negative and disastrous kind of unexpected.  Pondering hypothetical situations is part of the job and the person in charge should be taking time to do this so they are actually ready in case these things happen.  Asking what the response would be to an Israeli attack on Iran is worthy of our time and both presidential candidates should have a reasonable response to this inquiry.

And the reason being prepared for these hypothetical situations matters?  Has anyone forgotten this quote from the recent past: “the most important failure was one of imagination.”  No one should have trouble remembering this finding from the 9/11 Commission Report.  The problem here is the guy running to be president apparently has forgotten one of the failures that led to those terrorist attacks.

To some extent, the president is one man and is not capable of considering every unexpected scenario in every area of the world the government touches.  However, the question asked was not exactly out of left field.  It’s not as if the Israel-Iran situation has not been in the works for an extended period of time and it has also been one of the most important foreign policy issues of this entire presidential campaign.

Being incapable of even broaching this question as the guy wanting to be in charge of the country is…well, questionable.  We can only hope that if Romney is given the job of president and is presented with this situation, he will have a better answer ready for reality.

Romney’s Most Ignorant Statement From Debate

Let’s face reality and admit Mitt Romney was not the same in debate number three as he was in number one.  He simply does not look good on foreign policy, ever, and some of the statements he has made on it are both ignorant and dangerous.  But the two lines that really caught my attention for their abundance of fantasy were the following:

Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators.

First off, let’s quickly point out the irony that he is claiming America has never dictated to other countries in a segment about how America should dictate policy to the country of Iran.  In other words, he could have said, “No, America has never told another government how they should conduct their business.  Now, here is how I want Iran to conduct its business.”  It would have at least gotten the laugh it deserved from the audience if he had said it that way.

Debate #3
Debate #3

Any instance in which America has conducted a military operation in another country or placed sanctions on them, we have dictated policy to their governments.  Using sanctions or the military in another country automatically says, “we don’t like the way you are doing things so we are stepping in and doing things our way.”  It’s pretty much the definition of dictating to a country.  Pick your foreign policy conflict here and you have an example.

And the idea we have “freed other nations from dictators”?  Yeah, just like we freed Egypt from Mubarak…right after we propped him up as an ally for three decades.  (We didn’t do the actual freeing, by the way.)  Or after we freed Iraq from our former ally Saddam Hussein.  Maybe he means after we free the Saudi people from our close ally, the royal family?  Or after we free the Uzbek people from Andijan Massacre conductor and former ally, Islam Karimov?

Romney questioned the idea of the United States having to apologize for our previous foreign policy decisions.  It is exactly this mentality that gets us into situations we eventually have to apologize for.  The notion the U.S. has a spotless record on foreign policy is simply ludicrous and suggesting we only depose of dictators and do not ally ourselves with them is just fantasy.  This is the type of thinking that makes citizens of other countries, particularly the ones who have had to live under a dictator we supported, hate the United States.

A little humility and a lot of looking at actual facts would go a long way in bandaging those wounds.  Clearly, Romney has no interest in doing this and the likelihood the hate increases seems high if he is sworn into the Oval Office in January.

How much does the U.S. pay for public broadcasting compared to the rest of the world? | FP Passport

How much does the U.S. pay for public broadcasting compared to the rest of the world? | FP Passport.

A good, quick article that puts public spending on PBS into perspective and, once again, states the reality that it is an extremely tiny portion of the federal budget.  The conservative claim that cutting this will bring about a vast change in the deficit is pure fantasy and it helps to continue pointing this out for the good of discourse.