Dear Commons Community,
Maureen Dowd calls out Mitt Romney for his lack of vision on foreign policy and depending upon the same neo-con advisors that destroyed George W. Bush’s presidency. Here is a sample from her New York Times column:
“Romney and Paul Ryan haven’t spent time thinking and speaking a lot about foreign policy. They have simply taken the path of least resistance and parroted the views of their neocon advisers. They talk all tough at Iran and Syria and label the president a weak apologist and buildup bogymen and rant about how America must dictate events in the Middle East. That’s not a doctrine; it’s a treacherous neocon echo.
It’s amazing that many of the neocons who were involved in the Iraq debacle are back riding high. (Foreign Policy magazine reports that 17 of Romney’s 24 special advisers on foreign policy were in W.’s administration.) But no one has come along to replace them, or reinstitute some kind of Poppy Bush-James Baker-Brent Scowcroft realpolitik internationalism.
The neocons are still where the G.O.P. intellectual energy is, and they’re still in the blogosphere hammering candidates who stray from their hawkish orthodoxy. Democrats have claimed the international center once inhabited by Bush senior and his advisers.
On foreign and domestic policy, Republicans have outsourced their brains to right-wing think tanks. It’s one thing for conservatives at the American Enterprise Institute and other think tanks to sit around and theorize about the number of people who are “dependent” on government programs and to deplore the trend, or to strategize on privatizing Medicare. If you’ve got a lot of people on government programs, their response is not to help those people get off the programs, it’s to cut the programs.
The Romney campaign has turned conservative theory into ideology and gone off the cliff with it. If you want to inspire, lead and unite people, it won’t fly to take ideologically driven findings and present them unvarnished to voters.
Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the neocons were inspired by deus ex machina theories baked at the A.E.I. to try and force democracy on Iraq, assuming that people would just become better — and incredibly grateful to us.
Now the neocons inside Romney’s head are pushing the same idea: that we can whack countries in the Middle East and they’ll behave.
As Dan Senor, a top foreign policy adviser to both Romney and Ryan, told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC on Tuesday about Iran: “We’re not saying the military action should be used. But we are arguing that the threat of military action should be credible so it focuses the Iranian leadership on reaching some diplomatic solution.”
That was exactly the argument the same neocon gaggle used when they were pushing an invasion of Iraq. But somehow the diplomatic part got superseded. “