Has Mitt Romney sewed up the 2012 election and begun issuing policy pronouncements via the Office of the President-Elect? That’s what you’d think to hear mainstream news commentators tell it.
Witness the media uproar over Romney’s absolutely true, courageously firm observation that President Obama’s State Department is more interested in sparing the feelings of Muslim terrorists than standing up for American values.
Rather than evaluating and refuting his charges, rather than critically reexamining Obama’s approach, rather than reconsidering the President’s conciliatory stance toward our enemies, liberals… blamed the crisis on someone who doesn’t even work for the government.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow cried that we were in the middle of a tense, hair-trigger confrontation requiring suave diplomatic prowess, and that Romney may just have sent rioting protestors over the top.
Newsflash, MSNBC hosts: Rioting protestors were already over the top—literally, in the case of the embassy walls they scaled and the Al Qaeda victory banners they hoisted after tearing down and burning American flags in Egypt and Libya.
Fanatic Muslim savages don’t need an excuse to wreak havoc against the West. A few boilerplate conservative statements by an American presidential candidate don’t rouse them from a stance of tranquil tolerance to one of prickly outrage. They’re already perpetually in a state of prickly outrage.
Rioters didn’t require a shoddy 14-minute YouTube film trailer to cause mayhem on September 11. They were already sufficiently motivated to murder American ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and drag his body through the streets. Even the Obama administration now admits that Stevens’ murder was a terrorist attack, and new evidence suggests that Al Qaeda was behind it.
But by liberals’ calculation, the real policy-driver, the de facto Commander-in-Chief, the actual mover and shaker who’s screwing up the Middle East, is an unemployed father of five struggling to keep even with Obama in the polls.
Consider the essence of Democrats’ “Blame Bush” strategy, which they initiated at the height of the 2008 presidential campaign season and have continued right up through August’s lousy job numbers. “Blame Bush” was the catchall excuse Democrats evolved to protect Obama from unflattering comparisons to the far more experienced Republican candidate Senator John McCain, and from criticism of his handling of the economy and international relations once President.
Obama wasted four years spending the country into oblivion; but when we failed to recover from the recession, Democrats blamed Bush for leaving him an economy much worse than was imaginable by anyone, including liberal economists we were supposed to trust regarding the restorative effect of Obama’s stimulus bill.
Obama spent four years bowing and scraping before our enemies; but when he pledged to sit down and talk with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions, and Iran responded by defying the international prohibition on continuing its nuclear weapons program, Democrats blamed Bush for creating a hostile negotiation environment.
If Mitt Romney is elected president, Democrats’ strategy will transition from blaming everything on Bush to blaming it on Romney. But I don’t know anyone who anticipated that Democrats would be desperate enough to start blaming the unelected Romney for Obama’s failures.
Of course the real culprit behind the foreign policy debacle in Libya and Egypt is not Romney but Obama. It was Obama’s State Department that failed to adequately secure the breached embassies ahead of 9/11, failed to deploy Marines to secure the premises, released from Gitmo a detainee involved in the attacks, fell all over themselves to issue apologies for Americans’ trampling on Muslim sensibilities, harassed the director of the trailer for making the video, Pastor Terry Jones for promoting it, and Google and YouTube for hosting it, and spent four years denying that America stands for any particular virtues that are superior to those of any other country.
Mitt Romney’s Libya statement—like his 47 percent “gaffe” earlier this week—provided a badly needed kick in the pants to a nation accustomed to four years of Obama. Romney’s clarification of the situation in Libya and Egypt constituted the proverbial wakeup call: “The first step in realizing our country is weak under Obama is realizing we have a problem.”
But who will Democrats blame Obama’s failures on for the next four years if Romney loses?