If there was ever any doubt which of the two major party candidates for President is up to the task, last night’s debate on foreign policy should have removed it. Barack Obama had command of the floor and the facts – and he didn’t need a teleprompter.
Mitt Romney didn’t need one either, since for the most part all he did was parrot Obama’s positions. Indeed, he employed the same sketchy tactic he used in the first debate, which was to reverse himself on his previous positions; and when confronted about his reversals, he cavalierly denied he had ever held those positions.
One laughable moment came at the end, when during his summation Romney pronounced himself an optimist. Apparently, that word poll-tested well, so Say Anything Romney said it.
Far from being an optimist, Romney’s basic pitch is things are really, really bad and getting worse, and only he has the cure. But based on his performance at Bain – downsizing, outsourcing and bankrupting – and his positions plainly stated as a candidate – the poor are doing just fine, corporations are people, let car companies go bankrupt, let the mortgage mess bottom out and homeowners go homeless, and bomb, bomb, bomb Iran – the cure sounds a lot worse than the disease.
Truth is Romney is just another slick snake-oil salesman peddling patent medicine concocted by Supply-Siders and Neocons.
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Last night Romney proved yet again that he has neither foresight nor hindsight. He proved the only thing in his sights is being President, and he’s willing to do anything or say anything to win.
Even rightwing pundits had to face reality; damning with faint praise, they pronounced he succeeded because he looked the part. Given his expensive tailor, Romney may be suited to the task; but given his grasp of the complexities of foreign policy, he’s just another empty suit from Republican Central Casting – a truth given voice by Ann Coulter, who dismissed him as a loser long ago.
At one point, Romney had Iran and Syria sharing a border. While that gaffe might be excused, the same can’t be said for his reversal on positions he held just days ago. Having been advised (one assumes) that his waffling on leaving Afghanistan was a loser in the polls, he said he’s now all for a hard-date.
Say what you will about George W. Bush, he at least had the courage of his convictions. Romney has neither courage nor convictions. To put it bluntly, he is the most mendacious liar to run for President in the last half-century – and that’s saying something. That should automatically disqualify him from the job, a job that demands a spine and a conscience.
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Romney reminds me of someone I once had the displeasure of working with. This fellow made a good first impression, quoting Sun Tzu and The Art of War, but his only talent was for memorization – and he wasn’t very good at that. He remembered jokes – but screwed-up the punch lines; he recalled patter from sales pitches – but couldn’t remember the close; he misquoted aphorisms – but possessed no wisdom of his own.
He could not grasp concepts, and thus he could not conceive real solutions to complex problems. He was reduced to spouting slogans and formulating amateurish “five-point plans”. His plans fit the fingers on his hand, but they did not fit the problems at hand.
He was a man better suited to be a barker at carnival, or a pitchman at a dog and pony show. He promised miraculous cures and a reversal of fortunes, but the medicine he sold was formulated from lies, deceptions and vague generalities.
In short, like Mitt Romney, he was a snake-oil salesman.
©2012 Tom Cordle