UPDATE – About that Apology Tour…..
Complete transcript fact-check of the debate – LINK
Frank Luntz Reaction From Undecided Voters Immediately After Final Presidential Debate – LINK
Hi all. I live blogged it while I was listening to it on the radio. I will outline my thoughts and clean it up later as I am dead tired.
I had three initial observations.
1- Obama is trying to posture Romney by talking down to him.
2- On some issues such as Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood neither of them is willing to say what needs to be said about the leadership and our strategy there. It is the elephant in the room that they are both dancing around.
3 – Obama’s strategy is smart as a matter of rhetoric: Find every slight inconsistency in every statement Romney has ever made on these issues over the last few years and make a mountain out of it…. thus distracting people from the “its because of the video” lie and other lies coming from this administration (like fast and furious and other issues). Of course as time goes on the situation on the ground changes and thus what Obama’s critics say will change in light of that…. so 100% statement consistency over the course of several years would show foolishness and Romney should have said so.
Romney was smart to ding Obama on skipping Israel on his apology tour. Obama, responds by talking about about what he did much later, not even addressing the apology tour. Of course what he did much later doesn’t help the bad message that Obama sent when he did that as it set an attitude that shaped what has happened in the middle east since. I think that to the uninformed Obama won. Obama’s narrative on the middle east was such utter nonsense and so easily demonstrated so and Romney really failed to capitalize on that. I think that Romney went in with a strategy of being agreeable and safe, but is THAT the kind of leadership we are looking for?
And Obama takes credit for the Iron Dome missile defense shield in Israel when he and his party opposed this technology from minute one?
On Mubarak and Egypt:
Leave him there or side with him? First of all let’s be clear, the people especially women and Christians were better under Mubarak. Muslim Brotherhood is seeking out political enemies and crucifying them, using armored vehicles against Christians etc.
When we worked with Britain and The Vatican to undermine the communists in Eastern Europe we cultivated that resistance over the course of years. We knew who they are and we were ready for the big push when the time came.
But in the so called “Arab Spring” we didn’t know who we are helping and the Muslim Brotherhood played the State Department and the White House like a Stradivarius.
And after it became obvious that we were helping the bad guys who were talking peace and democracy and never meant it this White House was committed and wouldn’t change course…probably for political reasons…or worse.
Obama worked to set up a narrative or vision of his policy in the middle east, of course it was wishful thinking and a total coverup of the evils that are going on there as perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood whom Obama helped bring to power. Romney was weaker on the battle of the narratives. I sorta wish we had Newt tonight because this would have been such a one sided blowout if he was there.
Also, foreign policy debates like this require boldness and the ability to construct/deconstruct a narrative expertly. What if you face a situation like the old Iran/Iraq war when it served global interests to make sure that neither side won that war? Or what if you have the Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda vs Assad in Syria and a “bait & bleed” strategy serves interests best? Sometimes there are no good answers and the options are “terrible and “more terrible”.
Mitt had a few good moments, but not enough to warrant a sweeping win:
Obama’s crack “The Cold War is Over” may sound cute, but someone forgot to tell Putin
On a side note – I am watching a video of Sarah Palin’s post debate analysis and she has this thing nailed pretty well. I want to know who is advising her because she has been hitting home-runs for about the last 20 months on this stuff.
My worst fear with Mitt Romney is that he may have failed into the Bill Kristol/State Department false narrative which I wrote about HERE:
There are/were many in the State Department, elite media and some in the Republican Party who have totally bought into the propaganda from the Muslim Brotherhood–that they want peace, free elections, and so forth–when anyone who studies their history going back to WWII knows very well what their agenda is. Bill Kristol from the Weekly Standard, as well as some on the famed internet Republican Security Council, fell for the “Arab Spring” false narrative. How quickly we forget history. The Mullah’s in Iran spoke to the Carter Administration about freedom, democracy and social justice; look at what they did as soon as they got into power. The same goes for what happened in Lebanon, and then Gaza when they had elections. Now look at the disaster that is Egypt and Libya, and yet some Republicans continue to say we should help Syrian rebels with arms, which would essentially be handing Syria as well to the Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda.
Republicans would love to see a genuine democratic, pro-western revolution in the Muslim world as we had in Eastern Europe, but today many forget that it took years of cooperation between Reagan, Thatcher, and the Vatican to cultivate pro-western forces and influences in secret right under the communist’s nose. We were ready to come in with monetary, logistical and other support when those forces made a major push. We knew very well who it was we were supporting, and we had an overall strategic concept in mind. Many Republicans jumped on the Arab Spring bandwagon because they bought the pie in the sky narrative from the State Department and they really wanted to believe it. Why? Because the false narrative targeted the freedom loving sensitivities of most Republicans perfectly. In short, they selected tidbits of truth, omitted others, and made a false reality that fit ever so perfectly into an ideological box.
I am concerned because Dan Senor is Mitt Romney’s chief foreign policy adviser and Kristol is one of Senor’s mentors, but that is as far as I can go with my concern’s with Senor because the sins of the mentor do not necessarily fall on the student and I have no idea what Senor is telling Romney. In my opinion, based on what I saw tonight, it is clear that Niall Ferguson has a much more objective and more intelligent view on middle east policy.
Here is a fact check of the debate from Chris Wallace: