“My View” from the July 27, 2012, edition of “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer.”
Two things I love got wrapped up in the ugly side of politics this week. First, Chick-fil-A. Great sandwich and good lemonade, but now we see the bigoted views from the top of the company. So much for the clever ads — it’s time to boycott the company.
Second, the Olympics — I love them! The grace, the sportsmanship, the sports we never totally understood — like dressage.
So how has Mitt Romney, the guy who has campaigned on the notion that the president has damaged the international perception of the U.S., performed on his own first trip abroad? He demanded a cameo role and then threw cold water in the face of his hosts, becoming a punchline for the entire United Kingdom. On a trip designed to show how adept he was at diplomacy, no less. Monty Python couldn’t have scripted a more embarrassing, ridiculous entrance for the already-most-awkward politician in history.
Well, Mitt is getting the gold in gaffes. Our own great Olympian Carl Lewis even said of him, “Some Americans just shouldn’t leave the country.” I wait with bated breath for his malapropisms as he moves east to Poland and Israel. If Mitt can do harm to the oldest and most secure international relationship we have — that with Britain — just imagine what he can do in the Middle East.
But there’s a serious angle to this as well: Mitt’s critique of President Obama’s foreign policy has been — surprise, surprise — devoid of a meaningful strategic thread, an architecture that would let us know what he would do, and do differently. He is surrounded by the folks who brought us fake WMD and the Iraq War, and their language has the bellicose tone to match.
But on specifics? One example is Mitt’s stance on Afghanistan. He says he would listen to the commanders. That means nothing, except an abdication of responsibility. The president sets the strategic goals and objectives, so he can’t just punt by saying, “I will listen to the commanders.”
But this is typical of his answers.
So far Mitt’s international adventure has been amusing and revealing. Once again, the vapid Mitt has shown his lack of substance and style.
So, Mitt, come home. You’ve already done enough damage.
That’s “My View.”