If they had nothing else going for them, Republicans could always count on being the party of shock and awe. Candidates running for the red-staters had machismo on their side, and an inexhaustible ability to argue they were the ones to keep us safe. Never was that phenomena more in evidence then when the GOP ran on the idea that they “kept us safe”, after allowing the single most costly attack on the United States in our history on 9/11.
But no more. Mitt Romney and the Men Behind The Mannequin find themselves fumbling for a new script. Since President Obama moved in, we have moved out of Iraq, and that nation still stands. Since President Obama moved in, we have first accelerated, then drawn down in Afghanistan, with the ultimate result being the utter destruction of every level of Al Qaeda in existence at the beginning of 2008 (including, of course, the death of He Who Shall Not Be Named).
What’s a Wall Street Tycoon who wants to be President to do? Romney took shots at Obama’s “weakness” in Iran, calling on the President to deploy two carrier groups to the region…the President already had two on station and a third en route. Romney, most recently and famously, thought it intelligent to call out the President on force levels. Apparently, the steady increases to the Defense Budget during Obama’s first term weren’t enough; Romney saw the future, and was scared by the weakness in our Navy.
We now have fewer ships in the Navy then at any time since 1917.-Mitt Romney
We also have fewer horses and bayonettes then we did in 1917…-President Obama
As has happened so often in the last year, Mitt Romney has managed to be ill-timed, dishonest, and wrong at the same time. Totally apart from the fact that capabilities and usage has changed in the last 100 years, and removed from the reality that our Navy is fully capable of engaging strategic formations in multiple locations around the globe at the same time, is the reality that our Navy has more ships now than we did under President Bush.
During the last four years, Iran has been muted, North Korea marginalized, and the Arab world swept by democracy. Not all of these are accomplishments to be laid at the feet of the President, but it is difficult to see a better set of circumstances, or the policy that would have led to such. The President came to office with a promise to leave Iraq in good condition. Done. The President came into office with a promise to accelerate the conflict in Afghanistan with the intent of destroying Al Qaeda and bringing Bin Laden to justice. Done. The President came into office with a promise to rebuild America’s international standing without compromising its security. Done.
What is Mitt Romney’s argument?
The Rational Middle is listening…