By ROBERT L CAPEHERT
RECENT events concerning Pres. Obama’s policy toward Syria periscope back to the 2012 Presidential election, especially Mitt Romney’s journey across Europe where the venture capitalist spoke far and wide on his vision of American foreign policy.
At the time, the media excitedly reported Romney’s constant gaffes and stumbles and bumbles into excrement. And yet, Pres. Obama has been more than clownish – in fact – the President has been confused and disengaged globally.
Under Pres. Obama, America’s position in the world continues to implode and even those sympathetic to the President continue to write about his lack of leadership and constant dithering as the vera causa of the Syrian debacle.
In retrospect, Romney’s views were articulate and conventional in terms of historical precedent. Gaffes were few, if any.
This does not mean I myself supported Romney’s foreign policy. Rather, I would have liked to see Romney and the Grand Old Party from top to bottom adapt views closer to Patrick J Buchanan’s non-interventionist, America-first, posture.
Still, such events do expose Pres. Obama’s assinity, and the American media’s vacuous understanding of global realties.
As it was once said, The world grew up, and that world is far more dangerous because Pres. Barack Obama is unserious, and to a large degree, lacks the skill-sets to handle global realities. Looking back, what really hurt candidate Romney was 12 years of unsuccessful social engineering by the barrel-of-a-gun by Bush administration officials.
Nevertheless, Romney’s potential victory was wrapped up in opposing Pres. Obama’s continuation of social engineering through military might – in Libya, potentially in Syria, and so forth.
Benghazi paid no dividends to Romney, electorally, because the Republican nominee did not use it properly – that is, Romney did not use Benghazi as a significant reason the United States had no business social engineering thousands of miles away decoupled from American vital interests.
Good intentions do not always create good results. The poet William Blake once infamously opined the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
In which case, Romney’s pitch of a strong military, greater accountability toward Syria and Iran, echoing the language of Pres. George W Bush – was seen as “more of the same,” which already proved disastrous to the American people.
Pres. Obama, to a greater extent (and to a lesser degree the Democrat Party in the aggregate), had more room to breath foreign policy-wise because they did not start the Iraq War, nor (mis)manage the unfolding nightmare in Afghanistan.
Romney, being a Republican, had little leeway. And Nov. 6, 2012 proved as much. In order for Republicans to gain the foothold they once enjoyed in terms of economic and foreign policy luster, they will once again need to understand that competence and results are equally as important as the positions a political candidate and his party takes.
Sure, without the right ideological positions – see Pres. Barack Obama – little can be done, or hoped for.
But Pres. George W Bush’s mixed presidency should kindle the awareness in G.O.P. circles that being right is not enough – one must also be successful if one hopes to gather the political capital and electoral strength high elected office demands.