Inside the Capitol

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

10-5 Reading Romney like a book

100512 GOP

SANTA FE – Recently, my wife Jeanette and I were surfing TV channels when we came across an MSNBC news anchor playing clips from recent speeches or interviews of GOP candidate Mitt Romney making some very moderate statements followed by Romney campaign releases that announced exactly the opposite position.
He anchor attributed the 180-degree differences to lying. My wife, who can read me like a book, said Romney wasn't lying.
He meant what he said, she explained. But whenever Romney strayed from the GOP line; the campaign would issue a correction to get Romney back in line.
Jeanette said she felt much the same thing happened with John McCain's presidential bid and that of George W. Bush.
She felt Bush really wanted to be a compassionate conservative but the neocons got hold of him and turned him into the leader of a crusade to save the world from tyranny – and make everyone just like us in the process.
So where is our world headed now? We have won a decades-long cold war and defeated communism. We are now the world's one superpower.
George H.W. Bush envisioned a new world order in which all nations allied together to stamp out evil. It appeared that was working when President Bush put together a coalition of many countries to chase Iraq out of Kuwait in a matter of days.
But it didn't last. When Iraq acted up again, Bush, Jr. had us acting basically on our own to stamp out evil and become the world's policeman.
That got us into two of the longest wars we ever have fought – for a price from which we never may recover. And about all we have seemed to show for it is to make a very large number of enemies.
President Barack Obama came along and thought he could romance the Muslims of the world to throw off their shackles and fight for democracy.
The "Arab Spring" appeared to be going quite nicely in overthrowing dictators but the results so far show one dead U.S. ambassador and no functioning Arab democracies.
We don't know what sort of foreign policy Mitt Romney will follow, if elected. We can be sure it won't be anything like Obama's because Romney has criticized his every move.
The most likely Romney policy would be to listen to the neoconservatives who surrounded Bush, Jr. That likely would involve going back to being the tough guys on the block and threaten any country with invasion and annihilation if they don't behave.
The libertarian philosophy is gaining some credence lately. Essentially that would mean pulling in our wings, fighting no wars except in defense of our country and cutting out all foreign aid.
That is a little too extreme for most. But starting to close our many bases located around the world would be a first step.
Foreign aid is another messy problem. Presently it is mainly military. The rest is bribery of nations to do what we want. Aid seldom gets to the people who need it.
Our most effective foreign aid program is the money immigrant laborers send back to their families. Except for modest Western Union fees, no one scoops up his share of the money on the way to the poor.
But isolationism only goes so far in a global economy. Differences among countries must be recognized and respected. Democracy may not be appropriate for all the peoples of the world just yet.
Meanwhile, as John Quincy Adams and Pat Buchanan like to say, America can be a well-wisher to freedom but champion only of our own.
What sort of president will we have in another few months? Some in the anti-Barack Obama crowd insist that if he wins reelection, we will see the real Obama, bent on destroying our economy and our military.
And if Gov. Romney wins, we'll have a newbie at the mercy of his advisers.
There will be no column for Wed, 10-7


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