Two things I love got pulled into the ugly side of politics this week. First, Chick-fil-A. Great sandwich, good lemonade, but now we know the bigoted views held by the people at the top of the company. So much for the clever ads: It is time to boycott the restaurant.
Second, the Olympics. The grace, the sportsmanship, the sports we’ve never totally understood, like dressage. So how has Mitt Romney, the guy who has campaigned on the notion that President Obama has damaged America’s international reputation, performed on his own first trip abroad? He questioned Britain’s Olympic preparations, becoming a punch line 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 ridiculous entrance for the most awkward politician in history.
Mitt is winning the gold in gaffes. Our own great Olympian Carl Lewis even said of him: “Some Americans shouldn’t leave the country.”
I wait with bated breath for more 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 this is not just farce. Romney’s critique of President Obama’s foreign policy has been—surprise, surprise—devoid of a meaningful strategy. He hasn’t 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 remains as bellicose as it ever was.
Yet he has no specifics. One example is Romney’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 has been typical of his answers.
So far Romney’s international adventure has been amusing—and revealing. Once again he has shown his lack of substance and style.
So Mitt, come home. You’ve already done enough damage.