Friday, February 10, 2012

Meanwhile . . . Over in Syria . . .

Overmatched and overwhelmed.

The Barack Obama foreign policy team from the top down has found itself outplayed on Syria. Susan Rice, our woman at the UN, allowed a vote to go forward to the Security Council against the ancien regime in Damascus. Was anyone surprised that China and Russia slapped it down?

This is amateur hour diplomacy. Nothing this important should go forward with our blessing until we have secured at least abstentions from countries in disagreement. How do we secure abstentions? Hard nosed behind the scenes diplomacy. Obama has hard nosed, crooked Chicago style politics down pat. However, he cannot translate that to the international stage. Putin is an even older hand at such games than Obama.

Regarding the emerging instability across the Middle East, Team Obama has not outlined a consistent vision of how to handle these outbreaks. Sure he won popularity points by intervening against Ghadaffi. But this raises the question of why Libya and not Syria? I am not arguing for intervention in Syria, but it would be nice if the American people and the international community knew where we stand from one day to the next.

Love or hate Bush, you knew exactly where he stood. You knew who the evildoers were. You knew what would get them into trouble with him. And you knew what we would do. Obama has no consistency. In foreign affairs, inconsistency is the sign of foolish minds.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

If I Were Mitt Romney . . .

Because of CPAC, the eyes of American conservatism fall on Washington D. C. over the next few days. Here, Mitt Romney has the chance to state his case.

I have not had much enthusiasm for Romney, but he does bring strengths into the general election. Santorum's recent surge may be enough to jolt Romney into giving a strong and powerful address at CPAC tomorrow. What would I say, were I Romney?

Romney has a record as Massachusetts governor that does not match well to mainline American free market conservative ideals. No matter how often Ann Coulter tries to put lipstick on this pig, she cannot make it attractive.

That being said, Romney needs to admit that Massachusetts is a pig of a state for a conservative to govern.

As Reagan struggled to implement conservative ideals as governor of California, Romney faced powerful limits to what he could accomplish in his own state. Let's face it, most Massachusetts conservatives would be liberal in the heartland. He faced a totally different culture. All he has to do is repeatedly say that he did the best he could to hold the line against big government. The best defense of Romneycare is that such a plan was inevitable in the Commonwealth and that he did the best he could to keep it as limited as possible.

As far as Bain is concerned, attacks on his business make him that much more attractive to free market conservatism. He made tough choices and saved jobs that otherwise would have disappeared.

Romney must explain himself to conservatives. He needs their enthusiasm, as well as their support. We really want to enthusiastically support someone this summer and fall. Will some candidate step forward and give us a reason?