Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mitt Romney fails 3 a.m. phone call test UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

SMIRKER IN CHIEF: His expression and his words demonstrated Mitt Romneys lack of leadership fitness.
  • SMIRKER IN CHIEF: His expression and his words demonstrated Mitt Romney's lack of leadership fitness.
James Fallows in The Atlantic, after praising the measured response of the Obama administration — the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — to events in Egypt and Libya, assesses Republican challenger Mitt Romney:

.... When he first heard about the violence and protests last night, he rushed to condemn the administration before anyone knew fully what was going on. After he had had a few hours to think, he dug himself in far deeper with a graceless press conference whose dominant theme was partisan criticism of the administration.

In short, when faced with a 3 a.m. test, he reacted immediately, rather than having the instinct to wait. And after he waited, he mistook this as a moment for partisanship rather than for at least the appearance of statesmanlike national unity. The irony, of course, is that resisting the partisan impulse today would have been the greatest possible boost to his horse-race prospects two months from now.

Think of this temperament and these instincts in a command role, and with stakes much higher than they were today.

UPDATE: Hillary Clinton's statement today strikes just the right tone. It calls others to support the U.S. and condemn violence, but it defends free speech, no matter how reprehensible. Please note:

But even if it were possible, our country does have a long tradition of free expression, which is enshrined in our Constitution and in our law. We do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be.”

I have to note that this statement follows news yesterday that Republicans are making political hay out of their support — and that of other cowardly politicians — for legislation aimed directly at repressing distasteful views. I refer to legislation — found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and its Republican majority — aimed at limiting speech in the vicinity of funerals. It was an overreaction to a lunatic fringe; shameless pandering, and essentially unnecessary, given the effective responses from biker groups and others to the nut group that spawned the legislation. But there's no pander too shameless for Republicans, even un-American speech repression. How many of those who want to make speech illegal in certain U.S. circumstances are defending the film that enraged the Arab world and calling criticism of that film somehow a U.S. apology, as Mitt Romney so dishonestly did? On a more trivial ground, a Republican state senator and others in the GOP Taliban yesterday said there should be no news coverage of the secretary of state's firing of the long-time Capitol Santa Claus and hypocritical commentary from a Republican campaign consultant. Of course these items were news. Small news. But news. It was yet another indication of Republican reverence for speech — they revere it if they approve of it. Philosophically, they sound positively Egyptian.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (59)

Showing 1-50 of 59

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 59

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Mike Huckabee, meet James Madison

    Not that it will do much good, but Times columnist Ernest Dumas this week provides some useful Founding Father history, plus a little bit of Bible, for how wrong-headed Mike Huckabee, Asa Hutchinson, the Republican legislature and others are in using government to enforce their religious views.
    • May 26, 2015
  • Lawyers plead for mercy in Fort Smith forum shopping case

    Twelve of the lawyers facing punishment by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith for moving a class action case against an insurance company out of his court to a state court where it was speedily settled have filed their argument against sanctions.
    • Jun 16, 2016
  • Cosmopolitan: Why were the Duggars made famous in the first place?

    A writer in Cosmopolitan wonders why it took so long for attention to the "disturbingly misogynistic" dimension of the Jim Bob Duggar family.
    • May 28, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation