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: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

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…

  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015
  • Democrats name new House minority leader

    Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
    • Sep 25, 2015
  • Tom Cotton suggests Dick Cheney as House speaker

    Yes. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton told Politico he'd like to see Dick Cheny as House speaker.
    • Oct 12, 2015

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • Griffen asks probe of Ark. Supreme Court and AG's office conduct

    At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office.
  • Death watch includes a family reunion, arranged by a victim's family

    The execution of Kenneth Williams for his 1999 slaying of Cecil Boren during a prison escape remains scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, though actions in state and federal courts are anticipated in the final hours.
  • Can the Marijuana Commission receive paid travel?

    An official opinion from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge touches lightly on the many ways in which the medical marijuana amendment creates new legal concerns.
  • Arkansas Medicaid 'savings' will produce some losers

    The state offers an optimistic outlook on Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plans to reduce the number covered by the state's expanded Medicaid health coverage. There's reason for questions.
  • New complaint filed in Kenneth Williams case

    Lawyers for Kenneth Williams filed a new lawsuit this morning in Pulaski Circuit Court claiming that his execution tonight would cause unconstitutional cruel or unusual punishment.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation