Foreign Policy Debate

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HB3
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Foreign Policy Debate

Post by HB3 » 10-22-2012 07:28 AM

Let's start this off with Dorothy Rabinowitz's column in the WSJ...
The Unreality of the Past Four Years

In the 1967 film "A Guide for the Married Man," a husband, played by a peerless Walter Matthau, is given lessons in ways to cheat on his wife safely. The most essential rule: "Deny! Deny! Deny!"—no matter what. In an instructive scene, he's shown a wife undone by shock, and screaming, with reason: She has just walked in on her husband making love to a glamorous stranger.

"What are you doing," she wails, "who is that woman?"

"What woman, where?" the husband serenely counters, as he and the tart in question get out of bed and calmly dress.

So the scene proceeds, with the distraught wife pointing to the woman she clearly sees before her, while her husband, unruffled, continues to look blankly at her, asking, "What woman?" Confused by her spouse's unblinking assurance, she gives up. Two minutes later she's asking him what he'd like for dinner.

For much of the past four years, the Obama administration's propensity for asserting views of reality wildly at odds with those evident to most rational citizens has looked increasingly like a page from that film script.

All administrations conceal, falsify and tell lies—this is understood—but there's no missing the distinctive quality of the prevaricating issuing from the White House in these four years.

It's a quality on vivid display now in the administration's mesmerizing narrative of the assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Here's a memorable picture, its detail brutally illuminating, of Obama and company in crisis mode over their conflicting stories about who knew what when. The resulting costs to truth-telling and sanity, or even the appearance thereof, are clear. Nor can we forget the strong element of farce—think U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on those five Sunday talk shows, reciting with unflagging fervor that official talking point regarding mob violence and a YouTube video. Farce, but no one is laughing.

Team Obama clung to its original story—the attack had come spontaneously at the hands of a mob enraged by that now famous video insulting to the Prophet—long after it was clear that it had been an organized terrorist assault by an al Qaeda affiliate. By Tuesday's debate, we saw a Barack Obama in high dudgeon over suggestions that his office might have deliberately misrepresented the facts. It was, he fumed, an intolerable insult that such charges could have been made about him, the president who had had to receive the bodies of the slain Americans—and who then had to set about getting to the bottom of this murderous terror assault.

Profound and urgent concerns indeed—which, the president neglected to say, had not prevented him from jetting off to his fundraiser in Las Vegas the day after the murders. His administration was not given to politicizing serious matters, the president sternly informed the nation in that second debate: "That's not what we do."

Good to know. Americans might otherwise have gotten the wrong impression in the past four years, not least from Attorney General Eric Holder, who heads the most openly politicized Justice Department in the nation's history. Among his more recent noteworthy pronouncements, this one relevant to the coming election, Mr. Holder declared that photo ID requirements intended to prevent voting fraud were nothing less than a "poll tax." He was referring to an infamous institution from the days of Jim Crow, whose aim was to suppress black voting. Mr. Holder—so famously fastidious about group sensibilities that he has never been able to bring himself to utter any description identifying a terrorist as Muslim—has apparently had no inhibitions about smearing whole segments of the population as racists.

Mr. Obama's outrage notwithstanding, the administration's prolonged efforts to muddle the picture of the Benghazi attack raised proper suspicions. The Obama team's instant response—that Republicans were attempting to politicize a tragedy—was entirely characteristic. If ever a story screamed its politicized nature, it was the administration's Scheherazade-like tale, now five weeks old and rolling on, about that Sept. 11 assault. A tale that left little doubt of its motivation: fear of the impact, so close to the election, of a successful terrorist attack—the clear indication that al Qaeda was not, as claimed, on the run.

It didn't hurt, of course, that a crude video like the one insulting to Islam is exactly the kind of fodder to which the Obama ministry is partial: Here was an opportunity for right-minded condemnation of bigotry, and if that bigotry was directed at Muslims, all the more opportune. It would be hard to say which member of the Obama administration most invoked the power and influence of that bit of film, officially to be known, now and forever, as the disgusting and reprehensible video.

More and more clearly, the Obama administration has put its faith in the view that the governed, who must be told what is best for their lives, whether they want it or not (see ObamaCare), can also be told that they have not seen what they've seen, have not heard what their ears clearly told them. When the "if you've got a business, you didn't build that" speech proved to be a political land mine, team Obama instantly charged malicious, out-of-context distortion. The president was only talking about—infrastructure! About government-built roads vital for businesses, transportation, etc.

It isn't likely that Americans who had heard the Obama address failed to understand, rightly, its sneering tone directed at those who believed they had a right to think they were responsible for their own success. Not likely that they didn't notice the icy thrust of those words, "I'm always struck by people who feel, 'Well, it must be because I'm just so smart.'" The president had revealed, with unforgettable clarity, his contempt for faith in individual enterprise—a value Americans of every station hold dear. So clear was this contempt, the Republicans knew enough to make it the Day One theme of their convention—the only good day. Democratic Party representatives meanwhile went forward en masse to charge the Republicans with dishonesty.

In the books yet to be written about this presidency, the Obama administration's exceptional readings of reality will deserve an honored place, and a large one. One that should also acknowledge the fact that, in the end, the American people inevitably recognize the difference between lies and truth, illusion and the real thing.

The most telling example of this capacity—the October surprise that shouldn't have been surprising—came with the first presidential debate. The nation saw a superbly cogent Mitt Romney, speaking to them in terms instantly recognizable, words without artifice that addressed their real lives. Viewers saw the life in him, the play of mind, felt the sense of powerful will—that of a leader. It didn't matter all that much that the president looked most unpresidential, a man lost. What mattered was the other man before them, who had brought home to Americans what they had been missing the past four years.

Not surprisingly, when the debate's effects were clear, Obama squads were again deployed to cry fraud. Mr. Romney, we were told, had done nothing but lie. This would now be the official story. It would have no effect. People had seen what they had seen and that would not be changed, not by an improved, fighting Obama as he was last Tuesday, or by a heroically transformed one on Monday night.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087 ... on_LEADTop

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Post by Diogenes » 10-22-2012 10:17 AM

Boy - did she nail it or what!

Who are you going to believe me or your lying eyes and yet the election is close.

Everytime I hear him say "that's not what we do" I think how sophomoric is that - I don't even know what that means.

Ok I know what it means but his words don't match his actions - a simple philosophy I know.
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Post by kbot » 10-22-2012 10:56 AM

From article:

"When the "if you've got a business, you didn't build that" speech proved to be a political land mine, team Obama instantly charged malicious, out-of-context distortion. The president was only talking about—infrastructure! About government-built roads vital for businesses, transportation, etc."

Onw would have thought that Obama alleged brilliant legal mind that he possesses, would have known by now to clearly state what you mean, and not leave anything open to interpretation.

He reminds me of a puppy with an incontinence problem. Someone needs to follow him around to clean up his mess....

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Post by Diogenes » 10-22-2012 11:50 AM

I think folks were so weary of the Iraq war and Barack Obama came across as "magical" and those speeches from the teleprompter seemed so uplifting and genuine - folks were caught up in thinking he was really smart and really capable.

In the debates it seems to me President Obamas lightbulb doesn't burn as brightly as Mitt's. He isn't fast on his feet and that's easy to see when you watch him during press briefings - few and far between
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Post by Riddick » 10-22-2012 12:47 PM

In close presidential race, foreign-policy debate likely to prove pivotal

From Chris Cillizza at washingtonpost.com:
  • If, at the start of the general election campaign, you told a seasoned political strategist in either party that the fate of the presidential race could well hinge on the foreign-policy-focused third debate, the reaction would have ranged from an eye roll to laughter.

    And yet, here we are. President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney head to Boca Raton, Fla., for their final debate Monday night with national polls suggesting that the race is tied and with the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, dominating the headlines.

    Here are five of our thoughts on what to watch for in the debate.

    Romney’s third strike on Libya: The conflicting stories coming out of the Obama administration over the Sept. 11 attack that left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead should make for a potent Romney attack line. And yet, he has swung and missed twice on the issue.

    First, his campaign released a decidedly political statement before the news of Stevens’s death broke. Then he lost the Libya back-and-forth in the second presidential debate as he tried to corner Obama and wound up cornered himself.

    If, in the final debate, Romney takes another big swing on Libya and comes up empty, his campaign may well look back on those three moments as one of the critical missed opportunities of the election.

    Obama won the Libya battle but ...: In the wake of Romney’s blundering on the Libya attack in the second debate, Republicans said that Obama might have won that moment but that the ongoing controversy about the incident wouldn’t go away and would ultimately hurt the president more than Romney.

    There’s little question that in a foreign-policy-focused debate, Obama will be forced to explain in more detail why his administration reacted the way it did — and why there were so many seemingly contradictory threads regarding what happened.

    Romney probably won’t make the same mistake he did in the second debate — giving Obama a way to turn the tables on him — and instead will try to force the spotlight on the incumbent. Obama will have to provide some clarity, given the fuzziness that surrounds the attack.

    Moderator Bob Schieffer’s stance: The moderators of the first three debates — one vice-presidential, two presidential — have emerged from the festivities as a story line in their own rights, and generally not in a good way.

    Given that, the final moderator, veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer, steps into something of a snake pit. How will Schieffer navigate the likelihood that both candidates will ignore (or at least stretch) the rules of engagement and repeatedly insist that the other guy isn’t telling the truth?

    Interrupt? Tell them to stop speaking? Use humor? Cut off their mikes? (Okay, that last one won’t happen — but wouldn’t it be great if it did?) Schieffer is a pro’s pro, but the task he faces is close to impossible.

    The vision thing: We’ve made no secret of our belief that the election won’t be decided by matters of foreign policy — not even an issue as hot as Benghazi is at the moment. That said, people want and expect that a candidate has the knowledge and vision to represent the United States on the world stage — and Romney continues to struggle to convince voters that he does.

    Need evidence? The latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll gave Obama a 10-point lead on which candidate registered voters trusted more to handle international affairs. (The gap was seven points among likely voters.)

    Although Romney has made up some of that deficit over the past few months — he trailed Obama by 17 points among registered voters on that world-leader issue in February — he has not been able to narrow it nearly as much as most neutral observers expected he would.

    Monday’s debate is Romney’s best chance to close that gap; one of the announced topics is “America’s role in the world.”

    A surprise (for once)?: With the level of preparation that goes into these debates by both candidates — not to mention the litigating of the format to within an inch of its life by the campaign lawyers — surprises are a rarity.

    But the foreign-policy-themed debate does offer the possibility that a question is asked for which one (or both) of the candidates doesn’t have an answer at the ready. (Gerald Ford, anyone? “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.”)

    A gap in knowledge would be very problematic for either man, but even more so for Romney, who, as mentioned above, largely remains an unknown (or unproven) commodity on foreign policy for most voters.

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Post by HB3 » 10-22-2012 01:58 PM

They forgot Point 6, the media and press being in the can for the incumbent. Oh, wait, their entire piece illustrates that....

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 10-22-2012 02:54 PM

..and yesterday top of drudge- Obama's bowing to all these leaders in places he visited...then blaming America for all the problems in those other countries???

then - later his denial of doing so?

---
Now we have Libya - but NOT just there, look at all the other embassies attacked and blaming it on what?? hmm okay

then of course we hear about all these praises from some foreign people who well - let's just say communist, socialist, dictators types....

---
IT COULD be an interesting night - then again will they stick to foreign or throw in economy....

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Post by kbot » 10-22-2012 04:17 PM

Cherry Kelly wrote: ..and yesterday top of drudge- Obama's bowing to all these leaders in places he visited...then blaming America for all the problems in those other countries???

then - later his denial of doing so?

---
Now we have Libya - but NOT just there, look at all the other embassies attacked and blaming it on what?? hmm okay

then of course we hear about all these praises from some foreign people who well - let's just say communist, socialist, dictators types....

---
IT COULD be an interesting night - then again will they stick to foreign or throw in economy....


You know........ short-term memory loss is a valid symptom.

Then again, he could be just outright lying........

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Post by BenSlain » 10-22-2012 05:34 PM

Boogity Boogity Boogity Lets go debating boys!
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been The champion of the world.

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Post by HB3 » 10-22-2012 06:24 PM

This is on Drudge...
Posted Monday, October 22, 2012 --- 4:40 p.m.

State Senator Neal Kedzie says his son was attacked while trying to stop someone from stealing his Romney/Ryan yard sign.

Whitewater Police tell NBC15 News this is an active investigation.

Here is the statement released by Senator Neal Kedzie:

Early on Friday morning, October 19th, my son Sean was awakened by noises outside his residence in Whitewater. As he went to see what the commotion was about, he noticed an individual removing a Romney/Ryan yard sign from his property. He yelled to the person that they were taking something not theirs and to return it immediately.

The individual returned the sign, however, a second person confronted and attacked Sean without warning.

Sean was wrestled to the ground by both persons, held down by a constricting chokehold, and struck repeatedly about the face and head.

He nearly passed out from the chokehold and suffered contusions to his face and eyes.

Fortunately, an alert neighbor heard the commotion, scared the individuals away, and called the police.

My wife and I were awakened by a telephone call from Sean’s roommate that Sean had been taken by ambulance to Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital.

Sean was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital the same day.

As this was a private family matter, we chose not to remark publicly about it and allow law enforcement to do their job. But we understand these types of incidents will eventually become public and questions will arise, particularly in my position as a state legislator.

Sean is still recovering from the injuries he sustained as a result of this beating, and we are confident he will make a full recovery.

But obviously, as parents, we are shaken by this event and very troubled it was apparently initiated and motivated for political reasons.
But remember, it's those crazy teabaggers that are the problem....

http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Son ... mobile=yes

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Post by HB3 » 10-22-2012 06:55 PM

Governor Romney doesn’t have to discredit President Obama’s foreign policy or win a big argument over America’s global priorities to have a good night. His goal is a simpler one and easier to achieve; he wants to complete the work he began at the first debate and continued at the Al Smith dinner.

Romney has made progress in the polls by establishing himself as a qualified alternative for voters looking for a change. Romney isn’t running for wonk-in-chief or the biggest, toughest hawk in the tree. His goal is to impress swing voters that he’s an acceptable replacement for the incumbent, and to perform effectively in the debate he needs to keep that goal firmly in mind.

President Obama’s consistent strategy in this campaign has been to tie Mitt Romney to the policy legacy of George W. Bush, defined by the White House as irresponsible, pro-rich policies at home and ill-considered hawkishness abroad. Governor Romney needs to realize that if the election is a referendum on W, he loses.

Governor Romney cannot run on restoring the Bush foreign policy. There is not a groundswell of support out there for the second coming of Cheney and Rumsfeld. Romney needs to present himself as the Goldilocks candidate here: if Obama is too cool on foreign policy issues, Bush was too hot—and Romney pledges to get it just right.

Governor Romney’s task in the third debate is easy to describe, harder to accomplish. He must attack President Obama’s conduct of foreign policy without allowing the President to portray the Governor as inexperienced, testy and wild. Governor Romney wants to remind voters of Ronald Reagan; Barack Obama wants to make him remind them of George W. Bush.

If President Obama’s biggest problem in a foreign policy debate is that his grand strategy is in crisis, Governor Romney’s biggest problem is that the Obama strategy offers what most voters want. Americans are profoundly tired by the Middle East; they don’t think we can do much good over there, they don’t like or understand the region and they want to get out. If voters come to believe that Romney thinks that the problem with President Obama’s foreign policy is that the Obama White House isn’t threatening enough foreigners with war and invading enough countries and not locking the United States into enough long term expensive nation-building projects overseas, it will be game set and match for the Democrat.
Translation: looks for lots of "Romney=Bush" tonight.

But I'm amazed at the way Mead describes the "Obama policy" in the last paragraph. Romney needs to point out that this policy has created more, not less, violence and disruption in the Middle East.

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/ ... eds-a-tie/
Last edited by HB3 on 10-22-2012 06:58 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by HB3 » 10-22-2012 06:59 PM

Okay...Mead continues:
The Middle East is not quieting down on Obama’s watch, Governor Romney can say, and the prospects of further, deeper American engagement are growing, not shrinking. The problem with the Benghazi attack isn’t whether the administration waffled or gave confusing explanations about what happened; the problem is that it graphically illustrates how poor White House decisions are putting Americans more at risk in the world. Overall, the President, Governor Romney can say, took a naively optimistic approach to the Arab Spring and thought that the overthrow of old despots was going to lead to the construction of American-style democracies. The White House should have been more cautious, he can say, and not rushed so quickly into situations it didn’t understand. It has been quick to support the overthrow of despots whose foreign policies aligned with the United States, but against enemies like Assad it simply utters vain and empty threats that make the United States look foolish and distracted.

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Post by Riddick » 10-22-2012 07:01 PM

HB3 wrote: This is on Drudge...

But remember, it's those crazy teabaggers that are the problem....

http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Son ... mobile=yes
When you think about it, these guys were pretty ambitious. I mean, you have all those other folks tweeting that they'll riot if Romney is elected -

The election's not even over yet and this happens - And not a single threat of violence! Nope, these guys just went ahead and did it.

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Post by Diogenes » 10-22-2012 07:37 PM

Just trying to decide not if but what to drink.;)
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Post by Riddick » 10-22-2012 07:59 PM

Here's a snapshot from Intrade just a little ahead of the debate:

Image

Looks like traders were sweating something that made them dump Obama stock & buy Romney shares there after 7pm ET...

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