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The Upcoming Foreign Policy Debate

I never watch presidential debates since they are all about personality and image in front of the TV camera. There is no substance, and when there is, it's mostly lies. So I didn't watch the recent image-fest between Romney and Obama.

But the result and post-debate spin were interesting. Spinmeisters on both sides admitted -- or at least hinted -- that President Obama has been so spoiled and pampered by the New York/DC media establishment that he was too out of shape to face a competent opponent. They couldn't bring themselves to be more candid: Obama is America's first "affirmative action" president, therefore many guilt-ridden whites think they owe it to Something to treat him with soft gloves. 

Although I have no great animosity to Obama, as I did to his predecessor, it has been gratifying watching spinmeisters deconstruct the Obama Myth. So far the best quote I've found comes from Andrew Klavan:

Even before his inauguration, Barack Obama was an imaginary man, the creation of his admirers. Think back to the 2008 Time magazine cover depicting him as FDR, the Newsweek cover of the same year on which he was shown casting Lincoln’s shadow, or the $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”—this in 2009, less than a year after he had taken office. It was not that Obama had done nothing to deserve these outsized comparisons and honors—it was not just that he had done nothing—it was that he seemed for all the world to be a blank screen on which such hysterical fantasies could too easily be projected, a two-dimensional paper doll just waiting to be dressed in leftist dreams...
The Obama of the imagination is the media’s Obama. Out of their fascination with the color of his skin and their mindless awe at his windy teleprompted rhetoric, they constructed a man of stature and accomplishment.

But I might watch the debate that discusses foreign policy. What will Obama claim as his major success: Libya? American-trained and financed Afghan troops killing Americans? Drone attacks across the Muslim world?

But it will be more interesting to watch exactly how Romney lies. Surely his political advisors have seen all the polls the last decade. They know how unpopular these endless and useless wars are, especially with independent voters. But if he has the guts to come right out and repudiate the George W. Bush/neocon/police state legacy in order to win over some of those independents, he risks offending the Republican base in the defense industries and in hinterland Bahbll churches. 

Therefore he will have to do the great dance of Duplicity, a performing skill that any successful politician must excel at. Obama will have an easier time in this next debate: he only has to get up there and say, "Sure, I might be the serial Assassin-in-Chief of planet Earth and there will be plenty of killing at the end of four more years of my administration. But I won't be quite as bad as a Republican."

I predict that Obama wins the next image-fest.


Bill said…
So long as war is considered a political necessity to get elected, politicians will continue to overfund it and the military. They disregard the admonition of Eisenhower.
Ed said…
President Obama will win the Foreign Policy debate hands down. The media will fall all over themselves praising the startling change in his performance.
This is where the President can really shine. There is also the need to keep the drama going or no one will watch the third debate!
He ended the war in Iraq (in accordance with the agreement that former President Bush put in place) and he assassinated Osama bin Laden.
He has vastly expanded the 'drone war' and personally makes the hardest moral calls — whether to conduct strikes that will kill not just the targeted individuals but 'collateral damage' (innocent bystanders).
His foreign policies have supported the Arab Spring movement (sometimes) leading to democratic elections in Libya and Egypt. He will NOT mention the death of the Ambassador but if forced will blame it on 'the video'.
The Obama Doctrine: Leading From Behind has deliberately diminished American presence in world affairs.
Perhaps his most brilliant foreign policy of all was naming Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. It silenced two (Mr. and Mrs.) of his most respected Democrat critics.
Bill, yep, voters could demand better. I don't know why they don't.

Ed, the Media really DOES like the horse race aspects of an election, don't they?
Sondra said…
It got to me when Romney said "we will continue to support (fund)our military", arent they supposed to support US? SO its like we will keep the money flowing if we can find another hot spot to keep the WAR RAGING, its big money, WHO needs all that oil they are drilling, blasting, sucking, frackin, and everything else for? The Military! They are putting so much into getting "american soil oil" who will be able to afford it??? What good is it if everyone can't afford it? As long as we need oil there will be war!