In the final months of the 2008 Democratic primary race, a series of inexplicable blunders doomed Hilary Clinton’s candidacy. It appears to me that similar mistakes now doom Mitt Romney’s candidacy.
First, he is proposing that America take, as it were, a defiant stand in the face of uproar reacting to the “film” Innocence of Muslims (See previous post.). Now, most of Romney’s most notable blunders have been in the realm of foreign policy, and IMHO this one’s fatal. That path would lead folk to believe the “film” somehow has the nation’s imprimatur, which position (a) will yield no end of hostility toward us from abroad and (b) will be rejected by the overwhelming majority of the electorate. We value free speech, of course, but must abhor this particular speech sample.
Second, I am not aware that Romney has yet spoken to this himself, but the response from other Republicans so far is politically damaging. When the Federal Reserve announced several days ago that it would take new, stronger steps to stimulate the economy, I apprehended that this would be taken as a partisan political move. I don’t know how much liberty the FRB has to time its decisions and public statements according to how they may be perceived. In the event, some Republicans have called the Fed’s action a partisan, political gesture; which is unhelpful given that the welfare of the entire country is at stake and the Fed (I believe) is normally held to be above politics. The same Republicans might as well characterize Standard & Poor’s August 8, 2011 lowering of the U.S. bond rating as a political act, though this effect of Tea Party intransigence benefited no one.