When news came that the American consulate in Benghazi was attacked, Romney rushed to the podium to exploit this gotcha moment to the full. He proceeded to show himself ignorant, uninformed, and a violent partisan with no thought for America's future, no thought indeed except about his own election.
He was smirking and looking smug as he left the podium.
First of all, it was the consulate in Benghazi that was attacked, not the U.S. embassy, which is in Tripoli because Tripoli is the capital of Libya and Benghazi is not. He then contradicted himself by staying the administration "stood by" and then "distanced" themselves from an Egyptian demonstration at the U.S. embassy in Cairo Sep. 11, apparently attributing to Obama a statement the U.S. ambassador to Egypt made during yesterday's protest, as though Romney better understood the situation than the ambassador at the embassy. Romney also said Obama had "apologized" for free speech, which is nonsense. The U.S. embassy in Egypt merely stated they don't condone religious bigotry, and didn't apologize for American free speech. Indeed, the embassy complimented free speech rights in Egypt these days. Romney is essentially implying he only supports free speech if it is what he wants to hear.
He doesn't seem to recognize that under dictatorship, the only conceivable opposition to power in the Arab world was Islamist, so that the collapse in authority of these corrupt and brutal regimes necessarily invited Islamist power. For the U.S. to oppose the Arab Spring, as many Republicans wanted, would have meant trying to prop up unpopular corrupt machines forever, at great cost to U.S. prestige. Even George W. Bush would not have tried that. Romney then said the U.S. must prevent "extremism" as though the president could wave a magic wand to influence within months movements that had been born of necessity in anti-western ideology.
The article points out that the demonstrators were not actually clear on which movie was being protested, which could mean they were being paid. It was not mentioned that the obvious reason for protesting is that it was September 11.
The Libya attack was an organized assault. A group of protesters went to the consulate, the ambassador and a couple others came to evacuate the building, and it was then they were attacked with rockets. The film the protesters were attacking has apparently been distributed in the Arab world, although it is completely unknown in the US, where it was produced by an Egyptian national with a long criminal record, suggesting it may have been paid for by some foreign agency trying to stir up trouble. Apparently there have been a number of attacks on westerners in Benghazi in recent months, raising the question of how well the government of Libya really controls the area.
The Libyan government apologized immediately.
Nonetheless, Romney thinks he has won a point in the "game" of the election and he rushed to capitalize. Why the rush, and why the lack of reflection? Polls are beginning to show a gap between Obama and Romney, after millions more watched the Democratic convention than the Republican, so Romney is now fully engaged in his election game, where the president is uniquely evil and everything that happens is proof that Romney is good. He clearly had no thought about the ambassador, no thoughts about Libya, and indeed no thoughts about anything but the election.
The bad polls have caused a hysterical reaction on the part of other Republicans and their allies too.
Lockheed Martin's wealthy republican CEO (who also supports right wing Democrat Bill Nelson) threatened to lay off 123,000 workers before the election if Obama and Congress don't stop military budget cuts scheduled for January. The idea of the military as a make-work employment project is a Romney theme, revealed at the GOP convention. Republicans, you see, don't dislike bureaucracy, only liberal bureaucracy. They don't dislike "economic stimulus" either, only stimulus that provides roads, bridges or education. They prefer stimulus that gives bombs and predator drones. That's why they attack schoolteacher unions on the state and local level, but never state troopers, even though the troopers are better paid with better pensions. Ditto on the local scene. Police and fire continue to get what they want, even as teachers and "bureaucrats" are cut to the bone.
his political contributions (Potomac, Maryland, Lockheed exec)
It is just the latest economic sabotage by Republicans, probably the worst politically motivated sabotage this nation has ever seen. In addition, as pointed out on this blog, Republicans have engaged in a campaign to stop small business hiring before the election, to withhold $2 trillion in cash overseas unless corporate taxes are reduced, and in general to create an "Atlas Shrugged" capital strike unless they get government by and for the corporations. Will the public punish them for this political presumption? The dreamlike denial of the public about the treason of corporate political rule seems well entrenched and hard to move.
Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh, not the least deterred by calls by right-wing lunatics for armed revolt in the right if Obama wins, fanned the flames of apocalypse by predicting the end of the Republican party forever if Obama defeats Romney.
Expect a lot of hysteria in the next sixty days, numerous attempts at economic sabotage by the corporations and rich, and foreign governments and intelligence agencies attempting to influence events. It will be a dramatic two months, so take a deep sigh, buckle up and be prepared for anything. Romney and the GOP have no moral or emotional limits and will do anything including intimidation, sabotage, and massive fraud if they think it will help them win. There are even worse things they might and probably will attempt than these. Their extremity is no longer hidden or controlled.