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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "Peeling Away the Plastic": How About First Scrubbing Away the Blood?

Reflecting on a new Netflix documentary providing an intimate perspective of Mitt Romney's campaigns for the the presidency, Maureen Dowd, in her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Peeling Away the Plastic" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/dowd-peeling-away-the-plastic.html?ref=maureendowd&_r=0), concludes:

"The fact that Romney allowed his strategists to keep a fence around him and his faith, which is so central to his life, the fact that he basically had nothing to say about where he wanted to lead the country, the fact that the private equity leecher spoke so dismissively about the 47 percent of people he regarded as moochers, the fact that this supposedly top-notch businessman did not seem to realize his campaign was using 20th-century technology — all of this spoke to a certain tentativeness, obtuseness and callousness.

But there’s always 2016."

Hmm, "tentativeness, obtuseness and callousness" on the part of Romney.

However, Maureen fails to mention the other event that recently stirred much media attention in the US, i.e. publication of Robert Gates's book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War." Regarding Gates's book, Charles Krauthammer last week wrote a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "How in good conscience?" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-how-in-good-conscience/2014/01/16/138901d4-7ee3-11e3-9556-4a4bf7bcbd84_story.html?hpid=z2), in which he observed re Obama's escalation of American involvement in Afghanistan:

"One question remains, however. If he wasn’t committed to the mission, if he didn’t care about winning, why did Obama throw these soldiers into battle in the first place?

Because for years the Democrats had used Afghanistan as a talking point to rail against the Iraq War — while avoiding the politically suicidal appearance of McGovernite pacifism. As consultant Bob Shrum later admitted, “I was part of the 2004 Kerry campaign, which elevated the idea of Afghanistan as ‘the right war’ to conventional Democratic wisdom. This was accurate as criticism of the Bush Administration, but it was also reflexive and perhaps by now even misleading as policy.”

Translation: They were never really serious about Afghanistan. (Nor apparently about Iraq either. Gates recounts with some shock that Hillary Clinton admitted she opposed the Iraq surge for political reasons, and Obama conceded that much of the opposition had indeed been political.) The Democratic mantra — Iraq War, bad; Afghan War, good — was simply a partisan device to ride anti-Bush, anti-Iraq War feeling without appearing squishy."

Or in a nutshell, after months of procrastination, America's Narcissist-in-Chief finally decided to shed the blood of American service women and men in an inane war for the sake of his own image and political gain.

Dowd sees "tentativeness, obtuseness and callousness" in Romney's campaigns? Perhaps. But I suggest that she first consider what Obama ordered in Afghanistan, which has proven horrifyingly worse by any standard of morality.

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