Tuesday, July 31, 2012

American Inceptionalism

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

Perhaps we would've been better off sending Don Rickles abroad- At least he's funnier.

After Mitt Romney left Poland, Polish people starting telling each other American jokes. Yes, Willard was that bad and, no doubt, even liberals began thinking of that now infamous poster of Dubya waving goodbye above the caption, "Miss me yet?"

In Poland, it all started with his antiunion comments at the 2012 National Meeting of the Associated Builders and Contractors:
One of the first things I will do, actually on day one, is I will end the government’s favoritism towards unions and contracting on federal projects. I will fight to repeal Davis-Bacon…and I will fight for right-to-work laws.

Solidarity, obviously, was not amused and publicly distanced itself from the man who essentially vowed to wage war against, among other things, a federal law requiring federal contractors to pay a fair, living wage to its laborers, the same Davis-Bacon Act, by the way, that George W. Bush tried to get around after giving Halliburton a post-Katrina cleanup contract.

It's also not clear how the Obama administration shows "favoritism towards unions" when its track record regarding organized labor shows otherwise (Note: Obama refused a one-on-one meeting with former leader Lech Wałęsa, who hasn't even been involved with the labor movement since leaving Solidarity over policy. So, obviously Wałęsa was also exposing his own foreign policy naïveté by resorting to sour grapes diplomacy in supporting a guy who would've gladly stood shoulder to shoulder with the similarly antiunion Soviets.).

Then, one of Romney's flaks, Rick Gorka, showed how much he respected one of Poland's holiest sites by telling the press to "kiss my ass" and to "shove it." It makes one wonder what Romney was thinking in #1 showing up at the Gdansk shipyard where the Solidarity union movement began and #2 in thinking, as do all Republicans, that resurrecting the Cold War and using Cold War symbology is even remotely relevant over three decades after Solidarity began and over two decades after the Soviet Union fell. Using the Cold War mindset is what made us lose in Iraq and what will make us lose in Afghanistan.

Before this, we learned another revelation not picked up on by the corporate MSM, from the centrist Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
Romney apparently accepts instructions from Netanyahu who succeeded in getting him to cancel a scheduled and meticulously planned meeting with MK Shelly Yacimovich, the leader of the Labor party.

As Sarah Jones put it in PoliticusUSA,
Is this American exceptionalism, Romney style? He criticizes Obama for “apologizing for America” – something President Obama has actually never done – implying that Obama is a weak person, and yet Obama as a young senator was able to meet with opposition Netanyahu on his visit to Israel. He didn’t let anyone else dictate his policy, let alone his meetings.

As a result, I half expect the President to announce a whirlwind world tour apologizing for Mitt Romney and his whirlwind world tour.

No, this is not American exceptionalism. It's what I call American Inceptionalism: A United States in a permanent slumber and mistaking geopolitical reality for whatever fantastically distorted images it conjures up. Romney has, essentially, been sleepwalking his way across the world like a polymer-based somnambulist and ensuring he will not be woken up by barring the press, keeping it at bay or ignoring it outright.

At a recent fundraiser in Israel, heavily guarded by machine gun-toting Israeli troops and attended by American right wing Jews such as former Newt Gingrich sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson, who's currently being probed by the Justice Department for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Camp Willard tried barring the press from attending then slightly relented by letting in a few Romney-friendly outlets when the outcry was too loud to ignore.

Bottom line, while Romney was trying to burnish nonexistent foreign policy credentials (aside from choosing which foreign bank will get him the biggest interest rate for his offshored fortune), he managed to alienate if not outright piss off everyone he met and those he didn't meet (including the Palestinians) and gambled away his campaign's last shred of credibility and gravitas to net $3,000,000 and perhaps half a dozen new voters during one fundraiser.

It's become all too obvious now that Willard Romney's one saving grace, the one big thing he has going for him is racism and evangelical primacy among those who will vote for anybody who's white just to get the Kenyan, Muslim, terrorist-coddling interloper out of the White House. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for Willard, there are far fewer of those wackadoodles than there are Obama supporters.

I'm sure come November, we'll see just how many Americans are comfortable putting a man with judgment like that near the big red button.


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