Thursday, September 13, 2012

Remember when dissent was considered patriotic?

John Podhoretz is quite fine writing about the efforts of those in the media to make Mitt Romney's criticisms of the Egyptian embassy's statement into an election-ending moment. They aren't engaging on the content of Romeny's views but acting as if it is somehow impermissible for a challenger to criticize a sitting president's foreign policy.
It’s fine to criticize Romney’s views; that’s how a debate of substance takes place. It’s also fine to question the timing of his statement (though that’s a question of strategy and tactics, not substance).

This was something different. This was an effort — not entirely conscious — to make it illegitimate for Romney to criticize the president’s foreign policy at a moment when foreign policy has suddenly taken center stage.

But that’s exactly when such a debate should take place — because it’s when the public will actually pay attention.

That is not what The Most High want — a debate. What they want is for Obama to be re-elected. And they’ll use the tools at their disposal to achieve their aim.
Apparently the horror of Romney’s evil words was lost on Obama. In a CBS interview yesterday, he converted the business into a one-liner: “Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.”

How solemn. How grave.

So it appears one politician can say what he likes and the other can’t. Because, you know, there’s an election to win, and the self-appointed referees are also the fans.
Of course, there were no such media defenses of John Kerry or Barack Obama when they campaigned against George W. Bush's foreign policy in a time of war. That was considered patriotic dissent. Remember when Kerry used the deaths of servicemen serving in Iraq to launch attacks on Bush? Obama did the same thing. Goodness, Obama based his whole rise to the nomination in 2008 on how he'd been more willing to speak out against the war in Iraq earlier than Hillary Clinton. But now Obama is president and running for reelection facing the fallout from disastrous economic policies so all the weapons must be pulled out to ensure his victory in November. And suddenly now, Romney's criticisms are considered someone like Chris Matthewsto overshadow than the attacks on Americans around the Middle East. And the media are ignoring that the Obama administration also was backing away from their embassy's statement. As NRO writes,
. And now the administration is blaming one staffer at the Cairo embassy who issued the original statement and was sending out tweets after the mob attacked the Cairo embassy reiterating the statement's message. So naturally, the mainstream media are focusing on what they in their considered wisdom have determined is Mitt Romney’s crass and ill-timed response to the crisis, even as the Obama campaign found itself in a foot race with the Obama administration to see whether the former could condemn Romney before the latter condemned the terrorists.
Stephen Hayes reminds us of how Obama carried on his political activities and the campaign throughout 9/11.
So as the media pound Mitt Romney for allegedly violating the inviolable space around 9/11 and difficulties overseas, remember this about Barack Obama. He sought campaign volunteers and his top adviser launched a harsh attack on Romney early on 9/11. His top surrogate, Bill Clinton, let loose a tough attack on Romney and entitlements that evening. Obama rejected a meeting with a key ally potentially on the verge of war at least in part because he might need to be campaigning at the end of the month. And after a pause of his campaign activities that lasted approximately 14 ½ hours, the president resumed his normal campaign schedule with a trip to Las Vegas, where gave a speech that echoed his address to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last week.

Who’s being political?
The media's efforts to paint a story about how Romney was being unforgivably political while Obama was above it all as commander-in-chief is a despicable fiction, but that doesn't mean that their efforts won't work. The media hasn't changed its full-throated efforts to elect Obama from 2008. It's all so very depressing and I fear that it will be just as effective this year as it was then.