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The New Crazy

The Republicans picked Mitt Romney, because he seemed to be their only candidate who wasn’t completely crazy. And then he had to go and do this.

A crisis in the Middle East erupts because some asshole idiot in the US makes a really crappy low-budget movie that seems to be designed solely to anger Muslims (who at this point don’t need much to get them pissed off). It depicts Muhammad as a “cowardly, drunken torturer of children and old women.” Kind of like what would happen if some Muslim made a movie depicting Jesus as a gay pedophile who runs an abortion clinic and shoots up drugs (except a Muslim wouldn’t do that since they actually revere Jesus).

Riots break out. The American embassy in Egypt tries to cool things off by issuing a relatively mild statement condemning people who disrespect religion, any religion. The kind of thing you might do if you are trying to keep your people alive.

So what does Romney do? On 9/11, on the same day when Romney said you shouldn’t criticize the president about foreign affairs, he releases a statement condemning the administration. “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

First of all, this statement is a lie. The statement from the embassy was made before any attacks on our diplomatic missions. In fact, the statement was designed to reduce the chances of such an attack.

Is Romney really this trigger happy? In fact, originally the statement was released with an embargo until midnight, so that it would not come out on 9/11. But a few minutes later, the Romney campaign lifted their own embargo. They just couldn’t wait. They had to turn an international incident where American lives were lost into cheap, lying political fodder.

Shame on you Romney. You are not qualified to be dogcatcher, let alone president.

Even Republicans were aghast at Romney. One senior Republican said “They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up.” and called Romney’s statement an “utter disaster” and a “Lehman moment” (referring to when McCain lost it during the financial crisis during the 2008 presidential campaign). Another Republican said “I guess we see now that it is because they’re incompetent at talking effectively about foreign policy. This is just unbelievable — when they decide to play on it they completely bungle it.”

So what does Romney do? He doubles down on incompetence. Defending his earlier statement against charges that it was released before Romney had all the facts, he said “It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.” In other words, it is more important to act like an overbearing jerk than to try to defuse a violent situation.

Which brought even more disbelief from Republicans. A former Bush State Department official said “It wasn’t presidential of Romney to go political immediately — a tragedy of this magnitude should be something the nation collectively grieves before politics enters the conversation.” Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist to Sen. John McCain in McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said Romney’s “comments were a big mistake, and the decision to double down on them was an even bigger mistake. There are legitimate criticisms to be made but you foreclose on your ability to make them when you try to score easy political points. And the American people, when the country is attacked, whether they’re a Republican or Democrat or independent, want to see leaders who have measured responses, not leaders whose first instinct is to try to score political points.” Another former campaign aide for John McCain said that Romney is “Not ready for prime time.” And a former US ambassador to NATO under Bush said “Frankly, the charges he made were not only completely untrue but reckless and irresponsible.”

As damage control, the Romney camp then sends out a set of talking points. If asked “Did Governor Romney ‘jump the gun’ last night in releasing his statement?” they are supposed to respond “No. It is never too soon to stand up for American values and interests.”

And he’s supposed to be the Republican who isn’t crazy?

© Pat Oliphant



  1. Michael wrote:

    I saw an interesting interview yesterday with a woman who acted in the movie. She claims she had no idea before or during filming that the film was about Islam. The title given was “Desert Adventure,” and the casting call describe it as an action/adventure set 2000 years ago. The character of Muhammad was identified as “George” in the script, and the other characters only referred to him using titles like, “The Master.” It was the Arabic subtitles that revealed the character’s true identity. The whole thing really is disgraceful.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink
  2. Arthanyel wrote:

    It’s also amazing how the wing nuts leap to defend him and attack Obama by making stuff up – like yetserday’s “breaking news” that the Adminstration had ordered the Marines in Egypt to not carry any live ammo. Which of course turns out to be TOTALLY FALSE. And the original tweet was not in ANY WAY apologetic – it was spot on in the attempt to diffuse the situation.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink
  3. ThatGuy wrote:

    I still don’t understand how promoting religious tolerance goes against American values or is any way apologizing to people attacking embassies.

    Santorum also used this as a fundraising opportunity.

    Pretty disgusting.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  4. Jonah wrote:

    One word, “desperation”. The ECB bond purchase plan means that EU won’t implode at least for another few months and that was the only chance he had of winning. So he’s trying to perhaps fire up the base who want their country back.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  5. Jonah wrote:

    As a side note, it is ironical that the people protesting (and killing) citing this obscure movie that no one knew about until the riots started, are the same ones who want freedom from tyranny in their country. All types of freedom except for freedom of speech.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  6. Moroni KOLOB wrote:

    Willard is an MTC Nut who takes orders from KOLOB …. WAKE UP …. KOLOB

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  7. ptgoodman wrote:


    I read something similar at Al Jazeera. Apparently the audio (badly)redubbed with the offensive language–like the Woody Allen movie “What’s Up, Tiger Lily.” Of course, that completely changed the plot of both movies.

    Exactly, what is wrong with an apology? Has any Christian leader expressed outrage regarding this movie?

    Yes, Jonah. We do have freedom of speech. But I would imagine that PI would not allow me to post something with only the purpose to offend you.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  8. ThatGuy wrote:

    The State Department already condemned the film, but there is a big difference between condemning something and apologizing for it. Apologizing takes ownership of the film, which would be silly. The problem is that radicals in the Middle East can use a film no one in the US had heard of to stir up anger because not enough people in the region understand that the US government is not responsible for every stupid thing a private citizen does.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  9. il-08 wrote:

    The President DID apologize for US action! Here is the link!

    No doubt about it, it was an apology.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  10. il-08 wrote:

    What I don’t understand is if someone puts a video on youtube that desecrates an entire religion, and is found offensive by more than 1,000,000,000 people on the planet (at least), all people can do here is shrug their shoulders and speak of freedom of speech. Everybody hates it but everybody understands that it would be wrong to forbid any kind of expression.

    But show one nipple…

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink
  11. ebdoug wrote:

    IL-08. I haven’t watched television since about 1964, but I’ve always heard about the violence on television but if you show a mother feeding her baby by breast, it is banned. Ah, our morals. Thanks for your post.

    Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 4:40 am | Permalink
  12. Robert Chaney wrote:

    I believe you are mistaken when you say that Muslims revere our Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus said he was the “Son of God.” Islam says that the god (“allah” or “alla”) has no son.

    Monday, September 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

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