Thursday, 29 March 2012

Basic Logic: Foreign Policy Edition

It's pretty difficult to accurately describe Mitt Romney saying something stupid as "news", these days.  This is the guy, after all, who's said "I like to fire people"[1], "I'm not worried about the very poor", and just this week told Jay Leno that, should Obamacare be gutted by the Supreme Court, he doesn't have any interest in helping out the millions of people with pre-existing conditions from getting access to health insurance.

(That last one, by the way, is particularly indicative of moral bankruptcy and general dickishness.   Just to take one example, my sister was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was ten years old, and will be on expensive medication for her entire life.  Mitt Romney's argument boils down to saying that she should have had her own personal health insurance policy by then.  Obviously, my sister isn't an American citizen, but right now she's working in Ontario instead of Alaska because only the former will let her contribute to the country, rather than insisting she just lets her brain keep shutting down.)

I wanted to flag this up, though, because whilst pretty much everything Romney says is equally vacuous and deceitful, some comments are more widely believed than others.  The context here is that recently Romney described Russia as America's "number one geopolitical foe".  Calculating the exact degree of rank insanity contained in that remark is left as an exercise for the reader, but rather unsurprisingly, it's led to some rather cutting comments from Medvedev.

So what does Romney do?  He takes this as evidence that America's enemies prefer Obama, therefore Obama is a bad president.  We explore this nonsense in the form of a one-act play:
OBAMA: Hello, Russia.  I don't like you, and you don't like me, but let's see if we can at least manage some civil business transactions, hmm?
MEDVEDEV: Very well, America.  There is much we can gain from such talks, even if your constant preening and hypocritical rhetoric makes me want to vomit into an ushanka.
OBAMA: So we agree.  Let us start with the issue of nuclear weapons, and see if we can-
ROMNEY: Oy oy oy!  Russia!  Russia, you dirty c***!  Fuck off back to the Urals, comrade!
MEDVEDEV: I do not know who you are, but your President and I are busy negotiating a new treaty which will reduce the number of horrifically violent weapons both our countries have ready to-
ROMNEY: No reducing, you vodka swilling cocksuckers!  More missiles mean more dead Russkies!  Woo-hoo!
MEDVEDEV: You are an ignorant and unpleasant man, and I'd like you to leave so I can conclude my business here.
ROMNEY: Oh, reeeeeeeeeeeeally!  So you prefer that guy over there, huh?  Point proven, my friends!  Point motherfucking proven!
The idea that anything your enemies desire must automatically be bad for you never fails to rear its head during election cycles, as though one could actually bypass the cost and organisational headaches of a presidential election by simply polling the heads of antagonistic states and choosing the candidate who shows up the least often (one problem with that: millions of people would all become president at the same time, including Steve Earle, Kent Brockman, Sooty, Skeletor, and most seriously, Sarah Palin).

Even by the standards of such stupidity, though, claiming something significant in a country preferring opposing heads of state that don't reflexively despise them is completely ridiculous.  And that's before you factor in Romney just full on inventing bitter enmity between contemporary Russia and the US. 

It's like running a sandwich bar, and telling every Muslim who walks in that you hate them so much you'll be sticking pork rinds in their paninis, and then suggesting there's something suspicious about how many Muslims prefer to get lunch from the cafe over the road.

Not that a Republican politician concludeing that only his side gets to be turds constitutes news either, of course, but there you go...

[1] He later complained people had taken this remark out of context, a few weeks after his campaign was caught out pretending a soundbite of Obama quoting a Republican was actually Obama quoting himself, and said "out of context remarks are fair game."

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