MEMPHIS, TENN. — In the third, and mercifully last, presidential debate of this campaign, the candidates sliced razor-thin nuances in their foreign policy views. Romney was measured and presidential, and he avoided the trap being set for him as a warmonger. He actually seemed to be less interventionist than Obama, who ran against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but who has since become the sheriff from "Blazing Saddles."
As usual, when Obama was asked a question he would ignore it and revert to his tired talking points, mocking Romney on his foreign policy experience as governor of Massachusetts. Who can forget the bloody, unprovoked and protracted invasion Romney initiated against Vermont over maple syrup tariffs?
Because he is losing steam, and because he is a whiner by nature, Obama attacked. Of course, liberal CBS “moderator” and Obama sniffer Bob Schieffer would cut Romney off when he tried to respond. His Freudian slip showed when he said “helped us catch Obama’s bin Laden.” Who could have predicted that the Democratic candidates would be allowed more time in all four debates?
For some reason, the contests are broadcast on all major TV channels. I am not really sure why. "Honey Boo Boo" is on just one, way up on the dial, and people seem to find it easily.
Obama shamelessly reached out to Ohio voters, and both candidates pandered to the ladies. They both agreed to increase the domestic output of romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant and to make “50 Shades of Gray” into a Lifetime free movie.
The two candidates spent almost the entire 90 minutes of the debate agreeing on foreign policy. Obama even agreed that they agreed and drew no contrast between himself and Romney. Yet, ever the politician, Obama twice called Romney’s policies, “wrong and reckless.” So we can conclude that their foreign policies are the same, but Romney’s are “wrong and reckless.”
The Daily Beast’s headline was, "President Obama Slams A Passive Mitt Romney as ‘Reckless’ on Foreign Policy." I remind you, this is coming from the left, which cares more about winning than it does about core values.
Obama has done nothing unique in foreign policy. He wound down the wars on the path George Bush laid out. Hypocritically, he opposed the very enhanced interrogation techniques and other Guantanamo Bay practices that led us to bin Laden, yet he prances around bragging that “he” killed him.
I have said for a decade that we should not be in these expensive and intractable wars of choice. Romney positioned himself to the left of Obama on warmongering, and that perplexed our ever perplex-able president.
A sitting president has a built-in advantage on foreign policy debates, and no president has done more sitting than Obama. He has had four years of security briefings, some of which he actually attended if “Pimp With a Limp” and “The View” were in reruns that week. If he really cared about peace, he would intervene to stop all the bickering on “The View” and free Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
The real point of this last debate should have been that America cannot be strong forever if we keep spending over a trillion dollars a year that we do not have. Our economic wellbeing is key to our standing in the world, and that has suffered under Obama’s big spending, central command and control governing. We spend seven times what China, with the second biggest military, spends on “defense.” Our Department of Defense has become the Offense Department, and we are going broke.
A theoretical discussion about Israeli settlements on the West Bank (yet another housing market doing better than ours) does us no good when our economy is in the tank.
We need less government, not more. When meddlesome politicians tire of regulating and butting their noses into domestic policy, which retards our economy and our freedoms, they set their sights on other countries and call their meddling "foreign policy."
It should not be our intention to egg on presidents, like in the moments leading up to a bar fight, to always do "something" about everything. Rather, it should be to make them stop always doing things. We should not be asking so much what our president would do; we should ask what he would not do.
A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com, Twitter @RonaldHart or at visit RonaldHart.com.