No Apology & the Mind of Mitt

Every now and again I’ll stumble across a media item wherein we are treated to the “news” that Barack Obama hates Mitt Romney to his very core. I’d always been puzzled by these pieces because a) why does it matter, and b) what is there in Mitt Romney to hate so vociferously, so irrationally? Why is it so personal for Obama? Right now I’m two chapters in to Mitt Romney’s last book, No Apology, and in it Mitt Romney is laying out the case for why and how America is in decline, what we need to do about it, and–here’s where it gets personal for Barack Obama–how the current president is a symptom of this decline.

All in all it’s a fascinating read, and a well written one to boot. I like his style. I don’t know if this is one of those “ghost written” books that so often comes from the political world, but if so, it seems to be one that authentically captures Romney’s voice and ideas. You should be able to find it at your local library, which is where I picked up my copy. I’m dedicated to reading a chapter a night, because you don’t want to take something like this in too quickly. It takes time to reflect on what he’s trying to communicate.

Right now it’s making me think about the state of our nation and the current political horse race. And it’s helping me understand his strategy in this election, as well as his game plan for the presidency should he be elected to it. So far he has outlined the four dominant and competing visions for the world, and is making the case for why American supremacy is ultimately the moral vision. It’s been a long time since people like me were treated to an argument for why we should maintain out super-power status; mostly we hear about how we should surrender it. In the context of his arguments, I find my own thinking shifting.

Romney says there are four competing visions.

One is the American vision, which is founded on free markets and political freedoms. Another is the Chinese vision, which is also based on free markets, but with a decidedly authoritarian view of individual freedoms. The third is the resurrection of Russian supremacy, i.e. an oligarchic model based on energy domination, with again, that authoritarian approach to individuality. Finally, the fourth is the jihadist vision, led by Iran, that is founded on a notion of religious supremacy and an attempt at cultural hegemony for the specific reason that the current cultural domination of America and the West is immoral.

He says our vision should remain the supreme vision because it is the only one that offers, protects, and promotes more opportunity and expression in the world. He makes the case for how these two things–economic and political freedoms–actually reinforce each other and create a state wherein humanity can thrive and grow. He uses a very particular point in this case, which is a comment he heard from Shimon Peres, the former Prime Minister of Israel, and their current president.

Peres said, “America is unique in the history of the world. …[W]henever there has been war, the nation that is victorious has taken land from the nation that has been defeated–land has always been the basis for wealth on our planet. Only one nation in history…was willing to lay down hundreds of thousands of lives and take no  land  in its victory… America is unique…for its willingness to sacrifice so many lives of its precious sons and daughters for liberty, not solely for itself but also for its friends.”

This is the vision that Romney suggests we are losing, which is contributing to our decline, and that he wants to restore. Barack Obama is a major barrier to that restoration because he is so sympathetic to the other competing visions in the world and naively believes that these other actors want only to share a balance of power, instead of dominate it. And just today Mitt Romney, with an eye toward timing, has put forward his own vision of foreign policy (thank you, VM, for posting the whole thing!). His Wall Street Journal op-ed embraces the notion that America is a light in this world, a light that must be maintained in order to “promot[e] human rights, free markets and the rule of law,” and that President Obama has done much to diminish that light. Of Barack Obama’s leadership, he has this to say:

But in recent years, President Obama has allowed our leadership to atrophy. Our economy is stuck in a “recovery” that barely deserves the name. Our national debt has risen to record levels. Our military, tested by a decade of war, is facing devastating cuts thanks to the budgetary games played by the White House. Finally, our values have been misapplied—and misunderstood—by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries.

Romney then makes the case for how he and we can restore ourselves so that we do not decline further and can reverse this trend, which threatens to unleash an instability in the world that will further undermine our–and others’–opportunity and prosperity.

He is right, of course. Obama’s foreign policy is an exercise in classroom-style fairness, rather than an understanding of what America has been in the world, and because he doesn’t believe in it, he has no vision to maintain it. I can now understand why Obama hates Romney to his very core: No Apology is a stunning indictment of Obama’s worldview, and because as so often happens, the truth hurts.

About Woke Lola

Bitch, please.
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43 Responses to No Apology & the Mind of Mitt

  1. michelina51 says:

    lOLA: you are a true Patriot-I know it’s known a republcan term, bit it is a compliment,, I so THOROUGHLY enjoy when you write

  2. michelina51 says:

    That is LOLA by the way, not lOLA——-

  3. Captain Quark says:

    I worry that all this talk about the USA as a light among nations will lead us down that path of “nation-building” and overseas intervention that has cost us over a trillion dollars in the last decade. Even worse, of course, is that the interventionist approach to foreign affairs has produced no useful results.

    • That’s certainly a concern. I’ll be reporting more from the book the further in I get. That said, Romney is already warning against the isolationist approach. I do think there’s a middle way.

    • angienc says:

      Bullshit — you’re not “worried” about that at all, but your “concern” is noted, Captain Quack.

      • Captain Quark says:

        What, you think there’s no problem with a foreign policy that emphasizes overseas intervention? I’d say the record of the last decade shows that approach to be expensive and counterproductive, but каждому свое.

        • Anthony says:

          HI, Captain. Here’s an idea:

          Ебешь себе!

        • angienc says:

          I think you’re MOBY, MOBY.

          I think I was pretty clear about that.

        • I’m willing to give your ideas a fair shake, CQ, but I think there is a difference between the “overseas intervention” that Bush promoted and what Mitt Romney is talking about. It’s easy to skewer it as neoconesque, but it is decidedly not. I do hope you’ll take the time to get the book and give it a review yourself. Part of the problem we have in America today (and in much of the West, quite frankly) is that we have allowed politicians to narrow down our political points of view into a series of “buckets” into which we can just throw information.

          Romney’s approach is complex and that’s part of why it hasn’t been given a fair shake. It’s not easy for us to parse, and personally, I like that. I think we need to stop and have a serious and complex conversation about where we’re going, and I think the American electorate in the middle has shown a willingness to have that discussion in recent years. It’s the left that so frequently wants to cut that out and reduce it sound bytes. That’s because having a frank conversation about a long-term plan is precisely in their worst interests. When you lack vision, the last thing you want to do is look at the long view. For my money, this long view is exactly why we need Mitt Romney right now.

  4. HELENK says:

    mitt romney is the American Dream.
    dad started out poor, got rich
    son gave inherited money away, built company got rich
    married a good woman and stayed married to her
    raised 5 boys that did not get into trouble
    loves the country enough to serve her. In doing so get trashed by media that no longer serves the country well

    gee you think that is why backtrack is so mad at mitt, because he could not hold a candle to him?

  5. HELENK says:

    off topic

    for those who like to read, a librarian told me about this website.
    you type in a favorite author and you can find other authors you might like

    http://www.gnooks.com

    • votermom says:

      that looks interesting!
      Are you on goodreads, helen?

      • HELENK says:

        no do you have a link. books are my weakness

        • votermom says:

          goodreads.com – it’s a social site that lets you rate books and discuss them.
          I’m there on a different email (I don’t mix politics with reading) but if anyone wants me to look them up on goodreads let me know and I’ll send a friend request to your goodreads account

  6. SYD says:

    Just responded over at P&L. But… I will ask my question here as well.

    WTF has happened to Hillary? I find the things she is doing, in regards to the Middle East, to be wholly unlike her.

    I wonder if she is drugged or just brainwashed?

    • I suspect it has a lot to do with her professional aspirations after this. That’s kind of sad for me to say, but true nonetheless.

      • SYD says:

        I’m not sure. I really do think that there are a lot of formerly sane Democrats caught up in Obama’s “world view” for whatever reason. They are having a hard time coming to terms with how his policies are NOT working. It’s astounding, really.

    • DM says:

      I think Lola is correct, but I find no problem with the way Hillary is doing her job. She has two choices if she disagrees with Obama’s policies: leave the SoS position or stay and work within the narrow path of doing her best to advance U.S. interests. If she chose to leave her job, she would damage the administration, the Democratic Party and any aspirations she might have for any future job that requires political support. And don’t mean an elected position. After Cyrus Vance quit the Carter administration, his career was diminished. She has therefore chosen to hunker down and do the job. I don’t believe she’s done that bad considering her situation is between a rock and a hard place. I admire how she’s navigating those waters and my view of her is not diminished. I think that even though all indications pointed to al-Q in the Libya attack, she didn’t have hard evidence, but as soon as she had the evidence she called the attack correctly. I believe she was the first in the administration, correct me if I’m wrong, to call the attack for what it was. I agree that she continued the administration line with the video while simultaneously calling the attack an al-Q attack, but she could get away with that because there were demonstrations all over the world regarding the video. She was addressing those demonstrations.

  7. tommy says:

    Yes, America is unique and exceptional. Its sort of hard for dems to accept that America is the worlds policeman. I’m sure that I’m gonna dissed for this. lol. You got to travel to different parts of the world to understand why America plays a unique role. Many delicate alliances and balance is undertaken by America to prevent war and bloodshed. I’d easily give you examples of dozen or more devastating wars, invasions that would have occured if America hadn’t intervened, or if she had remained neutral. Radical Islam is a new and a strange anomaly. So good old uncle Sam should find a way to tackle it. O’s way ain’t gonna work. In the muslim world, they respect and fear strength, but should be convinced that we’ll use the stick if necessary. O’s leading from behind is seen as weakness, and our mere threatening words viewed as bullshit. Why do you think we lost an ambassador? If O gets another 4 years, thing will get progressively worse. The Muslim world, Russia and China will get more aggressive, and O will try and appease them, thereby destroying all credibility among our democratic allies.

    • swanspirit says:

      Tommy, I agree with you . Sometimes , I have to emphasize to naysaying friends , who else in the world will defend what we believe in and our way of life? The rest of the world seems to want what we have materially ; and do not connect the well being and life style with the freedoms and rights we enjoy and defend .

    • You’re not going to get dissed by me. I agree with much of what you said. We do play a unique roll, as the Peres quote clearly states. That quote in particular really made me think, and I appreciate him putting it so eloquently so I could reflect upon it.

    • yttik says:

      We didn’t intervene in WW2 until after millions had been gassed. We didn’t intervene in Rwanda, either.

      America is too big of a power to remain neutral and isolationist. Our non action sends just as loud of a message as our action does.

  8. swanspirit says:

    Excellent post ! I think Mitt has the truest and most centered and grounded vision for this country, tempered with the practicality of someone who is grounded in reality and has the experience of achieving real results. Obama , on the other hand seems to have his ego and his arrogance along with old tired and untrue ideas. Caroline Glick http://www.carolineglick.com/e/about.php
    said of Obama at least 3 years ago that his ideas were old and his methods already proven failures.
    http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2012/09/obamas-dangerous-consistency.php
    “he Obama campaign linked to Dowd’s column on its Twitter account with the message, “Why Romney and Ryan’s foreign policy sounds ‘ominously familiar.'” Obama’s campaign’s willingness to direct the public to anti-Semitic screeds against his political opponents is consistent with the administration’s general strategy for defending policies. That strategy involves responding to criticism not with substantive defense of his policies, but with ad hominem attacks against his critics.

    His failed economic policies’ critics are attacked as “Wall Street fat cats.” His failed foreign policies’ critics are demonized as ominous neocon puppet masters.”

    • That’s exactly right. The left, once known as the intellectual guard against logical fallacies, is now the biggest generator and promoter of logical fallacies. They’ve been reduced to practically no other other form of rhetoric. It’s sickening, really.

  9. tommy says:

    Lol. I wrote a lengthy factual post about my experience with BHO, but I finally deleted it. In the end, BHO is our POTUS, and we should have a modicum of respect for him. I really, really hope that Romney wins. I don’t wish to embarassed by my President anymore.

  10. votermom says:

    Great post Lola. I just put No Apology on hold bec of your review – sounds interesting. 🙂

  11. Erica says:

    I just checked two Bay Area libraries online. One had 54 hits for Obama and 6 for Romney. The other had 12 for Obama and none for Romney. The latter is hosting live viewing of the debates, followed by discussion and commentary. Gee, I wonder what their bias will be?

    • Erica says:

      I can’t get No Apology but I can get Turnaround.

      • You may be able to get it via inter-library loan. That’s what I had to do, because even though my school’s library had 6 copies each of Obama’s two books, they had zero Mitt Romney books. When I get paid later this month I might pick up two copies, one to keep and one to donate to the library/

    • Simofish says:

      You live in the Bay Area of CA? Couple of my puma / Hilldogs are coming to my house for the debate. You should join us if you live here.

  12. HELENK says:

    http://www.whitehousedossier.com/

    ruh ooh
    backtrack bunch has run out of metaphors right before the debate

  13. DM says:

    I don’t vote for a president because of his/her foreign policies. It’s not that I don’t care, but that it doesn’t make much difference. Every empire collapses due to an overextension that cannot be supported by its economy. That’s why the U.S. has declined. It may be that Romney can fix the economy enough (I hope so) to slow down the decline, but I don’t see the U.S. becoming the world economic power that it needs to be in order to be a foreign power.

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