Mitt Romney, channeling Herman Wouk's Captain Queeg, has once again steamed across his own tow line, the one that drags his barge of shifting ideals, ideas, and policies behind his rust-bucket campaign.
Undergirding Mitt Romney’s trip to Europe and Israel this week was a single concept: President Obama has weakened the view of America in the eyes of foreign leaders thanks to a policy of appeasement and “apology.” How the world views America is important, Romney said, and he’s going to see to it that America’s reputation overseas is bolstered on his watch.
Within 24 hours of Romney landing abroad, that premise had unraveled and Romney’s own top surrogates were scoffing at the notion that foreign opinions of America mattered at all to American voters.
The cravenness of this particular strategy is appalling. Either Romney doesn't remember or bother to keep track of his former statements, or he simply doesn't care. He obviously believes we're all stupid and have the attention span of a small rodent. How can this be denied?
Romney has never met a policy he couldn't embrace. For a moment. He'll rush to support any idea or suggestion if he thinks it will land him in the White House. Time and again, Romney courageously steams ahead, seemingly providing security, safety, and understanding for the goals of his instant audience. Leaving a soft wake of support for its followers, the not-so-chiseled prow of the USS Romney cuts through the flotsam and jetsam of the opposition, fueled by political will alone. To a point.
Like Old Yellowstain, Romney is at heart a coward. He sails toward principle or ideal only to the coldly calculated political point at which the incoming fire starts to sting a little; at that point, the previous course will be abandoned and his followers left adrift with only a yellow talking point "dye marker" by which to navigate.
Romney's even backed away from his history at Bain Capital after promoting it as practically his sole qualification for President. Like Queeg, he wanted to "reenact the big triumph of his career -- the big cheese investigation." However, like Queeg's reenactment, strawberries aren't cheese and this nation isn't a company that he can load up with debt to pay his cronies huge windfalls. Oh, wait, I take that back. Yes it is, and it's the only explanation as to why Mitt Romney would ever want to be President.
Wikipedia describes Queeg thusly:
Queeg displays an oppressive command style and is prone to unprovoked angry outbursts. From the first, he begins to make mistakes that endanger his ship. After refusing the assistance of his predecessor in command, he grounds the Caine on a muddy shoal his first time underway. He panics in a fog and nearly collides with a battleship, and passes the blame to his helmsman
It's never Mitt's fault either.
Frankly, I think anytime after January 20th, 2013 is too late to discover unequivocally that Romney also shares Queeg's paralysis and paranoid fixations in a crisis. I say "unequivocally" because I think it's already fairly apparent that he does; he's just not yet in a position to twiddle steel ball bearings in the Oval Office as our ship of a nation founders.