Peter Beinart: Romney Response to Egypt Embassy Attack Makes It Easy for Obama

Roundup: Media's Take

Peter Beinart is editor in chief of Open Zion, a blog about Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish future at The Daily Beast. He is the author of The Crisis of Zionism (Times Books).

[W]hy did Romney issue [his] parade of idiocies? Because he’s trying to paint Obama as someone who won’t stand up for America....

For decades, this kind of thing worked. In 1972, Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, chastised George McGovern for saying, “I would go to Hanoi and beg if I thought that would release the boys [held hostage as prisoners of war] one day earlier.” At the 1984 Republican Convention, Jeane Kirkpatrick famously said that Democrats “blame America first.”

But it’s not working this time. Despite his bluster, Nixon withdrew American ground troops from Vietnam. Although Ronald Reagan talked like John Wayne, the only country he invaded was Grenada. By contrast, George W. Bush launched two disastrous wars, and in so doing gave GOP bluster a bad name. As early as 2004, John Kerry was mocking Bush’s faux-tough call for Iraqi insurgents to “bring it on.” In the 2008 debates, Obama mocked John McCain for singing “bomb, bomb, bomb” Iran....

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