All the President’s Press

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Reading from the same script, the president’s many friends in the media spent last week pounding Gov. Mitt Romney for daring to turn a U.S. foreign policy problem into a political issue. They called the GOP nominee “irresponsible” and “craven” and “disgraceful.” One media mouthpiece gasped that Romney had “launched a political attack even before acts of embassy violence were known.” For his part, President Barack Obama dismissed Romney for “shooting before aiming,” and then promptly declared that Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy—something that came as news to the State Department and to Egypt. (Sadly but not surprisingly, this enormous diplomatic gaffe/blunder was not newsworthy to the president’s press.) Media mantras notwithstanding, not only was Romney right on the merits—America’s embassies should never apologize for America’s values—he did nothing outside the American political tradition when he criticized U.S. foreign policy during a political campaign. Foreign policy failures are fair game in presidential politics—and have been ever since America emerged as a global power.

Three months into the Great War—to that point, the most dire and dangerous foreign policy crisis in American history—TR lambasted Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy. “The course of the present administration in foreign affairs,” he wrote in a scathing op-ed, “has combined officiously offensive action toward foreign powers with tame submission to wrongdoing by foreign powers.” The former president openly criticized Wilson for leaving America unprepared for war. “When, early in 1909, our battle fleet returned from its sixteen months’ voyage the world, there was no navy in the world which, size for size, ship for ship and squadron for squadron, stood at a higher pitch of efficiency. We blind ourselves to the truth if we believe that the same is true now…At present our navy is lamentably short in many different material directions. There is actually but one torpedo for each torpedo tube. It seems incredible that such can be the case; yet it is the case. We are many thousands of men short in our enlistments.”

In the autumn of 1952, Ike called Korea a “tragedy,” “the burial ground for 20,000 American dead,” and “a damning measure of the quality of leadership we have been given.” The general-turned-candidate blamed the outgoing Truman administration for a “record of failure.” Conveying the exasperation of an entire nation, he asked, “Is there an end?” And he warned that “neither glib promises nor glib excuses” would suffice in answering that question.

Running for president in 1960, JFK pointed to a supposed “missile gap” with the Soviet Union as evidence of America’s weakening defenses. “We are facing a gap on which we are gambling with our survival,” JFK warned. “This year’s defense budget is our last chance to do something about it,” he added for dramatic effect. But as historian Richard Reeves later wrote, “He was lying.” In truth, the only missile gap was the vast chasm between Moscow’s three—three—ICBMs and America’s atomic arsenal of Polaris-equipped submarines, 108 ICBMs and 600 nuclear bombers. CIA briefers even informed the Kennedy campaign of this, but the attacks continued. Reeves notes that the day before JFK’s inauguration, Ike made it clear to his young successor that the “missile gap” was myth—something the Kennedy administration admitted less than a month later.

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  • http://twitter.com/AnneKavkaz @AnneKavkaz

    It does appear that The New York Times is an arm of Obama's re-election campaign.

    • BS77

      Not just the NY Times….the msm every day blares supposedly "objective" articles critical of the ROmney campaign….on the Google news page, in the press and on tv….it's shameful and obvious who they are in the tank for.

  • pierce

    According to the national press, Barack Hussein Obama is GOD. Of course the rest of us know he is not, but he (Barack) is starting to believe the press is correct. Take a few steps backwards, he is acting the part, talking the part like he is all knowing. He, Barack,. knows what is good for all of us peons. All hail Barack Obama, paraphrasing Julius Caesar. I for one just don't believe it, and I better have a lot of company in 50 or so days.

    • amused

      thats good , now all you have to do , is stop believing Romney and Ryan are god . Oh and also that you conservatives dont know what's good for all of us . I hope you do have a lot of company around you in 50 or so days …..so you can't hurt yourself or anyone else .

  • oldtimer

    It it so sad to see the level to which some of the people of this country have fallen.

  • RAS

    The surest way to precipitate aggression and war is to show your enemies weakness and display an unwillingness to properly identify or respond to their acts of violence. Apologizing for such acts is unthinkable. Such actions cause your enemies to misjudge and miscalculate your intentions and lead them to escalate their attacks. If we send a message to the Arab World that they have nothing to fear from us we encourage them to press on with their campaign of violence. Obama and his administration, incompetent staff, and media flacks have sent a constant stream of just such messages. The silly notion that a film provoked the raiding of our embassy in Libya and the murder of our ambassador and his staff is ludicrous and stupid. To apologize is even worse. Gov. Romney was absolutely right to criticize our incompetent boobs in State and the White House.

    • amused

      Yea , what a "silly notion " ….especially after that is what exactly happened .

  • guest

    Remember after 9/11 and Iraq the press took on this "never again" mantra? Not in response to terror attacks, but on reporting objectively about conservatives for one month.

    This election may very well be the last we see of network news and institutional press. The votes will come in without the 10% Democratic weight, the big government adoring continues and the channels continue to change.

  • Veracity Jane

    The Left are either scoundrels who cover for the pres or suckers who fall for it.

  • Ghostwriter

    It's sad the press is doing this. They may end paying a high price for their biases.

    • Sunbeam

      But still there are others who can counter this. Due to the press ignorance, they might have to pay a very high price for this. How do they not realize its implications thereof?

  • amused

    Gee Mitt's amazing , he already has his left and right foot in his mouth , and he's got more room for another ! You guys like to blame the press , well the press dont make the news ..Obama got caught " off mic " with the Russian P.M. and now Romney gets caught with his "47 " with his fat cats ….lol…..the press did exactly the same in both cases …..but …Oh I forgot , it's only wrong when it's your side ……what a bunch of hypocrites .
    Does Romney really want to win this election ? Or is he planning to lose and then cry " voter fraud " . Maybe his campaign manager should go to the local hardware store and get a large roll of Duct Tape .
    LOL….you all are as transparent as a pane of clear glass .

    • Gislef

      And how much did the press pay attention and publish and republish Obama's talk with the PM, and Romney's supposed "47" gaffe? And which part of Romney's statement do you disagree with?

  • Imntreble

    Between you and your msm comrades, your dreams of another 4 years of “utopia” should be realized. Forward!

  • amused

    parroted memes are all you got pal. but go on ignore the obvious , thats part of what you guys do .