Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly dissects the supposedly “smart, competent” GOP candidate’s foreign policy credentials:
Saturday night’s debate was a disaster for Romney, at least for those who gave his answers meaningful scrutiny. The former Massachusetts governor effectively called for a trade war with China, which is hopelessly insane, and is based on Romney’s confused understanding of what’s procedurally possible at the WTO. He also called for U.S. support for “the insurgents” in Iran, apparently unaware of the fact that there are no such insurgents.
Romney went on to say he would never negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which is naive and at odds with the assessments of all U.S. military leaders, and added that he’s both for and against withdrawal timetables.
For all the jokes about the clowns that make up this year’s Republican presidential field, the conventional wisdom is flawed. Romney, we’re told, is the “serious” one, in large part because he speaks in complete sentences, and isn’t bad at pretending to be credible. Ultimately, though, Romney’s efforts don’t change the fact that he’s faking it — and those who understand the issues beyond a surface-level understanding surely realize the GOP frontrunner just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Worse, Romney keeps failing these tests. Remember the time Romney told ABC News he would “set a deadline for bringing the troops home” from Iraq — but only if it’s a secret deadline? How about the time Romney, more than four years into the war in Iraq, said it’s “entirely possible” that Saddam Hussein hid weapons of mass destruction in Syria prior to the 2003 invasion? Or the time Romney pretended “Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood” were all the same thing? How about my personal favorite: the time Romney made the bizarre assertion that IAEA weapons inspectors were not allowed entry into Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?….
More detail at the link. But, hey, that’s the MBA credo: Sincerity is the most important thing — once you’ve learned to fake that, you’ve got it made!