On September 11, Violence exploded in the Middle East, with attacks on American embassies in more than one country. This violence was in reaction to a film just released attacking Islam. Mystery Man Behind The Anti-Muslim Film Blamed For Attacks. The film is a vicious attack film, filled with lies and innuendo, and rooted in religious intolerance and bigotry. UPDATE: It appears that the people who made this film were trying to shield their real identities. Quite a bit or research is going on to track them down. “Sam Bacile” is a cutout. He doesn’t exist. So who is he hiding?
None of which justifies the violence against Americans and American interests. No American in a leadership role, from Obama to Secretary of State Clinton, to the staff in the embassies under attack, apologized for the film. An early statement from one embassy regretted all religious intolerance.
The Romney campaign was so eager to capitalize on what they saw as an opportunity to portray Obama as weak and “apologizing” to the enemy that they rushed an email out right after 10:00 pm the day the incidents started, but before they had unfolded completely, and based on pitifully incomplete knowledge of what was actually going on.
And the incident blew up in their faces, and the blow-back from everyone, media, Democrats, and Republicans, will in a couple of months be looked back on as the moment that Romney’s campaign for the Presidency ended. At the moment he walked away from the lectern with a smirk on his face.
Because over the next few hours, the violence exploded, resulting in the deaths of many. And more than that, the actual facts of what had happened were reported. And Romney and his opportunists were made to look like the vile and despicable excuses for human beings that they are.
Obama’s response to Romney’s accusation makes it crystal clear why Romney is completely unqualified to be President.
President Obama pushed back against Mitt Romney’s accusation that his administration mishandled its response to the Libya crisis, noting that Romney bungled basic facts in his Tuesday night statement.
“There’s a broader lesson to be learned here: Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later and as president one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that,” Obama told CBS News Wednesday.”It’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make them.”
It turns out, according to one late news report, that the actors in the film were tricked as to its purpose. The final film was redone with voice overs to turn what they thought was a historical drama into a bigoted attack on Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
I console myself in the middle of this tragedy with the fact that Mitt Romney’s quest to win the Presidency ended abruptly the moment he turned, and with a smirk on his face, walked away from the lectern yesterday after his false and vicious attack on Obama for apologizing, a verifiable false claim in fact, even while violence was still building, resulting in the death of an American ambassador and three other Americans in the Middle East, and according to latest reports, possibly many other people.
Nate Silver, whose poll analysis is acknowledged by everyone but the far right who shield themselves from facts and reality as the most accurate of the past decade, analyzed the latest polls, and put Obama’s reelection chances at 91% and 319 electoral votes yesterday. And that was of course before Romney imploded yesterday and revealed himself for the smirking sociopath that he is. I plan to watch the polls closely over the next week, I suspect Obama’s reelection chances will continue to go up.
The only defender anywhere in the nation that Mitt Romney has found for his vile words and false attack on Obama in his interview with reporters is, of course, Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh seems determined to continue to be such a disgusting windbag, spouting his lies and hatred, that even more advertisers will continue to withdraw support of his show. In the past couple of months, since his three day rant calling Sandra Fluke a slut for testifying before Congress, most estimates suggest that his broadcasters have lost several million dollars in revenue. Many major corporations have withdrawn their advertising.
Romney’s opportunistic words have been met with the most forthright, direct condemnation seen of a GOP politician in the mainstream media in decades. The AP’s reporting on the timeline and facts of the incident are absolutely brutal and eviscerate Romney completely.
The gunfire at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had barely ceased when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seriously mischaracterized what had happened in a statement accusing President Barack Obama of “disgraceful” handling of violence there and at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
“The Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” Romney said in a statement first emailed to reporters at 10:09 p.m. Eastern time, under the condition it not be published until midnight.
In fact, neither a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day nor a later statement from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered sympathy for attackers. The statement from the Cairo Embassy had condemned anti-Muslim religious incitement before the embassy walls were breached. In her statement, issued minutes before Romney’s, Clinton had offered the administration’s first response to the violence in Libya, explicitly condemning the attack there and confirming the death of a State Department official.
Most damning is evidence quoted in the AP article that Romney’s advisors intentionally and with malice aforethought thought they saw an emerging opportunity to attack Obama. And that opportunity is all they cared about.
In Washington, Republican foreign policy veterans called Romney’s initial statement premature and rushed, with limited facts and an incomplete understanding of what was happening in Egypt and Libya. Romney’s team also was unclear about the timeline of when the Obama administration weighed in.
One Republican official advising Romney’s campaign on foreign policy and national security issues painted a picture of a Romney campaign more focused on ensuring Romney’s evening statement made it into morning news stories than on waiting for details about what had happened.
This official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering Romney’s campaign, said that as word of violence spread, campaign aides late Tuesday watched tweets coming out of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that were criticizing the filmmaker rather than condemning the attackers, and saw an opportunity to criticize Obama.
Not that hypocrisy by Romney should surprise, but now reports indicate that the Romney camp had issued statements very similar to the one issued by the embassy, which was seized on by Romney to try to launch an attack on Obama.
The most obvious problem here is the timeline; the statement which Romney used as the basis of his attack was issued in Egypt, and it was issued before the violence in Libya. But there’s another glaring problem: yesterday, Mitt Romney’s campaign distributed talking points which echoed the embassy’s message—the very message that Romney aimed to condemn.
Questions & Answers:
Don’t you think it was appropriate for the embassy to condemn the controversial movie in question? Are you standing up for movies like this?
– Governor Romney rejects the reported message of the movie. There is no room for religious hatred or intolerance.
So according to Romney’s campaign, Romney “rejects” the movie’s “hatred.” Yet yesterday, Romney condemned the embassy statement for saying basically the same thing. And as if to underscore the point, Romney’s campaign included this follow-up talking point:
– If pressed: Governor Romney repudiated this individual in 2010 when he attempted to mobilize a Quran-burning movement. He is firmly against any expression of religious hatred or intolerance.
So … Mitt Romney is “firmly against any expression of religious hatred or intolerance”? How is that in any way different than the embassy statement that he criticized? It’s not—at all.
Bottom-line: Mitt Romney’s smirking disaster was catastrophic for three big reasons:
1. His attack was not grounded in reality. His botched rendering of the timeline of events guaranteed that the attack could not possibly pass any minimum threshold of scrutiny.
2. The eagerness with which he went on the attack betrayed a political desperation and a cynical opportunism that made him look unfit for the presidency.
3. At the end of the day, Romney wasn’t just attacking a straw man—he was attacking a straw man with whom his campaign says he agrees.
With all this, it’s completely fair to wonder whether there’s any way for his campaign to recover.