Sunday, September 02, 2012

Romney launches an apology tour

Romney first charged that Obama kicked off his presidency with an apology tour on June 1, 2009, and he has never stopped repeating that lie. What he meant was that Obama, in his addresses to various allies and sometime adversaries, often acknowledged some fault in past American conduct as prelude to acknowledging fault on the other side and defending overall American conduct, interests and values (see Politifact link below).  For example, in his address to the Arab world in Cairo on June 4, 2009 Obama cited legitimate causes for resentment of the U.S. and the west in Islamic countries:
More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
That was prelude to a paean to freedom of religion and opportunity in America, a declaration of shared interests, an assertion of American determination to fight terrorism wherever it emerged, a declaration of an unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel, and a demand that Palestinians renounce violence in pursuit of a just settlement with Israel. With respect to Iran, as Politifact recounts, Obama offered tit-for-tat acknowledgment of misdeeds on both sides (the 1953 coup, the 1979 hostage-taking) as a prelude to a call to move on.

If such acknowledgements of error on one's own side (without expressions of regret) constitute "apology," then Romney has just launched an apology tour on behalf of the GOP:
We’re going to finally have to do something that Republicans have spoken about for a long time and for a while we didn’t do it. When we had the lead, we let people down,” Mr. Romney told a crowd in this important swing state. “We need to make sure” they are not let down again. “I will cut the deficit and get us on track to a balanced budget.”
Does this signal an Obamaesque outreach to the other side, a promise to resolve differences in a spirit of compromise? Hell no.  Romney is still promising to do deficit reduction without raising any new revenue -- or cutting defense and now, Medicare.  In other words, he's effectively promised to repeat the error he's now excoriating.

Nonetheless, according to his own standards, he's apologizing.  Though then again, according to Romney Rule #2 -- my record shall be judged by different standards from that of my opponent -- he's not.

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