I admit to having a bit of a weakness for Maureen Dowd (there’s something film noir about her), even though her columns are usually awful. Anyway, she seems to be first major establishment person to note that Romney has gone full metal neocon (Eli Lake noted a ways back that Ryan is a neocon on foreign policy, but no one cares what’s in the Daily Beast):
As the spokesman for Paul Bremer during the Iraq occupation, Senor helped perpetrate one of the biggest foreign policy bungles in American history. The clueless desert viceroys summarily disbanded the Iraqi Army, forced de-Baathification, stood frozen in denial as thugs looted ministries and museums, deluded themselves about the growing insurgency, and misled reporters with their Panglossian scenarios of progress.
“Off the record, Paris is burning,” Senor told a group of reporters a year into the war. “On the record, security and stability are returning to Iraq.”
Before he played ventriloquist to Ryan, Senor did the same for Romney, ratcheting up the candidate’s irresponsible bellicosity on the Middle East. Senor was the key adviser on Romney’s disastrous trip to Israel in July, when Mittens infuriated the Palestinians by making a chuckleheaded claim about their culture.
Senor got out over his skis before Romney’s speech in Jerusalem, telling reporters that Mitt would say he respected Israel’s right to make a pre-emptive, unilateral attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The thing about neocons is this: when it comes to everything but self-promotion and bureaucratic, they are colossal fuck-ups. The Iraq War was a disaster, and Romney’s (Senor-dictated) foreign policy statements have hurt him politically.
I don’t understand how they manage to wield such power, how the more-or-less sane realist Republican foreign policy people always lose out to them. Some of it is neocon overrepresentation in the media and think thanks, but that still doesn’t explain why anyone would take advice from Dan Senor.