From CNN, September 24, 2004:
The president, in a thinly veiled reference to Kerry, went on to say that sending “mixed messages” would make the effort in Iraq more difficult.
“You can embolden an enemy by sending mixed messages.”
This was not the first — or last — time Bush made this sort of comment. It was basically a staple of Bush-Cheney rhetoric during the Iraq war. Anyone who questioned the administration was, essentially, a traitor, giving aid and comfort to our enemies.
But now, faced with an immediate crisis, Romney and his surrogates couldn’t even wait to get the story right before pouncing on Obama. And it hasn’t stopped, not for a moment, even as news came out that a U.S. ambassador had been killed, that the attack in Benghazi was planned, and now that violence has spread to Yemen.
As a practical matter, I am always leery of efforts to suppress dissent and debate. But this is a fluid situation, and maybe, just maybe, waiting a few days to let things settle out before going on the offense would have been, you know, more presidential.
I’m not sure Romney’s comments make a big difference in terms of managing the situation. Obama seems to be following his usual, cool and collected approach. But this is a still-developing situation, and it is disappointing to see the rightwingers trying to make political hay even as our embassies remain under threat in several countries.
I know, I know. Why should we have expected any different? But it is worth reminding folks about how bizarre Romney’s response was.