Mitt Romney dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination today, with one of the most disgusting quotes I’ve ever heard (if Talking Points Memo, my favorite political blog, is reporting accurately, and they usually do):
“If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”
I wasn’t ever going to vote for Romney, but I have to admit, I never expected him to sink that low. It’s so brazen, it just might backfire; one can hope, anyway.
Over and over, we hear the anti-war Democrats get accused of damaging national unity in wartime, of surrendering to terror, etc. (The “surrendering to terror” accusation is particularly insidious, because it implicitly strengthens the bogus 9/11<–>Saddam link, yet the accuser can always get out by saying “Oh, I was just referring to the terrorists in Iraq who are killing our troops!”)
What sticks in the craw is how Romney never tries to see if the blame jacket will fit any other shoulders. Leading the country into a war without a popular mandate, against a country that did not attack us, with no backup plan should the original (unrealistic) goal should turn out to be unattainable… Now that’s irresponsible, that’s damaging to national unity, isn’t it? Sorry, but you don’t get a united front for free, just by declaring war. You have to consider how popular support for the war will be sustained over the long term, even beyond your Presidency, or else don’t get into that war. Don’t blame your opponents later because you didn’t do your homework. Roosevelt made it clear for a long time that he thought the United States’ entry into World War II was inevitable, but he didn’t actually seek a declaration of war until Pearl Harbor was attacked; he knew that the popular support wasn’t there and couldn’t be manufactured.
Now that the Democrats are increasingly turning against the war in Iraq, Romney all but calls them traitors. But he never seems to think that George W. Bush might have done something irresponsible by starting a war without the full backing of the nation.