In his attempt to revive a sputtering campaign by scoring cheap political points, Romney claims that he's simply upholding American principles. But which American principles, exactly?
Romney, and his chorus of extremist supporters (Priebus, Rumsfeld, Gingrich, Santorum, DeMint, et al) are attaching his criticism to the principle of free speech--nothing like the good ol' first amendment to rile up the RW base. But aside from the tortured chronology that Romney hopes we'll ignore, there was nothing in the first statement from the US embassy in Cairo that attacked free speech. The embassy statement repudiated the sentiments of religious bigotry espoused in a stupid YouTube trailer for a movie sowing hatred of muslims. The embassy statement said nothing about censoring the movie or the trailer, it simply expressed disagreement with the statement. Sort of like when Romney expresses disagreement with statements made about him and his campaign. I would expect the US embassy in Israel to say just about the same thing if the American Nazi party produced a similarly disgusting movie as the one that lit this powder keg.
Hatred and distrust of a religious group is something that Romney should know something about. Indeed, I think he's made a number of comments about the need for religious tolerance because, historically, Mormons have been marginalized if not vilified, even persecuted, in American society.
So, you see, the Embassy statement was endorsing an American principle that Romney himself has espoused and called on Americans to embrace. Except this time, the vilified group was not Mormons, it was Muslims.
If someone were to make a movie about Mormons that portrayed Brigham Young as a child molester, would Romney defend the principle of free speech with the same vehemence? If Romney were not trying to revive a gasping--and close to expiring--presidential bid, do you think he'd support the anti-Muslim video?
Let's ask him: Governor Romney, does the right to free speech liberate one from responsibility? from truth? from consequences of one's speech? Oh, never mind, given the performances of the Republican standard bearers, these questions are far too loaded.
Romney, it is now quite obvious, knows nothing about responsible discourse. The US foreign service professionals are cut from an entirely different cloth. In addition to espousing the principle of respect for religious belief, the embassy statement was an attempt to exercise practical diplomacy, to minimize the damage in a volatile part of the world incited by the stupid anti-Muslim video. Now Candidate Romney has inserted himself, foolishly, into foreign policy at a time when the United States needs coordinated, not dicordant voices. Our foreign service needs executive leadership not the bone-headed egotism that Romney exhibits.
One would have thought that he'd want this election to be about the economy, but instead he's chosen to focus on a warped view of American principles and diplomatic ineptitude.