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Get ready. An inflammatory article is likely to provide the ammunition for Romney's attack on Obama in the next debate. Surprisingly (or maybe not), the heavy weapons have been deployed by an Obama supporter, a former foreign policy insider whose motives can only be inferred. She labels the Obama national security and foreign policy team as "dysfunctional...a disappointment," characterized by a strategy that has "lost its way, whose approach to Syria has amounted to "anxious thumb-twiddling."

The column was posted yesterday on a Foreign Policy magazine blog called By Other Means, penned by Rosa Brooks. According to her bio, she's a law professor at Georgetown University. She was a counselor to the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy from 2009 to 2011 and previously served as a senior advisor at the State Department. In 2004, she was a foreign policy advisor to the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

The post is undoubtedly over the top, even intemperate. And I do not doubt for a minute that the points she makes will spit from Romney's mouth in Monday's debate.

Today, she posted another blog. headlined "A Washington Apology," which actually means a non-apology apology. The "apology" starts with this sentence:  "I am an exceptionally poor crystal ball reader, so I have been a little taken aback by the amount of comment, both positive and negative, provoked by my column on the dysfunctionality of the Obama foreign policy team." In short, Ms. Brooks is not sorry she wrote what she did. At the end of the post, we learn that the only part of the blog for which she is truly sorry is that the screed appears to be one-sided, in that she failed to include some good things the Obama administration accomplished.

More beneath the orange croissant...

It is difficult to overstate the broad and harsh nature of Brooks' critique of the Obama administration. Unfortunately, Brooks offers little evidence beyond vague anecdote to substantiate her charges. Rather, she claims to speak for "widely felt" opinions of current staffers, and enormous swathes of policy are painted with the brush of incompetence, mismanagement, confusion, and inaction.

Here's a sample:

Despite some successes large and small, Obama's foreign policy has disappointed many who initially supported him. The Middle East initiatives heralded in his 2009 Cairo speech fizzled or never got started at all, and the Middle East today is more volatile than ever. The administration's response to the escalating violence in Syria has consisted mostly of anxious thumb-twiddling. The Israelis and the Palestinians are both furious at us. In Afghanistan, Obama lost faith in his own strategy: he never fought to fully resource it, and now we're searching for a way to leave without condemning the Afghans to endless civil war. In Pakistan, years of throwing money in the military's direction have bought little cooperation and less love.
From there, Brooks turns to Russia, China, and Pakistan, giving each a phrase, or even a whole sentence.

The causes, according to Brooks: A weak, inexperienced President who indulges in political nepotism and cronyism. "To some extent, his errors are errors of inexperience: Obama simply undervalued issues of strategy, structure, process, and personnel," she writes.

The cures, according to Brooks:
1.  Get a strategy
2.  Get some decent managers
3.  Get some people who actually know something
4.  Get a backbone
5.  Get out of the bubble
6.  Get rid of the jerks.

Brooks says she was a loyal soldier:  "...during my time as a political appointee, I did precisely what political appointees are supposed to do: I worked hard to advance the president's agenda, and in public I always tried to stick loyally to the White House talking points, even when I privately disagreed.

She proclaims her continuing support for Obama, saying his policies are saner than Romney's and promised to write about the Republican candidate's views next week.

So Brooks is "taken aback" by the fact that her friends and former colleagues have chastised her for her column, primarily for writing and publishing it just before the upcoming foreign policy debate.

I expect Romney to use Brooks' article as the basis for many of his debate points. Gee, with supporters like Brooks, think Obama needs enemies?

There is one small sign of institutional support for the Obama administration, however. In today's Washington Post, David Ignatius' column suggests that the CIA is backing the Obama version of the events in Libya. Ignatius has his finger on the pulse of the spy shop. And it wouldn't be a complete surprise if the Agency would just as soon avoid a resurgence of the neocons in the White House national security apparatus.

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Comment Preferences

  •  isn't it possible that.... (0+ / 0-)

    terrorists could have provoked protestors on the basis of the film - laid low - and then attacked?

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:27:18 AM PDT

  •  There's always a critic or 8,000 (5+ / 0-)

    I do not doubt you are right that Gov Romney will mention this article and others. But that also means it is obvious the Obama team will prepare for such a thing.

    I guess it does show the GOP is not anti-Ivory Tower all the time.

    •  Yeah, they will, but it's damned inconvenient... (6+ / 0-)

      particularly because Rosa Brooks is a well-known Obama political appointee who has a long background of liberal foreign policy and security causes: anti-torture, anti-Guantanamo, anti-war, anti-neocon. She is a lawyer with expertise in international law, particularly as it relates to Human Rights. So this is essentially an attack from the progressives.

      She's known as a very outspoken, damn-the-torpedoes spokesperson on such matters. I think she has ruined her career this time (although she seems to welcome controversy, so perhaps not), because I can't think of a single person on the Obama security/foreign policy who won't feel betrayed...and rightfully so. I doubt they whined and complained over after-work drinks, only to wake up and find their remarks splashed in the pages of Foreign Policy, however vaguely attributed.

      In the apology, Brooks specifically exempted certain people, an indication to me that they were royally pissed.

      •  I never heard of her (5+ / 0-)

        If I have heard of her, I've forgotten her. Which means I am confident 99% of the debate audience will have no idea who she is either. Which lumps this story in with the blur of 10,000 other he-said/she-said billboard, tv, and radio ads.

        You never know what the audience will decide is the defining moment. But I don't think this is anymore likely to be it than a hundred other possibilities.

        then again, I have a resoundingly poor track record in predicting audience debate reactions.

        •  I don't think it is a public thing. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phonegery, Quicklund, subtropolis

          I think that it provides a series of points for the debate that Romney can use with a sneer..."Isn't it true that even insiders in your administration criticize you for (fill in the blank)?"

          I wish she had waited a week. There's time to hone debate strategy to counter it, but it will take an investment of time and energy. Believe me, Washington noticed this. FP is read by just about every foreign policy wonk in DC. It cannot fail to garner attention there.

          •  Not a good opening for Rmoney.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            subtropolis

            ....since Obama could very well reply, "And your father's old advisers think that you are a total loser and a disappointment. Do you agree with them?"

            Of course, he would put it more elegantly.

            "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

            by sagesource on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:41:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And he could recite a long list (0+ / 0-)

              of former Bush failures and warmongers now advising Romney. This is "flashbang" only to the panic addicts at Daily Kos.

              Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

              by anastasia p on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 10:47:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  i wonder if there is something personal (0+ / 0-)

        Because publishing this shit during an election is kind of bizarre for someone who says she supports Obama. I get the feeling she has some selfishness issues.

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:38:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "the israelis are furious at us" she says... (8+ / 0-)

    what?  i know netanyahu hates obama, but thats not "the israelis"...

    what the hell is she talking about?

    what a douchebag

    •  Rosa Brooks is an active opponent of torture, (5+ / 0-)

      rendition, Guantanamo and other liberal anti-war issues, and a well-known Human Rights proponent. However unpalatable and overstated her column may be, she is coming at Obama from the left and I don't think can be fairly characterized as a douchebag.

      In addition, I think she will pay big time for it -- she has probably made the biggest mistake of her career. I think some of the (former) colleagues she worked with will never speak to her again. I found the whole thing sad, as I think it will turn out to be a lose-lose-lose occurrence -- for her, for the Obama administration, and the public interest.

      The Obama administration will have had five days to prepare but it certainly does not make their job easier.

  •  Exploding? (7+ / 0-)

    An article by someone who thinks she'd run things better than Obama but that he is nevertheless a better choice than Romney?  

    I think "exploding" might be what Romney wants this to do.  Not sure I'd choose to feed into such a silly notion.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:29:33 AM PDT

    •  I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis

      that what you describe as Romney's wish is the point the OP was making.

    •  I think it puts whole new air in Romney's balloon (4+ / 0-)

      Dammit. I think the Rom was already set to lie his way through another. Now he has been pointed to whole new lines of attack, with all the outrage and righteousness of knowing this critique is coming from the inside. I think it is a real headache for Obama's team, but they do have five days to prepare.

      •  The debates are only barely about facts (0+ / 0-)

        It's a reality show "debate" not a real debate.  Employing the right fact at the right moment is one way to score but it's only one way.  

        The sad fact is that the things she brings up should be topics in a presidential debate.  But there is no legitimate opponent to bring them up.  It's just one  more sticky spitwad in the arsenal at this point and whoever looks better after swatting them back and forth is declared the 'winner.'  

        The prize of  winning the 'debate' can be very real; votes.  But they aren't going to actually debate any of this.  The targeted audience in the fake debate doesn't even understand these issues.  So while it can be one more truthy thing for Romney to throw out there, it will be all a matter of how the President can show what a douchebag Mitt Romney is.  

        I guess what I mean is that we're talking about two different things.   She raises serious points that a serious and well informed public should be considering.  But you presented it as though it's a big factor and potential problem in the debate show thingy.   I just don't think it is.  

        Libya was supposed to be Romney's big hammer in the last debate.  Every time he's swung that hammer, he's smashed his own thumb.  If a thing like this reloads their arrogant overconfidence in the issue, it could wind up playing into Obama's hands again.  I think it's just impossible to predict and not worth worrying over any more than any other intangible right now.

        She is an interesting person though and you may be right that she just derailed her career.  I'd be surprised though because Obama doesn't tend to function in vindictive way.  

        When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

        by Sun dog on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:15:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama inherited a mess in Afghanistan! (0+ / 0-)

    since for 7 years most major resources had been transferred to the IraK $cam.
    Even after taxpayers had paid billions for years to "train Afghani soldiers" - they couldn't even stand in a straight line!

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:31:17 AM PDT

    •  Obama did inherit a mess (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MartyM, subtropolis

      Yes indeed! And I suspect with the corrupt Karzai & Family that Bush put into place, there was never a way out of AF...why ever would they want the source of their profiteering to pull out?

      Her point, which I think Romney will echo, is that he made tactical moves to fix the problem but didn't resource them well enough, failed to follow through, and is now blindly seeking a way to exit -- all without an overarching strategy that would have prioritized our activities in Afghanistan so that we knew when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

  •  She's loyal and an Obama supporter, but (11+ / 0-)

    she decided to publish an article critical of Obama before the debate, then promised to publish a harsher one on Romney after the debate. Wow, with friends like these...

    “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” is an anagram for “My ultimate Ayn Rand Porn.”

    by theKgirls on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:32:00 AM PDT

    •  She's obviously an ungrateful jerk who wants (0+ / 0-)

      PBO to lose reelection.

      Only way to read her screed, 'er column, and the perfectly predictable comments thereto.

      Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

      by Catskill Julie on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:02:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think she is a committed liberal activist... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn, subtropolis

        who believes the Obama administration has made and is making terrible foreign policy decisions.  I think she has fought that fight inside and lost and has now taken her case to the streets...or at least the "streets" as defined in DC foreign policy terms.

        Brooks has campaigned passionately against torture, Guantanamo, militarism, war as policy, drones, and a host of other issues. I believe she was disillusioned by the administrations policies and picked the maximum moment to have an effect.

        I disagree with her calculus -- I believe she does more dmaage than good for her cause. What did she expect? PBO would wake up and say: "OMG, she is so right. Three nights before the debate, I'm going to fire everybody and get real experts in her...Oh, maybe Rebecca Brooks could handle it."  Not.

        I think she do hopes that Obama will win and, after the election, he will reflect and make changes in his foreign policy/security team.

        •  Then she is an idiot. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grrr, subtropolis, CwV
          I think she do hopes that Obama will win and, after the election ...
          Not unlike some other "committed liberal activists" giving permission to voters to sit out "oh Obama is just as bad, why bother" or, lugubriously, "Obama is worse than Bush,"and "they're all just the same. I don;t want to encourage them." Or will throw their vote away in some sad "protest," a la Ralph Nader in 2000.  Recommending, by writing like this, that other voters give themselves permission to NOT vote to reelect PBO.

          No, 8 years of Gore would not have been "just the same" as 8 years of Bush.

          Thanks a heap in advance for 8 years of Bush energy and social and redux and the neocons on steroids.

          Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

          by Catskill Julie on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 10:10:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is exactly what I left TruthOut over (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catskill Julie

            and it was the same at BuzzFlash, CommonDreams et cetera. The "Pure Progressives", the Left of Lefties,
            I'm sorry, I have all the Lefty cred I need, going back to Civil Rights demonstrations as a child, VietNam, AntiNuke, ERA.....I don't need a lecture on how everything is so fu(ked that we have to blow it all up and majickly make a REAL democracy.
            Kossacks use the phrase "reality-based community" and there's something to be said for that.
            Nothing in realworld politics is cut and dried. No one running for office is a saint, there's no magic, there are rules, and systems.
            And there are degrees of progress, Yeah, patience is a difficult sell, but some things take time. When did women finally get to vote? Was that 150 years after the Revolution?
            That fight took that long. The fight against slavery took 75 years and a major war. And the subsequent fight for minority rights took until the 1960s to make real general progress, and that struggle still continues.
            The big stuff takes a long term effort and we have to fight for and  celebrate incremental gains as well as fight for the Whole Package.
            To actively work against a progressive president, to help his retrograde opponent, to teach him a lesson or because he's not able to wave his wand and everyone gets a pony, is cutting ones nose to spite one's face, as my mother would say.

          •  that was meant to say (0+ / 0-)

            Thanks a heap in advance for 8 more years of Bush energy, social, and foreign policy redux, more military spending and the neocons on steroids.

            Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

            by Catskill Julie on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 12:28:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  then that makes her pretty much one of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lovepolitics2008, subtropolis

          typical clueless liberal critics of the President. Attacking him from the left on the eve of a close election does not advance the causes she claims to champion, but helps to destroy them.

          Smart? Not by a long shot. Republicans may shoot before they aim, but we Democrats have a real tendency to shoot ourselves in the foot.

  •  this part takes the cake: (4+ / 0-)

    "That said, it is certainly fair to complain that my column made only a glancing reference to the Obama administration's foreign policy successes, which are no less real than the failures. In an effort to keep the column from getting too long, I cut several paragraphs I had initially written on the administration's foreign policy wins. I should have left them in, since I see that the result looks more lopsided than intended. For that, I truly do apologize.

    Next week, I plan to write something on Mitt Romney's foreign policy proposals, and the initiatives likely to spring from the fevered minds of the advisers who surround him. In that context, I'll try to also highlight the many things that are good about Obama's foreign policy."

    from har apology...geez

  •  Great post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wwjjd, phonegery

    Nice catch.  I think you're right; Romney will try to float this as a 'study.'  

  •  Hmm. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    I haven't read her article yet.  But I will say this: a failure is a failure.  Pointing to it and calling it a success doesn't change that fact.  While I agree that the timing of her article is definitely suspect, I applaud an honest assessment of where the United States stands on the foreign policy front.  

    Giving a speech does not equal a foreign policy success.  You must follow through on the vision you set out in that speech.  This is where Obama has failed, particularly concerning the Middle East.  Mediation of a dispute requires that the mediator be neutral, not beholden to one of the parties to the dispute.  This is where Obama (and previous Presidents) failed on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    As for intervention, I'll say this: it should always be the policy of the United States, regardless of which party controls the White House, that intervention is an absolute last resort.  However, when we decide to intervene, it should be done with 1) international cooperation, and 2) massive force targeted as precisely as possible to achieve our goal.  And a third tenet should be that any intervention involving US military force must always be led by the United States, from the front...never the rear.

    The policies of Mitt Romney would be a disaster for the United States.  He will return us to the failed policies of the past, including preemptive war.  But the President, if re-elected (and I hope he is), must get serious and listen to the voices out there like Rosa Brooks.

    Terror has no religion.
    لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

    by downsouth on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:47:02 AM PDT

  •  Yet another Democrat with no sense of loyalty. (5+ / 0-)

    It's a disease on the left.  One step forward, two steps back.  

    I suspect that this person was either fired or pushed out by Obama/Biden/Clinton.   She's obviously disgruntled.  Instead of taking the long view of helping the progressive agenda forward, her own feelings take precedence and she just can't help herself, she has to vent, right now, right before the foreign policy debate.

    JON HAUGEN FOR U.S. CONGRESS! 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

    by keeplaughing on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:56:40 AM PDT

  •  This woman considers herself a diplomat? (5+ / 0-)

    Because she seems to have absolutely no diplomatic sense whatsoever!

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:57:11 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like Rosa Brooks is hoping for an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery

    appointment in a potential Romney cabinet, and has given up the idea she'll be advancing under Obama.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 08:59:59 AM PDT

    •  She's a well-known anti-torture activist (0+ / 0-)

      She's fought against torture, rendition, drones and a host of other Human Rights violations for many years. She is liberal-to-progressive in her leanings. I think she thought this article would have the most impact on the Obama administration and force them to consider her opinions -- and what she believes to be the opinions of many career people on the team, who cannot express their dismay.

      She is not afraid to take on a fight. She would never work for Romney. But, given this betrayal, she will never work for Obama either, and probably any Dem administration in the future.

  •  two things (5+ / 0-)

    1. i dont think she came up with anything that romney couldnt already come up with, she isnt anyone well known so if romney thinks name dropping her is going to do anything at the debate he's mistaken. (then again, the media does just loves the dem who bucks the party angle so could be wrong).

    2. she clearly did this to generate interest in her column, otherwise she would have written about romney this week, and obama next week.

  •  Can't reply any more-G-gotta go to work! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PeterHug
  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, freesia, sagesource, mll

    I'm trying to think of how many times in the past some article that absolutely no one outside the Washington bubble will read has resulted in the destruction of an entire Presidency - or the last time anyone I know who is voting cared one whit about what some mid-level federal employee thought about foreign policy.

    So far, the result is ZERO.

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:19:40 AM PDT

    •  I don't think it will destroy PBO (0+ / 0-)

      I think it makes him and his team work too much over the next five days because, like it or not, Rosa Brooks has far more DC standing than "some mid-level federal employee," and provided Romney with some useful debate topics and critiques.

      So I didn't suggest this would destroy the presidency, nor did I mean it. I meant to let DK people know about the potential line of attacks Romney will use so that they will be able to see how the campaign put together as a response. Could be zero, could be non-zero, but many people here like to know what's going on behind the scenes.

      btw, love your tag line.

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PeterHug

        I have a feeling that Team Obama is prepared for pretty much anything Team Romney tries to throw at him - on either the foreign policy or domestic policy fronts. :D

        I mean - Mitterns' last attempt at throwing a surprise curve ball at Obama didn;t go as planned.

        And with the recent release of CIA intelligence supporting the White House version of events in Benghazi, there isn;t much Mitt can say on this topic that is going t5o get very far.

        Not to mention Mitt's vulnerability on foreign policy affairs due to his disastrous recent trip to Europe and the Middle East - where they are still trying to clean up the mess he left behind.

        I have no doubt that Monday's 'debate' will be a draw at worst and another impressive Obama performance at best. :D

        And I admit I 'borrowed' the sig from another Kossack - si I can't bask in the afterglow. :D

        Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

        by GayIthacan on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:54:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is not credible that an intelligent person (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p

    like her would be doing this publicly at this point to show the Obama administration the error of their ways, so they can change their policies to align with those she would prefer.

    Since the only conceivable effect is that it will hurt Obama's chances and help Romney's, I'm not going try to imagine some noble-sounding motivation on her part. I don't know why she wants Obama to lose and Romney to win, but it is clear that she does, and that she is willing to do whatever she can to help achieve that goal.

  •  hit piece, but a hit-piece that's important for (0+ / 0-)

    Obama and his crew to consider.  There's a lot of truth in there--even though it only shows one side of things.

    •  Because of its timing, (0+ / 0-)

      it helps to insure he will not be in a position to reconsider it, and this woman will have to try to rationalize with President Romney.

      Sorry, the timing is too suspect not to question the woman's motives.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 10:48:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not sure what I said to warrant your response? (0+ / 0-)

        I agree with you that it's a betrayal (hence the phrase 'hit piece').

        That doesn't mean that I can't recognize some concepts in it that I agree with.

        Anyway, this piece won't do anything to weaken Obama's position.  Romney may use it, but it just goes along with the general litany that Romney will use.  Obama will be prepared to counter it.  This won't affect anything--except maybe on Hannity.

  •  Let's see if I understand (0+ / 0-)

    1. Obama has failed to fix the Middle East generally. More specifically, he has failed to fix Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria.

    2. A middle manager has a critique of senior management. Certain people and processes are dysfunctional, and she would have done x, y or z differently.

    Concerning item #1, what person thought the Middle East generally was something that Obama should be able to fix? Which of I/P, Af, Pak, and/or Syria really ought to be wrapped up with a nice bow on it by now? Realistically, the ME is something we should try to avoid stepping into too deeply, try to keep from absolutely exploding, and here and there try to make things a little better as opportunity presents itself. This is what the Obama administration has delivered. By contrast to recent Republican administrations, whose top foreign policy advisors now populate Romney's staff, Obama deserves accolades.

    Concerning item #2, middle managers can be relied upon to have this view of senior management.  Often there will be merit to specific critiques-- but at least as often, middle managers don't have the full perspective, much less the responsibility of doing better themselves. This last point in particular can be tricky, as we can see from how badly Ms Brooks, acting on her own, has managed the incident at hand. Her response to the impact of her article-- "Oh, I didn't factor for x, didn't anticipate y, should have included z," etc-- may help her to realize, if belatedly, that diplomacy is sometimes a little harder than it looks.

    No doubt Brooks wants to help, but at a critical moment she has made things worse, not better.

  •  Calm down (0+ / 0-)

    A blog post by a disgruntled former low-level staffer is not a "flashbang."

    This doesn't matter to the election. The timing is obnoxious, but Brooks is right that her blog is too obscure to affect the election. (I read blogs on foreignpolicy.com every so often, and had never even heard of hers.)

    I bet this doesn't come up at all in the debate. Her critique, which is mostly about staff process in the national security staff, doesn't really fit with Romney's foreign policy critique of Obama. The most Romney could do with it would be a one-liner something like, "even a former member of your administration says you lack a foreign policy strategy." Which Obama could easily answer by reminding everyone that bin Laden is dead, we're out of Iraq and leaving Afghanistan, the world is united behind crippling sanctions on Iran, and we're refocusing on nation-building at home. Obama wins that exchange. The next day, the press would ask who Romney was talking about, and yawn when informed that the "official" was a former low-level staffer writing on a blog. Not. gonna. matter.

  •  I'd like to introduce the concept (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden

    ..of electoral realpolitik to dear Rosa Brooks.

    A good presidency is better than a potentially horrible one. We have two choices. Helping the wrong guy just to get something off your chest and feel better is fucking stupid and shallow.

    Perhaps one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:00:39 AM PDT

  •  Romney would be a fool to use this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, KenBee

    Obama has laid two traps:

    1) The Jon Stewart interview
    2) This article

    Romney should not go for the low-hanging fruit from Obama supporters.  If he does, he is truly an overweening ass and a true moron.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:11:28 AM PDT

  •  Rosa Brooks is an asshole (0+ / 0-)

    She continues to profess her support for Obama yet publishes this crap during an election? Couldn't it wait? I don't care if any of her points have merit, these are the actions of an asshole.

    Rosa Brooks, you are an asshole.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:36:31 AM PDT

  •  I don't see anything of substance in the link (0+ / 0-)

    that many Republicans in general and the Romney campaign in particular haven't believed and stated for a long time. there should be no surprises for the President.

    Since the messenger is the only news, Ms Park's post may be cited as "corroborating evidence", however.

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