Teddy Roosevelt To Romney: It's Big STICK, Not SHTICK!

You know, Teddy Roosevelt was a privileged rich kid too, and a Republican. But not the same kind as Mitt Romney. and TR actually had ideas—some even good ones—instead of just stupid, dishonest talking points.
Of course it isn't fair to compare Teddy Roosevelt, iconic American, to Mitt Romney, iconic toad.

But, somehow, the fates have cast upon us the possibility, diminishing every day thankfully, that Mitt Romney might obtain the same office as did Teddy Roosevelt—president of the United States.

While Roosevelt, like Barack Obama, won the Nobel Peace Prize as president, we will be lucky if a President Romney manages to keep us out of a nuclear war in his first six months—to judge from all his idiotic bluster about America's enemies.

And more to the point: Romney, during his Boca begging event, invoked the memory of TR by including Roosevelt's most memorable line in Romney's always inelegant prattling about how America—or specifically Mitt Romney—should be the meanest maddest dog on the world's block:
"For me everything is about strength. And communicating to people what is and is not acceptable. It's speaking softly and carrying a very, very, very big stick. And this president instead speaks loudly, and carries a tiny stick."
Yes, Romney really said that. He reduced the opportunity to discuss the essential difference between his foreign policy views and that of President Obama to a stupid penis-size comparison.

Now, lots of people love to mangle Teddy's signature line about the big stick. It will come as no surprise to people who understand TR's rhetoric was vastly deeper in reflection than that of Mitt Romney, to know there is a little more to Roosevelt's dictum than the dictum part:
"A good many of you are probably acquainted with the old proverb: "Speak softly and carry a big stick—you will go far." If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble; and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power. In private life there are few beings more obnoxious than the man who is always loudly boasting, and if the boaster is not prepared to back up his words, his position becomes absolutely contemptible. So it is with the nation. It is both foolish and undignified to indulge in undue self-glorification, and above all, in loose-tongued denunciation of other peoples. Whenever on any point we come in contact with a foreign power, I hope that we shall always strive to speak courteously and respectfully of that foreign power."—T. Roosevelt, State Fair at Minneapolis, Minnesota September 2, 1901
Meanwhile, back in Mitt Romney-land, it is not courtesy and respect that guide his very, very, very big stick. It is instead the fear that the USA won't be strong enough to keep the peace—that it has failed to keep for decades now as its military power has eclipsed that of every nation in the history of the world. But history is not a factor in Romney's calculations of the value of unlimited US military power.

For example, here Romney summarizes some of the great achievements of that power:
"The world is a safer place when America is strong...America's strength destroyed Hitler's fascism. It stopped the North Koreans and Chinese at the 38th parallel and allowed South Koreans to claim their freedom and reach prosperity. American strength kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, and later pulled him out of his spider hole."—M. Romney, from his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness
It is difficult to see how exactly all these wars amount to the world being safer. And in any case, Romney's fractured-fairy-tale-facts are all wrong:

•America's strength certainly helped destroy Hitler's fascism. But it was Russia's fanatical strength and willingness to absorb millions of casualties that actually destroyed Hitler. The USA was more focused on destroying the Japanese empire—which it did with the nuclear flourish of two instantly incinerated Japanese cities (to go along with all the ones that were conventionally incinerated).
•The Korean War is hardly an example of how the world got safer because of American strength. In fact, for all that strength was worth, it could not defeat the power of the communist Chinese and North Koreans, but could only fight them to an extremely bloody draw. And while that did secure the freedom for South Korea to accomplish great things, it also set up North Korea to become an honored member of the Axis of Evil—or whatever.
•Romney's gall to mention the Iraq fiasco, which became a terrible albatross for the USA for twenty years! and was the root inspiration for Osama bin Laden to declare his money and measly mind to bringing death and destruction to America, is just plain dumb and disgusting. Saddam after all was an American-backed dictator (just like Egypt's Mubarak), until the Bush family declared war on him—dragging the USA along for fun and death. Yeah, so there was no WMD, but we did finally hang the bastard (for George W,'s satisfaction). And that was worth all those dead Americans and Iraqis? In whose fucking math?

So, you may see, that there is a considerable amount of meatheaded bluster and boasting in Mitt Romney's review of how American strength made the world safe for all our stupid, murderous wars.

But then, when Romney's talking about foreign policy, he's not really talking about anything he knows. He's just playing somebody who knows something about it on tv and the internet. Whereas Barack Obama has in fact been the commander-in-chief of the US military for almost four years, and has used the nation's armed forces to accomplish seemingly important but very limited ends—terminating terrorists like Osama bin Laden—and assisting the liberation of Libya—Mitt Romney can only talk about such things speculatively, and with a deep fear that he might be perceived as looking small-sticked.

While Romney's very, very, very imaginary stick is his concern—and that of whatever clinical descendent of Dr. Freud is lucky enough to try someday to mend Mitt's mind—what shall afflict American voters for a few more dreadfully stupid weeks is Mitt's very, very, very big shtick.

Comments