Republicans are getting uglier and more desperate by the minute. The Romney response to the uprising in Egypt and the killings in Libya are, at the very least, a disgusting act of desperation by a man and a morally bankrupt political party who know that they will not be occupying the White House any time soon.
Chronologically, this is what happened.
a) Clips of an anti-Muslim film circulating on youTube created a stir among fervent Muslims who began gathering at the American embassy in Cairo.
b) The embassy put out a statement as a means to calm the protesters.
Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
Think what you will about that statement but as Marc Ambinder notes, American lives were at stake.
That statement sounds so ridiculous to our ears; so meekly yielding to militancy and terror. And it is — but it is also exactly what Americans inside both countries who are scared for their lives needed to have released in their name. It is so easy to pick this fight. But the first priority of American diplomats ought to be to find a way to get Americans out of harm’s way.
c) Rabid Republicans, never missing an opportunity to show what they’re made of, viewed the events as a means to attack the President.
Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 12, 2012
d) Protesters gathering at the U.S. embassy in Libya murder the American ambassador and three diplomatic security officials.
e) Hillary Clinton puts out a statement.
I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.
f) President Obama and Libya’s president issue statements.
“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” Obama said, adding the four Americans “exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe.”
Libya’s interim president, Mohammed el-Megarif, apologized to the United States for the attack, which he described as “cowardly.” Speaking to reporters, he offered his condolences on the death of the four Americans and vowed to bring the culprits to justice and maintain his country’s close relations with the United States.
The three Americans killed with Stevens were security guards, he said.
“We extend our apology to America, the American people and the whole world,” el-Megarif said.
h) Mitt Romney issues his own statement on September 11.
I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.
g) Romney gets pounded.
The miscalculation at work here is that Romney believed his “Apology Tour” method would neatly fit the events at hand — take an event that sort of vaguely resembled an Obama apology to Muslims who don’t like us, twist it around, and call it a day. But Romney had grown accustomed to spinning fantasies cobbled together from months-old Obama speeches and nurtured into legend by extensive repetition and exaggeration in the conservative subculture. What he failed to realize from the outset was that the embassy attack was an immediate, high-profile event that he could not hope to rewrite so brazenly. Forced to confront the yawning chasm between reality and the fantasy he had wallowed in so long, Romney was exposed and, justifiably, discredited.
The dishonesty of the original Romney statement and the gall of his press conference this morning have combined to create serious doubts about his judgment and to confirm the impression that there are no limits to his opportunism….Before yesterday, the idea that the Romney campaign was “desperate” would have struck me as myopic and overexcited. Now it seems unmistakable clear. The Romney campaign knows it’s losing….instead of portraying Obama as Carter, he has presented himself as the bumbling McCain figure of 2012.
Former Ambassador. R. Nicholas Burns, who has served in both Democratic and Republican administrations.
I was, frankly, very disappointed and dismayed to see Gov. Romney inject politics into this very difficult situation where our embassies are under attack, where there’s been a big misunderstanding in the Middle East, apparently, about an American film, where we’re trying to preserve the lives of our diplomats. This is no time for politics. I just think that Gov. Romney has, in a very unwise way, injected himself into a situation where he clearly doesn’t have all the facts.
So what does Romney do? Apologize for his shameful, irresponsible statement? Nah. He doubles down ’cause he’s Mitt Fucking Romney and he has 250 million dollars sitting in banks all over the world so he doesn’t have to ever apologize to anyone.
I could have saved you all that reading and just posted this.