Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scariest Romney of Them All

If he were alone in the Oval Office with the nuclear button, would anybody be there?

Last in the parade of so many Mitt Romneys over the past year is the most frightening of all—-the new, improved peacemaker of this week’s debate who embraced so many positions he had been denouncing only weeks or days ago.

Those who thought nothing could be worse than George W. Bush’s blinkered certitude must now confront Romney’s vast emptiness. W’s predictability could be understood in the light of his personal history and shortcomings, but how safe is a nuclear world in the hands of someone with no inner core?

As the President lectured him on horses and bayonets, Romney maintained a goofy, agreeable smile reminiscent of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neumann, who has radiated “What? Me Worry?” blissful ignorance for almost 60 years. Along the way, his creators promoted him as a write-in candidate for president with the slogan, "You could do worse...and always have!"

Now it only hurts when we laugh at the prospect of a president Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has called “full of platitude and free of substance.”

At the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a Harvard scholar noted: “Romney’s big foreign policy speech...illuminated the challenge he has had in making an impact in foreign policy. His back-to-the-future evocation of American leadership seems right for the Cold War but not nearly sophisticated enough for our very different 21st-century world.”

Yet, even an outdated mentality seems safer than one with no definition at all. Who knows what an Empty Head and Empty Heart would do when the stakes are nuclear survival? 

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