The release on Tuesday of Mitt Romney’s surreptitiously recorded comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict confirmed a sad truth about today’s Republican party. The GOP has gone from the party of strategic foreign engagement to the party of simplistic chauvinism.
The problem goes beyond Romney’s private comments at a Florida fundraiser in May. Repeatedly over the last week, his surrogates laid out a view of American foreign policy at odds with the party’s tradition of sophistication in foreign affairs.
It started with Liz Cheney. A day after four Americans were killed in Libya, Cheney accused the Obama administration of abandoning allies around the world and failing to intimidate Islamic militants.
“In too many parts of the world, America is no longer viewed as a reliable ally or an enemy to be feared,” Cheney wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Ask the mobs in Cairo who attacked our embassy, or the Libyan mobs who killed our diplomats at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.”
In a speech in Florida on Saturday, Paul Ryan continued on the same theme: Strength is the answer.