Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Blog

Somehow, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney thinks President Obama is to blame for an “out of control” Arab Spring. Speaking in front of the State House in Concord, New Hampshire on Monday, Romney indicated that the White House should have been able to foresee the events of the Arab Spring before they happened. He went on to say:

"We’re facing an Arab Spring which is out of control in some respects because the president was not as strong as he needed to be in encouraging our friends to move toward representative forms of government."
"If you look around the world and say, 'Have things become better or become worse under President Obama?', you know the answer. They’ve become much worse."

Just what is Romney suggesting here? That Obama’s “failed policies” brought about the pro-democracy movements sweeping the Arab World? Frankly, that’s giving the president far more credit than he deserves. It’s also quite bizarre (politically) to ascribe that much power to an opponent when you’re trying to bash them. The fact of the matter is, Romney’s insinuations convey a sense of arrogance which is cause for concern. It is absurd to think that the President of the United States should–or even could–be responsible for controlling the outcomes of popular movements in another country. According to AAI polling, Arabs don’t want the U.S. to lead them to democracy in any case; they want to do it themselves.

The biggest issue, however, is not Romney’s attack on the president (on par with Michelle Bachmann’s ludicrous attack [video] a month ago); the most troubling aspect is the degree to which Romney appears to be out of touch from the realities on the ground in the Middle East, and his callous disregard for the democratic aspirations of the Arab people. 

The Arab Spring is not America’s burden, and if Romney wants to be a leader, he’s got to learn not bash those he means to lead–a lesson a number of Arab dictators have learned the hard way.

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