Mitt Romney Doesn't Care About Muslim People


Everybody agrees that Mitt Romney's polished, Auton-esque debate performance lifted his profile a little, but Matthew Yglesias caught him lumping the Muslim Brotherhood in with "the worldwide jihadist effort."

To put it bluntly, the trouble here is that the Muslim Brotherhood just isn't a violent terrorist organization, and certainly doesn't commit acts of violence against the United States. It's an extremely traditionalist multinational civil society organization. It's true that a lot of violent types used to be in the Brotherhood and now they're in terrorist groups, but used to be is the key phrase here, they left the Brotherhood because the Brotherhood wouldn't sign on for their agenda. In one clause, Romney's just gone and broadened the war to include a huge new category of people who have no intention of waging war against the United States or even against Israel.

Note that even without the Muslim Brotherhood bit, this is a terrible idea. If you liked Iraq, you're going to love trying to root Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon and Hamas out of the West Bank.

I still don't think Chuck Hagel would get any traction in a presidential bid. There's only a sliver of a GOP anti-war vote and he'd be splitting it with Ron Paul. But one thing he could do, that Paul chooses not to, is pick up comments like Romney's and hurl them back in the candidate's face, live, while the cameras are rolling. The GOP field is talking like the last seven years of war and horrible blunders didn't happen - the closest they come is McCain bitterly talking about the botched Iraq occupation. No one's challenging the candidates' hawkish talk about Islam and Iran, much less fact-checking it on the spot. The result of all this could be a GOP ticket that knows even less about foreign policy than Bush and Cheney.