For all his supposed business competence, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is running a campaign of jaw-dropping incoherence, mixing some of the most dishonest rants from right-wing talk radio with focus-group worries about health care and the economy even if they clash with conservative principles.
You saw this at the Republican National Convention, which was almost fully devoted to gross distortions of President Barack Obama’s positions – like the endless repetition of his out-of-context quote, “You didn’t build that” – combined with complaints that Obama had not intervened enough in the economy to create more jobs, even in contradiction of the GOP’s supposed love of “free markets.”
Now, Romney has pounced on a well-meaning – though ultimately unsuccessful – effort by the U.S. embassy staff in Cairo to tamp down anger caused by an incendiary anti-Muslim video that appeared designed to elicit the kind of violent rage that is now sweeping the Middle East.
Seemingly without regard for the delicate circumstances, Romney issued a statement that transformed the embassy’s criticism of the video into an expression of sympathy by the Obama administration for the protesters who attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Egypt and, fatally, in Libya. However, to make his point stick, Romney had to reverse the actual chronology of events.
Here is how the chronology actually went […]