I haven’t read the coverage but am aware that Romney’s trip to Israel and Palestine is shaping up as another unmitigated disaster, freelancing in the most dangerous region in the world, guided by second-rate Zionist careerists like Dan Senor, whose book Startup Nation Romney promoted in his speech, and Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, who was in and out of the King David every time I stopped in at the hotel and whose halfbaked ideas about shared American and Israeli exceptionalism Romney also piped. Not to mention Sheldon Adelson, the slouching casino mogul who all these second-raters treat like a king. It would be farcical if it wasn’t all so dangerous.
I see that Romney left Palestinians completely out of the equation in his big speech on the conflict and that at his million-dollar breakfast, which the Jerusalem Post says was the first presidential fundraiser in the country, he said they come from an inferior culture. I’m sure he got all this from his skinny neocon handlers; and sadly there’s no downside for him politically back home in expressing racism toward Arabs (Jewish Democrats continue to try to outflank Romney on the right; see Noam Sheizaf’s latest). When I badgered Romney at the Western Wall about Israel annexing the West Bank, he went into plastic freezedried mode and pointed his perfect nose toward Jehovah. I think he dyes his hair. His brother Scott was around alot, a nice guy who’s got six years on Mitt– and his hair is all white.
I’ll be posting about some of the nutjobs in the Romney camp in days to come, but let me get out of the way here and pass on a superb rant I heard last night at the King David Hotel bar that ought to be on MSNBC. It came from Grover McKean, a longtime California Democratic operative who is out here for his son’s wedding and who said he had been thinking of voting for Romney because of disappointment in Obama, but Romney changed his mind. McKean:
“I’m now without a doubt going to vote for Obama. Mitt Romney is not capable of being president. I’m outraged that he came here to raise money from foreigners and then he allowed the prime minister, who is a thug, to dictate who he can meet with and can’t. If he’s president, who calls the shots, him or the prime minister of Israel?
“You shouldn’t be campaigning for president on foreign soil. But worse, he allowed the prime minister of this country to deny him a meeting with the opposition [Labor Party]. How far can he go to pandering to a foreign government?
“And he is blindsiding the President of the United States by making foreign policy commitments as a presumptive nominee. If you read the Jerusalem Post today, direct quotes, he and Netanyahu are saying, of course it’s OK to bomb Iran, and we’ll support you. So he’s making foreign policy as a presumptive nominee. That’s illegal and it’s wrong.
“Let’s face it, this is a volatile situation, we don’t really need him here right now, the trip had tremendous risks and downsides, and he lost on every issue. The fatal flaw in this trip was when Romney didn’t meet with the opposition, the Labor Party, and he did it at the dictates of the prime minister. There’s a serious question of who’s in charge. And I’m a big supporter of Israel.”
I asked McKean if he’d ever been to the occupied territories. Yes he had, he said.
“I don’t think the Israeli government is treating the Palestinians with Judaic values.”
It would be funny if it wasn’t so scary. I’ll have more from the halfwits in days to come.