In Mitt Romney's No Apology, he devotes some space to detailing how he would reorganize the Department of State. He says that he would organize diplomacy around regions of the world, with one director in charge of all diplomatic affairs for that region. He says he wants something similar to the regional combatant commands of the Department of Defense. When I first read that last summer, it didn't strike me as particularly significant.
I didn't think is was significant until I was tasked at my job to read this report from RAND, one of the best think tanks in the research world. The analysis, written in 2010, speaks of the difficulty that DoD and DoS have in coordinating their missions and objectives in a given region or country. Romney's idea is not an expensive one, but it could make for a more competent foreign policy.
Not all ideas are created equal.
Joshua Keating takes us on a trip in the way-back machine, when Gingrich excoriates the Department of State for not making everyone in the world agree with the Bush administration's decision to go into Iraq. It really shows that Gingrich fundamentally (wink) doesn't understand the purpose of diplomacy. As Keating points out, the logical conclusion of Newt's word salad is that the United States should sanction Qatar when Al Jazeera prints a bad editorial of American policy. You would think that a man who claims to have ended the Cold War would not be so clueless. Of course, the fact that he thinks he was even remotely a factor in the end of the Cold War shows how clueless and narcissistic he really is. Keating lays down a lot more ink poking at Newt's brain explosion. I encourage you to take a look.
The difference between Romney's ideas and Newt's ideas is that Romney gets his ideas from experts and policy literature. Newt's ideas flow straight out of his mouth without filter and serve the distinct purpose of impressing upon his brainwashed following that Newt is some kind of witty, ideas machine. He is an ideas machine alright, it's just that none of them are any good, which is why none of them ever make it to the clear light of actual, governing policy.
So go ahead, next time someone tells you that Newt has a lot of good ideas, ask that person to name one. It's a great way of embarrassing a Newt enthusiast.
Newt is an idiot.
Newt: "I gave a speech in 2002 in which I took apart the State Department."
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