With apologies to Gaius Iulius Caesar.
While I’ve read a great deal of appropriate outrage over Romney’s disgusting remarks made after the Benghazi embassy attack (although it was actually a four hour long battle), what I haven’t seen is the obvious explanation for Romney’s statement. It’s not that Romney is trying to ‘ding’ Obama (that’s just extra). This is why Romney uttered his vileness:
There are a lot of people who mistakenly believe Obama is a Muslim, but plan to vote for him anyway or sit out the election. Romney is attempting to do three things here:
1) Reinforce the belief that Obama is a Muslim (not that there would be anything wrong if he were). One would think a Mormon might want to stay away from the religious bigotry approach.
2) Based on #1, imply that Obama can’t be trusted since he is “sympathetic” to militant Islamic radicals. This would neutralize Obama’s greatest foreign policy asset, killing the mass murderer of nearly 3,000 civilians (that would Bin Laden)
3) Rally his slavering Uruk-hai base.
It’s vile, reprehensible and like most everything uttered by Team Romney, ultimately founded on a lie. But it is pretty straightforward what he’s trying to do here. It’s just the foreign policy version of the dog whistle.
Related: The ‘othering‘ of Obama is really falling flat this time around.