I THINK MITT THINKS HE DOESN'T HAVE TO EARN IT
So I'm trying to figure out the reason for Mitt Romney's gaffe-a-minute day in London. Earlier today I took a stab at trying to explain why he got himself into such trouble, but I'd like to elaborate further.
I think Romney just believes a guy like him couldn't possibly make serious mistakes on a trip like this. I think he believes this in part because (as I said this morning) he's been the alpha dog in his world for decades -- but he also believes it because he believes his own campaign's rhetoric, and the rhetoric of his party.
Think about the way Republicans talk about themselves relatives to Barack Obama. Obama is the epitome of everything that's harmful to America. He hates freedom. He hates America. He apologizes for America. He loves our enemies and hates our allies.
Concentrate on that last one: Obama hates our allies. All Republicans believe this. And all Republicans believe they are the antithesis of Barack Obama. Everything he is, they're the opposite.
Mitt Romney may not be a true wingnut ideologically, but when he says things like this about Obama, he really says them with relish. He really seems to believe them. He's really internalized the notion that Obama is lethal to America in every conceivable way and he, by dint of being a Republican, is the exact opposite.
So Romney goes to visit one of our allies -- remember, Obama hates our allies -- and Romney just figures it's categorically impossible for him to say the wrong thing. He loves freedom! He loves our allies! He hates our enemies! So he doesn't have to prepare! He doesn't have to weigh his words about the Olympics, or learn the diplomatic nicety that, if you've been meeting with the head of MI6, you don't say so out loud, or make sure he knows the opposition leader's name and job! He is the anti-Obama! Therefore by definition he cannot offend our allies!
I really think Romney went on his overseas trip believing something like this. I really think he's swallowed his own party's malarkey about the innate treasonousness of Democrats and innate, intuitive rightness of whatever Republicans say and do and think.