Among the most important reasons Romney may lose this upcoming election is his silence on Michele Bachman’s letter signed by four of her colleagues asking for investigation of policies on hiring of foreign nationals in general for several departments but of Hilary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin in particular. It has been alleged that members of Abedin’s immediate family are members of the Muslim brotherhood. Abedin’s husband is former Congressman Weiner.
Republicans are increasing in number who are hiding from association with Bachman and for good reason:
It all has the look and feel of a McCarthy -era witch hunt for communists in the US. This kind of investigation is not the most helpful or constructive proposal for a legislator to make. As a member of the House of Representative’s Intelligence Committee, Bachmann seems to have stepped out ahead of the Committee’s agenda. Better late than never but House Speaker John Boehner has criticized Bachmann’s actions and more recently the Intelligence Committee Chairman.
Most significantly, Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for President, has remained silent on the issue allowing his foreign policy spokesman, John Bolton, free to support Bachmann’s actions. The question becomes one of why wasn’t this a general letter, uninvolved in personalities. Here is Bolton’s statement that endeavors to do that. After all, what is so unreasonable about checking thoroughly on backgrounds for workers in sensitive areas:
Bolton’s argument is predicated on the assumption that a general inquiry had been made to several intelligence agencies when, in point of fact, the letter had pointedly requested investigation into a staff member in the office of the head of the State Department, Hilary Clinton. This is not a politic move even in election season. And that it is against Hilary Clinton’s judgment in hiring the woman suggests that Bachmann may be heading off any move to make Clinton either Vice President this election period or to consider her for 2016.
Now Romney is slated to visit Israel. Tacit support of Bachmann on this issue is not going to help the Middle East situation. Together Egypt and Israel have for many years kept a lid on many difficulties that have erupted in the area. To work in opposition to Egypt’s new government to develop another trusting relationship is to throw over work of both Republicans and Democrats over this period. It runs counter to our self-interests.
Would we like Russia or Iran to step in to replace us in Egypt? We are fast losing ground in the area as it is. An important lesson in American foreign policy that has not worked would be Cuba. Russia is seeking to build a base there. A Russian foothold in this hemisphere is what the Cuban missile crisis was all about. Now it seems everyone but the US has a foothold in Central and South America.
Nixon took us to China because he knew that dialogue was important. Why the move to insult and isolate a government that is so newly established when it is not at all clear what its policies will be as they play out is beyond comprehension? We don’t want to live under Communism; we don’t want to live in a Muslim state. But a democratic state such as the US does not win converts through opposition to other forms of government in a world increasingly smaller and diverse. The Tea Party we know today and Michele Bachman will not win this election for Romney; tolerance will.
Summary of the Bachmann letter may be found here.