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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Mitt Romney Twists The Foreign Policy Knife.

The use of the Shakespeare quote was particularly vicious. I approve, mind you:

In virtually every foreign-affairs crisis we have faced these past five years, there was a point when America had good choices and good options. There was a juncture when America had the potential to influence events. But we failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options. In foreign affairs as in life, there is, as Shakespeare had it, “a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

Slightly ironic, of course, given that in Julius Caesar you could argue that Cassius was right in that particular case to delay offering battle, and Brutus wrong in wanting to strike while their army was still at its peak. But the truth is that Brutus’s principle was sound; he merely had the misfortune of being a character in a play where the other side was going to win, no matter what. And while that victory may have been preordained by Shakespeare, the real-world situations described by Mitt Romney were something that we could have influenced: for both our benefit, and the world’s.

Besides, the odds that anybody in Obama’s Executive Branch has enough of a proper education to recognize the reference on sight were, shall we say, long. Even I had to look up a couple of the details.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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