So far as I can see a purported gaffe in an opinion piece by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has only been a kind of inside politics item and it does not appear to me that it was much of a gaffe, although better phrasing could have been used.
In an opinion piece by Romney printed in the New Hampshire newspaper the Manchester Union Leader Romney castigates President Barack Obama for engaging in a “peacetime spending binge, the biggest since World War II. Romney critics were quick to point out that the nation is not in peacetime, but at war — several as a matter of fact. Romney (or his people) has since recanted the statement, saying — well I’m not sure what he (they) said; I’ll have to get back to that.
But I think I know what he was trying to say, and I am not Romney supporter. He was talking about domestic, non-military spending, not the amount we are spending on our perpetual wars in the Middle East.
As bad as our modern wars are, they are not like the wars of old when we lost hundreds and thousands of troops in one day. Also these wars do not go through the traditional the president asks for a declaration of war routine. Also, no domestic sacrifice is called for to fund the wars, even though one would think that in a time of “emergency” sacrifice should be called for. There is no war tax. In fact, the costs of the war are hidden in the budget, financed though, what do they say? Continuing resolutions? And you can’t vote against them lest you be accused of denying food and ammunition to the troops in the field.
Since there is no accounting and no sacrifice called for, the modern wars eat away at the federal budget from within almost without detection or debate.
The erudite and always politically astute John Rothman on KGO Radio claimed that Mitt Romney’s using the term “peacetime” was eerily akin to his father blowing any chance for a presidential candidate when he was quoted, I think out of context, as saying he went to Vietnam and was “brainwashed”. He just meant that our own government handlers, generals and embassy personnel, put on the dog and pony show full of propaganda about a war in which we had no excuse to be involved in and which we were not going to come out of victorious.
I’m sure Mitt Romney can come up with a better gaffe than that.