How does a smooth manager reach a base that wants the same Manichean approach to foreign policy, in which there is only one ally (Israel) and enemies everywhere else (Europe, China, the Arab world, Russia)?
Apparently it takes more than demagoguing every foreign policy issue under the sun, pledging to treat U.S. and Israeli interests as inseparable and identical, and promising confrontational policies toward major powers and entire regions. Romney has done all that. If this is a “Manichean” approach to foreign policy, Romney has been advocating it for years. One problem is that there are a lot of rank-and-file voters who don’t want this kind of foreign policy, but this is what Romney must support if he is to be accepted by the party’s hawks, so Romney gave up on a large part of the Republican electorate long ago. I suspect that many of the rank-and-file voters that do want foreign policy to be conducted this way reach such positions viscerally and emotionally, and Romney’s ignorant complaints about New START and “appeasement” must come across sounding as forced as they are dishonest.