There’s a Huge Difference Between ‘Capable’ and ‘Obnoxious’

Noam Schieber posted the following paragraph buried deep in a piece about Romney's Libya awkwardness and lies.

What was Team Romney thinking? I’m not really sure, but I happened to speak this morning to a senior Romney adviser from a previous campaign who offered his own theory. According to this person, Romney may have been feeling defensive over the hazing he took in Charlotte last week--“my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy,” the president tweaked him—and was primed to hit back. “They set him up Thursday night at the convention with the smack down on foreign policy,” says the former adviser. “They called him naïve, Palin-esque. Then he got his back up about it and was waiting for opportunity to show, ‘I’m strong, too.’”

That's the big Romney mistake -- and a mistake that most (if not all) Republicans make. They confuse obnoxious loudness with foreign policy expertise.

The opposite of a foreign policy neophyte isn't a scolding jerkass who pops off with saber-rattling platitudes and political attacks. Romney could have been a statesman about the events in Libya and Cairo and appeared dignified -- perhaps qualified in the process, but instead he decided to be a braying dick. Anyone with a lapel pin and a pulse can do that. Braying dickishness doesn't amount to anything resembling international leadership gravitas.

Put another way, Rush Limbaugh thought Romney looked "presidential" yesterday.

I rest my case.