A question on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" asked the name of the fake West Asian country in recent Doonesbury comic strips. The contestant used the opportunity to gratuitously insult Herman Cain á la Jon Stewart. Obviously, Gary Trudeau, the progressive suave, supercilious liberal who pens Doonesbury, is also condescending and dismissive of all the -stan countries by naming his quintessentially dysfunctional fictitious country "Bezerkistan." Whilst Trudeau's attacks are considered sophisticated, Cain's are derided as simplisme and Manichean. Both men are expressing the genuine frustration a significant number, if not a majority, if not a totality of Americans feel towards the frenemy -stans, most specifically the two largest receivers of American largess, the drug-dealing Afghanistan and the bin Laden harboring Pakistan.
All of this leads to the Catch-22 dilemma facing the current 2012 GOP nominee. The Conventional Wisdom critique of Romney is that he's aloof, plastic, and managed. However, if Romney "kept it real" like Herman Cain & expressed his unvarnished opinions of various characters both foreign & domestic, he would similarly be dismissed as lacking the proper gravitas to be Commander in Chief. The challenge is to find the balance between being diplomatic without being distant and being pleasant without being appeasing.
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