During last week’s Republican debate, Mitt Romney stunned many Republican observers when he said, “It’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can — as soon as our generals think it’s okay. One lesson we‘ve learned in Afghanistan is that Americans cannot fight another nation’s war of independence.” What surprised them was that, until he said that, everyone assumed that Romney didn’t care much about our military adventures, and would probably allow the neo-cons to dominate his foreign policy.

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Since Romney is the current front-runner, the remnants of the neo-con philosophy have decided to go on the attack. Big John McCain and Lindsey the Lesser Graham both stormed onto the Sunday talk shows to explain why we should be engaged in as many wars as possible. John Bolton, the former Ambassador to the UN, threatened that he might be forced to enter the nomination race. Now there’s a threat. Here might be a candidate who Santorum could actually beat.

So now, Tim Pawlenty has decided to enter this fray. He was interviewed by Politico and said, “I don’t like the drift of the Republican Party toward what appears to be a retreat or a move more towards isolationism.” As if concerned that his critique of Romney was too sublime for the reporters, he continued, “I don’t know how to interpret his comments during the [recent New Hampshire] debate,” he said. “He walked them back post-debate in a couple of publications, so I’m not sure where he landed finally on that.”

He then decided that he should also go after Obama for not being hawkish enough in Afghanistan. He stated that he was “very disappointed that he also simultaneously announced the withdrawal deadline in the same speech. It reflects a political thinking on his part, rather than allowing the conditions on the ground and a sharp definition of the mission to determine what we do next,” he said. “So I don’t think he should put arbitrary numbers and deadlines out there. I think you draw down the troops in Afghanistan as circumstances on the ground warrant.”

Let’s review the last few weeks in the curious campaign of Tim Pawlenty. Remember, for months his operation languished in anonymity, barely able to get off the schneid. Then, he goes on Fox News Sunday, and in an interview with Chris Wallace, invents a term called Obamneycare, showing that he has taken the gloves off. Then, the next day, in a debate, standing next to Mitt, he cowers under the podium like a little baby. Then, he tweets that he knows he should have directly confronted Mitt and promises that he’ll do it the next time they debate (presumably, he won’t be standing next to Romney that time). During the interview with Politico, Timmy the Terrified indicated that he didn’t like the name, Obamneycare, and might try out a new moniker. He seems to currently favor Robamacare. Yeah, that’s the ticket, Timmy. Give yourself some plausible deniability next time you’re asked to compare the two plans.

So, he’s decided to attach himself to the neo-cons, although a vast majority of Republicans has told pollsters that they’re tired of fighting decade-long wars. I had hopes for Pawlenty when he announced. Now, he’s nothing more than a cowardly clown.