Dr. Strangelove Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the latest news out of Benghazi — which is to say the non-news that there was no conspiracy to cover-up whatever evil Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama are supposed to have done in this latest round of conspiracy mongers.
You may recall that a few days ago, The New York Times showed what real newspapers can do when they put some muscle into a story, and dug into the events that led up to the four American diplomats’/intelligence officers’ last hours in Benghazi. They concluded that it was a confusing situation, that (as reported at the time) an incendiary video helped gin up a crowd, and that (as President Obama noted, to Romney’s eternal embarrassment, the next day) local Islamic militants were also involved. The key finding: no meaningful al Qaeda link, as the Benghazi dead enders have been trumpeting for a while now.
So, if you are such a dead ender — that is to say, if you are a member of the modern GOP and/or part of its supportive claque in the DC media — what do you do?
Sane people might say, OK, nothing to see here, let’s move along. I mean, even the Birthers (in office — not the Orly Taitz variety) finally gave up. Also: Benghazi does have a real political downside. The more it becomes obvious that there is, in fact, nothing to see here, that bad things happen in the world and not even a Kenyan Mooslim arsenal of superpowers can prevent them all, then the blowback for using American dead for such obvious political purposes starts to bite.
Hell, it already did. See, again, Mr. Romney, burned not once but twice on the campaign trail for overeager Benghazi baiting.
But, of course, the set of sanity does not overlap with the set of those professionally committed to the destruction of all things the Democratic Party might support, a gang which includes much if not all of the GOP congressional delegation.
For example, consider this, from Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, a shining light of Georgia’s delegation to the Capitol:
“Of course Secretary Clinton was in charge at the time, and you know there are just now a lot of rumors going and pushing about her running for president in 2016,” he said on Fox News, as recorded by the Hill. “So I think they are already laying the groundwork.”
OK — so utterances of rabid partisanship have become SOP in the House GOP, so I suppose I shouldn’t be too shocked, But what about that class of folks who consider themselves above the grubby world of politics — AKA the grandees of Washington’s media village. Enter Charles Krauthammer. There are none who combine the unmerited mantle of authoritative judgment and sheer malice more completely than our man Krauthammer — inexplicably treated as a serious analyst of modern politics and wholly engaged in the construction of the One True Narrative, reality be damned.
Hence, reacting to the news that the NYT op-ed editor had ridiculed Westmorland et al.’s claims Krauthammer erupted:
“By being defensive about this, he’s making it quite obvious the reason that the Times invested all the effort and time in this and put it on the front page is precisely a way to protect the Democrats, to deflect the issue, to protect Hillary, who was exposed on this issue as almost no issue in her tenure in the administration. It is obviously a political move.”
I actually think that’s what Krauthammer believes, along with Westmoreland and the rest of the GOP officeholders chasing down the Benghazi “truther” rabbit hole. Why shouldn’t they? It’s what they would do.
Hell, it’s what they are doing: to belabor the obvious, crying “Politics” avoids the necessity of parsing what the Times actually reported. It saves having to defend the various claims of whatever it is that Clinton or Obama is said to have done wrong. Most of all, it ducks the obligation to take on what did happen in Benghazi with enough thought to inform deliberations that lead to, for example, not blowing up stuff in Syria. Much easier to accuse the other side of doing exactly the vicious shit you would have.
These are not people to be allowed near the reins of government. They probably shouldn’t be allowed near scissors. Danger to self and others and all that.
Image: Georgios Jakobides, “Cold Shower” 1898
It doesn’t matter what the issue or the reality might be – Chuckie Krauthammer is going to exhibit his brain-sickness because, at the end of the day, that just is what the GOP and its parasite media-critters do. They’ve got nothing (constructive) to say and its ok good morning, good morning.
If Hillary runs, the shit that will tossed at her will be epic; the shit tossed at Obama will be nothing in comparison. All this is just getting the ammunition ready.
repeat after me: the ends justify the means, and if defeating democrats is the end, all means are on the table. there is nothing they wont do or say so long as they think it has the potential to stain or undermine a democrat. Once you accept their relativistic approach to political truth, nothing will surprise you. They are the small-d democrats that Plato’s Socrates is joining in “conversation,” spouting empty pieties in the service of an ideology that bears no resemblance to the one they purportedly serve. In other words, lying bastards, each and every one of them, and proud of it because it is in the service of winning.
So my boss decided that the best way to save money (because he is not making enough to finance his lifestyle while not working as an attorney) is to cut my hours back to 20 a week. I am sure that not going out to dinner and spending $400 on the tab didn’t occur to him. At this point I am not sure what I am going to do, quit or get a second job, because I sure as hell cannot live on $260.00 a week.
You’re kidding, right? Krauthammer is such an established hack for the GOP, it would be news if he didn’t say what he said.
I find that difficult to believe.
The problem with the GOP – well, one big one – is that they’re so used to calculating everything through the prism of DC politics that explanations unrelated to that just plain don’t even occur to them. (This is not a new phenomenon – it’s where all these arguments about “Truman lost China,” “Carter lost Iran” and “Reagan brought down the Soviet Union” came from, as if there wasn’t anything else weighing on world events in any of these cases).
Which is why
@Roger Moore: mena, arkansas. vince foster. Obama has been condescended to because of his race, but that is so crazy ass shit and that was before the crazy got turned up to 11.
How dare you, sirrah. You know perfectly well Romney is not capable of embarrassment.
Is any of that stuff crazier than birtherism, “palling around with terrorists”, claiming he’s the son of Malcolm X, William Ayers is the real author of Obama’s books, etc.?
@Roger Moore: Badly as they’ve treated President Obama, the Wall Street Journal has not — yet — printed multiple volumes compiling conspiracy theories that he was responsible for having “dozens” of people murdered (in a town with a population in the low hundreds) so that the CIA could continue to finance his political career by running drugs. Look up ‘Mena conspiracy’…
Is there no one to call the men in white coats to come and get poor Dr Krauthammer? As for the Benghazi non-scandal, The NYT story confirms that the Obama administration was telling the truth all along, and that meanwhile the Republican party was (and is) barking up the wrong tree. But with the Tea Party tendency close by, it has no room to back away from this mistake. So the party will keep barking, and so will Krauthammer.
@Roger Moore: she had vince foster murdered because they were having an affair. birthism is piddly nonsense compared to that accusation. Bill Clinton had teenagers run over by a train to silence them about his drug trafficing. look, the overall political crazy is higher now int he house and the senate, but what the conspiracy theories now are child’s play compared to the clintons.
Pffft. The real fun begins with things like little blue dresses and Monica. Really think Bill will be off limits? Not a chance.
@Anne Laurie: Well, to paraphrase Tweety; at least they think she’s from this planet.
During the Clinton years, the GOP put a lot of effort into their conspiracies. Today’s GOP is much lazier.
Peggy Noonan still roams free.
And happy new year, AK!
We’ll find out how deep the downside is when the GOP takes the Senate in 2014.
I do too — considering that there’s currently a RWNJ meme going around that is a photo of POTUS with a noose around his neck, and a caption “The Making of a New National Holiday.” Just vile. (No, I am not linking. Trying to scrub the image from my brain. And latest info is that Secret Service have been alerted. Hope they scare the beshizzles out of whatever scummy excuse for protoplasm thought it would be a funny joke.)
Their biggest problem is that everything the right wing COULD throw at Hillary has already BEEN thrown and vetted by the electorate, including Bengazi. The only effect it will have is to make right-wing partisans even more eager to turn out, but they were already plenty eager enough to turn out to vote against her in November 2016. It’s going to be entertaining to watch right wing heads explode in angry frustration when Hillary proves to have an inpenetrable coat of teflon for a solid majority of the electorate.
The only thing that could defeat Hillary is to suffer own goals by way of her own big campaign mistakes – one early sign this might happen will be if she allows Mark Penn to have even so much to do with her campaign as to plant a Hillary! yard sign in front of his house.
@eric: Unfortunately for the Republicans though, nothing they have thrown so far has even come close to hurting President Obama (easily reelected) or will come close to hurting Hilary Clinton. Will Americans really care about Benghazi in 2016? Do they care about it now, except for sadness that four Americans died?
I’ll enjoy watching Repubs working themselves into dizzy spells for the next three years trying desperately to damage the future Democratic President. What they need is a sensible, mainstream candidate instead of the clown car occupants from 2012.
@Patricia Kayden: they are not doing this for Americans. they are doing this to get into the RWNM so that the MSM will talk about it and they can undermine Hillary. That is the game plan. they are not targeting independent voters directly. they are working the refs so that when there are allegations directed at the GOP nominee, they can throw this to the MSM to create balance and to deflect from the attacks.
So denial is really a form of agreement. I had no idea that Krauthammer was so Freudian in his thinking.
I am assuming that Krauthammer was even more outraged at the murders of US embassy personnel under Bush since there were so many more of them during Bush…
This issue with the stunning GOP hypocrisy is beyond stupid; I guess that’s why the average Joe out there could care less about this issue.
I don’t think that’s exactly why. The reason the average person can’t care about it is because they don’t understand what it’s supposed to be about. It’s awful that our diplomats were killed, but that isn’t a scandal in and of itself. There has to be something more to turn it from “those *@#! Libyans killed our diplomats” to “Obama needs to go”. Until the Republicans can fill in that gap, it’s just not going to get the general public fired up.
Culture of Truth
@eric: she had vince foster murdered because they were having an affair…
you left out she’s a lesbian who murdered Foster to cover up their affair
I disagree. We should encourage them to use scissors as often as possible, run with them even. Preferably over broken ground. The better to encourage the inevitable trips,
Snarki, child of Loki
Oh, I’m sure this is FAR from the end of the BENGAZI! saga…
Just wait until the wingnuts find out that HITLERY set up the attack on Amb. Stevens, because he “knew too much” about VINCE FOSTER.
Freudian? More like Vizzini/Wallace Shawn’s thinking in the poisoned-wine scene from The Princess Bride.
@Litlebritdiftrnt: Golly, that sucks. Does he have other motives, like not having to provide health insurance and other benefits? I hope the job market is improving where you are and that you can immediately begin searching for a better job. In every respeci.
Villago Delenda Est
Krauthammer needs to be beaten senseless with a tire iron.
Oh, wait. He’s already senseless. Someone beat us to him. So to speak.
Villago Delenda Est
@Snarki, child of Loki:
Vince Foster? You mean Hitlery’s lesbian lover, who was going to bear their love child?
Villago Delenda Est
Kkkarl Rove says the GOP will take the Senate in 2014.
That means it’s going to stay Dem, because Kkkarl Rove’s “math” is skewed…to appeal to the suckers he gets his funding from.
Here’s what you don’t seem to realize, though: the Republicans don’t feel the need to delegitimize Obama’s presidency with crazy theories to “prove” he’s not worthy because his skin color automatically proves he’s not worthy.
So there’s no need to come up with excuses why he’s unworthy to be president, and they can cut straight to the assassination fantasies, which all just happen to feature PBO being “put in his place.”
Find a new job, then quit. After all, he has thoughtfully given you 20 free hours a week to find something better.
What reality are you living in? Is there a public option there?
Mike in NC
Happy Benghazi Day, neocons!
Mike in NC
Really hoping 2014 will be the year I can piss on this scumbag’s shallow grave.
I think it misses the point to argue about whether attacks on Hillary will be worse or not as bad as those on PBO. The Pubs will throw everything they have at any president/nominee so long as (s)he has a D after his/her name. This has become such SOP that it’s not even worth remarking on. The crap they’ll throw at Hillary won’t be the same crap they threw at PBO, but it’ll be whatever they can come up with. Vince Foster is probably too old for anyone to bother with, but they’ll invent something else equally implausible, and sling it with as much force as they can manage.
Unfortunately for them, it’ll have virtually no effect. Obama’s approval ratings are mostly about the still-mediocre economy, which the Pubs are doing everything possible to make worse. That, and not the crazytown conspiracies, is where the real battle is.
@Patricia Kayden: What they need is a sensible, mainstream candidate instead of the clown car occupants from 2012.
Huntsman. He might have won in 2012 as well.
@cmorenc: ” everything the right wing COULD throw at Hillary has already BEEN thrown and vetted by the electorate, including Bengazi.”
Just pointing out why there hasn’t been anything similar to “The Clinton Chronicles” for the current president. A lot of the stuff people point to in order to claim that Clinton got hit worse is because conservatives were able to start with a lower baseline with Obama. They didn’t have to call him a murdering drug-runner because the fact that Obama admitted to doing cocaine a few times was more than enough to prove that one of Those People should never have been allowed to even run for president.
Or, to put it another way, the right wing had to work harder to discredit Clinton in the eyes of white people than they did with Obama. I’ll let you do the math to figure out why.
I think people might be surprised at how little difference there is between the way the GOP has attacked Obama and the way they will attack Clinton if she runs. Definitely they will dig some old favourites out of the closet for another go-around, but if Clinton runs and wins their attacks on her will not seem all that different than what we are seeing now.
The reason for her illegitimacy will be a little different (white woman vs black man) but sexism and racism are like pigs and farmers. The longer you look at them, the harder it is to tell them apart. Even the birthers are arguably more sexist than racist, because the core of their argument is less about anything Obama did than it is about how many black lovers his mother had.
I think some of the leftover business from Bill Clinton’s administration (Whitewater, VInce Foster, etc) will be left to people like Alex Jones and the Breitbart crew, while the more serious people (Will, Brooks, Krauthammer, etc) will spend more time pondering whether having a woman in the White House and not bombing the crap out of Iran means that America’s foreign policy has been emasculated, and whether Clinton’s continuing failure to end partisan gridlock means that feminism has failed.
I don’t know why people keep calling these assholes serious. What the hell makes them more serious? They tend not to slur their words? They didn’t forget the spell checker? Their ideas are not serious, they are deranged. Why do we keep using mimes that reenforce the stupidity and cruelty of assholes? Call them what they are, which for sure isn’t serious. Serious people discuss serious ideals, not the bullshit these fuckers spread.
@Ruckus: They are considered serious by the Village. For the discerning viewer, they are “serious.”
That can’t be it. Cf. Peggy Noonan.
Because they’re Part Of The Club.
American elite has its own rules and culture just like any church, fraternity, social club, etc. You win their approval by learning all these rules, internalizing them and joining in repeating them – serious foreign policy requires bombing brown people, a little pain is good for the irresponsible rabble, inconveniencing rich people is irresponsible and dangerous for the economy, etc. The fact that you’re repeating all these things, in turn, is taken by them as proof that you’re Serious – the ability to pass their membership test is mistaken for an actual understanding of the way the world works.
You can make it to the top without that – Clinton and Obama did – but you’ll never win the approval of your peers if you do, which means that for your entire time at the top, the social network around you will be trying to sink you instead of buoying you as they would have a Bush or a Reagan.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Personally, if Hillary runs I think the attacks on her on from the right will be awesomely bizarre. I mean they already have Obama at an atheist-muslim-nazi-communist-hippie who is out to bankrupt the country by bailing out the bankers and can’t see the contradictions. How can they top that? It sounds impossible but you know they will try.
Why do Democrats keep insisting the truth come out?! So partisan of them!
I know this thread is dead but anyway here goes.
I know they are called serious and why people do that. I was asking the larger question, why do we give them any credibility at all? Conservatives are followers. Irony is way out of their league. They see us use the word serious and that’s all they see. It gives the useless fucks power even if we don’t mean it that way. It’s like calling Buckley an intellectual because he spoke slowly and used big words. He still formed them into shitty sentences and ideas.
No talk of what a serial groper Krauthammer is? It is the worst kept secret in DC… can’t keeps his hands off of the interns and low level staffers.
What gets me here is this: when I hear “conservatives blah blah blah Benghazi” I immediately re-classify whoever is speaking as a fucking assclown retard. And I never, ever, ever waste my time reading or listening to what they have to say again.
Does Krauthammer not comprehend this?
Like Newt Gingrich, he’s a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person is like.