Still Life of Kid Having Tantrum on Floor of Grocery Store

Here’s my question about the Benghazi, Rice, McCain, et. al. freakout: is this an issue for anyone but the dedicated fans, the true believers who are sitting in the stadium in December when the wind chill is -20 and even getting a wildcard slot is out of the question? (Pick your man on the street metaphor, they’re all tired and cliche.)

I realize that the whole point of the exercise is impeachment, but Obama’s involvement in the best case is at arm’s length, and foreign policy is boring enough to begin with, never mind the fact that no blowjobs are involved.

Is it just my blind tribalism, or is this what it looks like: a hummer-free snoozefest headlined by a obviously bitter, pissed-off old man, aimed at a smart black woman.

104 replies
  1. 1
    jackmac says:

    It’s exactly what it looks like: Grandpa McCain is having a hissy fit. Nothing more.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    sal says:

    It’s Republicans grasping at anything that might bring down or hurt the Kenyan usurper. Angry, bitter old white men who see their time as embodying all that’s right and good fading away, and are just pissed as hell. They don’t understand why this isn’t Don Draper’s world anymore. Bewildered, angry and confused, the dying beasts lash out.

  4. 4
    Woodrowfan says:

    alas, the low info voters will hear something about Benghazi and think “oh, Obama did something wrong.” It worked with Clinton. People saw one so-called scandal after another and thought “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and ignored the RW smoke-making machine in the wings…

  5. 5
    nemesis says:

    Its the mainstream media feeling a bit guilty for their failure to carry water for the gop 100% of the time, hence, media downshifts into Benghazigate less than 24 hours after the election. Media is just showing who is boss.

  6. 6

    Yeah, that’s about my thoughts, too. Five years ago, we’d have had to entertain the idea that it’s some super Rovian genius stroke that we just didn’t get, but now it seems safe to say that Republicans are flipping out for the same reason the scorpion stung the frog.

    It’s a senseless flipout, like the birther conspiracy. The president’s mom secretly fled to Kenya to give birth & then put a false announcement in the Honolulu newspaper because (???). On Benghazi, what possible advantage could have come to the Obama administration to deliberately fool America into thinking a terrorist attack was a mob attack? He wanted to avoid an unfair “rally ’round the flag” bump in the polls?

    And no one thinks the president or the secretary of state or the UN ambassador should be checking in every day on every consulate in the world to make sure that we have enough security there.

    Maybe someone should have read the intel differently, before or after the attack. But as a “worse than Watergate and Iran-Contra and the Dreyfus Affair combined!” thing that McCain is pushing, it makes zero sense.

  7. 7
    El Cid says:

    Although there is the McCain onion-belt war against Susan Rice, he wasn’t the only one, and the whole “Benghazi” scandal (not the actual city of Benghazi and a militia / terrorist attack on U.S. personnel but the fake scandal on the right called “Benghazi”) is much broader on the right than Sunday Show President John McCain.

    While it certainly didn’t play out pre-election as the right wanted, and it’s not currently playing now as they want, I’m not sure yet whether they will continue pursuing “Benghazi” or whether it will sort of vanish into the microwave background noise of right wing generally incomprehensible primal screams.

  8. 8
    biff diggerence says:

    Susan Rice hasn’t crashed any aircraft, has she?

  9. 9
    PeakVT says:

    For McCain, it’s probably bitterness. For the right-wing as a whole, it’s two things: 1) a desperate attempt to find something, anything that will discredit Obama, and 2) massive wingnut projection. Bush failed to protect Americans when warned about a threat, so Obama must have done the same, and they’re going to prove it, facts be damned.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    Someone a week or so ago identified the issue as being ‘scandal envy’. The GOP is desperate to have something, anything, to pin on Obama.

    The irony is that if ever a real scandal ever occurs, we’re deep into ‘boy who cried wolf’ territory.

  11. 11
    lacp says:

    The only thing the Ancient Mariner lives for is getting in front of the cameras; when this blows over, he’ll move on to something else. And, of course, keep appearing on Sunday talk shows.

  12. 12
    Dave says:

    There is only Benghazi outrage in wingnut media. Most outlets are unwilling to touch it.

  13. 13
    biff diggerence says:

    Does Crash McCain realize he represents a state which no longer should be part of this Republic?

  14. 14
    lacp says:

    @biff diggerence: Did you know that John McCain was a POW? It’s true!

  15. 15
    Cambridge Chuck says:

    HuffPo points out that McCain is getting term limited out his his ranking slot on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and his only other option is the Indian Affairs Committee. A select committee to “investigate” this “scandal” would give him a big megaphone, at least for a short while — Indian Affairs, not so much. But not even Lieberman thinks the select committee is needed — sorry, papa John.

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    It’s McCain still bitter from a stinging defeat at the hands of President Barack Obama in 2008. He just can’t get over it and move on. Just a waste of time.

    I can see an impeachment coming out of it though given the state of the Repubs in the House. But shrug. We’ve already seen this movie before with Clinton’s impeachment, which was meaningless.

  17. 17
    Dave says:

    No, it’s as boring and mundane as you think. Most of the country doesn’t even waste time thinking about Benghazi in this manner, just the Fox-driven crowd. And unlike Clinton, there isn’t even a shred of fact to hang an impeachment on ( as bullshit as the grand jury was, Clinton did lie to it ). And the fact they can’t use Benghazi in a legit fashion to bring down the President, combined with most of America not giving a damn, is driving them crazy.

  18. 18
    Montysano says:

    Let us travel back in time to the fall of 2009, when POTUS announced a nationwide address to students (“Stay in school, study hard”). Let us remember the bull-goose full-metal freakout that ensued. This is the world we live in.

    Given Obama’s proven skill at beating opponents half to death with their own weapon, one would think that Grampa Walnuts would have proceeded more cautiously.

  19. 19
    jibeaux says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the people who aren’t inclined to pay lots of attention to politics are REALLY not paying much attention to politics right after an election that seemed to last for about three years. This has the smell of deadender flopsweat all over it.

  20. 20
    El Cid says:

    @dmsilev: Maybe there’s sort of a Quantum Law of Democrat President Scandal Equilibrium on the right — even if observation indicates that no scandal is present, at any given moment ghostly scandal particles emerge from the right wing, exist momentarily, and either vanish completely or they leave their imprint by affecting the spin of longer lived particles such as politicians and media figures.

  21. 21
    Trakker says:

    I think this is all about regaining Top Dog status in the Republican Party now the pretender has been vanquished. MCain’s pandering to the base.

  22. 22
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Woodrowfan: But it’s too late now. Obama has already been re-elected. I guess this is all a push toward impeachment.

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    Clearly McCain is taking it out on Obama for the Democrats’ push-polling in South Carolina in 2000 about McCain maybe having fathered colored babies. Oh wait…

  24. 24
    Aries Moon says:

    I noticed over the last couple of days that McCain, his “amigos”, and Fox News have all lost interest in the four American deaths and the “Obama watched them die in real time” meme. McCain is now clinging to Rice’s recitation of the CIA talking points like he’s clinging to a life raft in the middle of Epic Fail Ocean.

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:


    Given Obama’s proven skill at beating opponents half to death with their own weapon, one would think that Grampa Walnuts would have proceeded more cautiously.

    Because, of course, John McCain is renowned for thinking through all the implications of his statements and actions before making them.

  26. 26
    Paul says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Yes, he could easily be impeached considering how bitter and driven McCain is. He will not let it go. This is his only chance to feel some kind redemption of losing to Obama in 2008.

    And this could then fuel the House, which may choose to go down that route. It all depends on whether Boehner will decide to be a leader that cares about our country or whether he simply will go down the embarrassing route that Gingrich ultimately did.

    There is 0% chance that Obama would be convicted in the senate so, McCain will have wasted a couple of years of our country’s time that could have been better spent on our country’s good.

    It really is ironic that McCain’s slogan in 2008 was “Country first”. Which country is he referring to?

  27. 27
    Sasha says:

    I didn’t read the article but it was on the front page of the Virginian Pilot with a pretty huge headline. Never underestimate the power of the Vast Right Wing Noise Machine

  28. 28
    NonyNony says:


    alas, the low info voters will hear something about Benghazi and think “oh, Obama did something wrong.” It worked with Clinton.

    Actually, no it didn’t. It worked to sell tabloids and newspapers that decided to start acting like tabloids. And it worked to consolidate the 27%-ers into Fox News viewers. But overall the scandal machine didn’t actually work with low-info voters – Clinton was more popular during his second term than he was during his first.

    Where it was successful was in 2000 – when the noise machine convinced Al Gore that running as “the guy who wants to keep doing what Clinton was doing” was somehow a bad idea and he had to “distance” himself from Clinton. That part worked, but it worked mostly because of Gore himself and not because of anything about the “strategy”.

    Also too – you would need a sex scandal to make this work.

  29. 29
    Brandon says:

    I think this is a reincarnation of what that annoying Josh Marshall quite smartly coined, “the bitch slap theory of politics”. Obama just knocked out their top contender heavy weight, so in order to reassert their manhood and control, they are trying to bully Obama. Even if Obama had no plans to nominate Rice for SoS at this point, if he doesn’t they will feel empowered. And if he does, they’ll get to keep this fake scansal running for more months. Win-win. Not to mention that if he doesn’t nominate Rice but Kerry instead, they can run Brown for his seat in an off-year special election where Democrats are already likely to lose seats and hence the Senate. Its the long game my friends.

  30. 30
    rea says:

    no blowjobs are involved.

    Actually, thanks to Petreus, that’s no longer certain . . .

  31. 31
    Steve Crickmore says:

    I still would like to know which editor or spin doctor undressed the CIA talking points, so they were purposefully devoid of any real meaning, when delivered by Susan Rice on the Sunday talk shows, which went far beyond the wish, not to name the suspect terrorist groups. This was really the opposite motive of the Downing Street memo, which was ‘sexed up’ to alarm the public, that Saddam had imminent weapons of mass destruction. In both cases, the public is being misled for the perceived good of presenting the image of a competent administration.

  32. 32
    r€nato says:

    @Cambridge Chuck: I’ve read that it’s also about steering Obama towards selecting John Kerry as SoS, which would open up the possibility of getting Scott Brown back in the Senate.

  33. 33

    @Aries Moon:
    So the plan is to stick it to Susan Rice for giving the American public the best and most up-to-date information that the US Government had at the time? Okay, I can see how that’s going to hurt the Obama administration (not).

  34. 34
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Patricia Kayden: and 2014. Besides, do the righties even need a reason to hate?

  35. 35
    Feudalism Now! says:

    McCain is railing against his approaching irrelevance. The Fox crowd isn’t even chewing on this, just listlessly repeating factoids and talking points. Mostly it is “pay no attention to the election that we just got spanked in”, or ignore the fiscal corner we painted ourselves into. Benghazi would be a great topic for the Repubs, if the GOP was still trusted with foreign policy, but they’re not and so it flops.

  36. 36
    Paul says:


    And this could then fuel the House, which may choose to go down that route. It all depends on whether Boehner will decide to be a leader that cares about our country or whether he simply will go down the embarrassing route that Gingrich ultimately did.

    Just to add one thing; it also comes down to whether Boehner realizes that he really doesn’t represent the American people the way Obama does. He represents a gerrymandered majority and without gerrymandering he would not be the House Speaker. Will he as a result tread more cautiously?

  37. 37
    Keith G says:

    I would imagine that only a relative few view this as a path to impeachment – maybe a number akin to those who truly believe that the U.N. will send black helicopters to Peoria.

    For the rest, its a gotcha moment and now a way to derail focus and momentum. I hope team Obama has a plan in the can to pull back focus – a series of major announcements, executive actions, deals, or legislative initiatives that will provide some new shiny things.

    McCain is an outlier. He has a several cross-cutting personal issues and may actually be a touch mental. So he will yap until he wears out or his staff gently leads to to a quiet place.

    The Bush (II) regime were masters at motoring through adverse press, finding ways to change the topic, and letting the Great American Attention Deficit work in their favor.

    Edit – BTW, I imagine that S. Rice will not be running Foggy Bottom.

  38. 38
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Even though I should know better and not be at all surprised, I can still be astounded by the way McCain can command the media when there is shit-bug-fucker-all underneath all his outrage. Is anyone in the media outisde MSNBC even a little offended by the Man-Who-Picked-Palin referring to an African-American Rhodes scholar who by all accounts (even by the chin-strokers whose main point is McCain’s tantrum obviously means she can’t be named SoS, because War Hero!) was a very effective UN ambassador, as “not very bright”?

  39. 39
    Woodrowfan says:

    @NonyNony: Fair enough. But did it convince enough people that there was “something there” in the charges against Clinton, but the republicans then over-estimated the support they had for impeachment. I’m probably influenced by the number of supposed “independents” I remember hearing muttering about Clinton’s scandals. But then, I worked in a fairly conservative workplace at the time.

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    I was too late for the last thread, so I’ll ask again: How does McCain explain the bill passed by House Republicans which slashed embassy budgets by a half-billion? Isn’t criticizing a “small footprint” also criticizing his own party?

  41. 41
    Johio says:

    I don’t think this is any sort of push they expect to end with impeachment – I think it’s just a) McCain being his bitter self, b) Graham trying to get a leg up on the challenger from the right he’ll get in two years and c) apparently Kelly Ayotte has decided to run for President in 2016.

    The interesting thing to me is that they’ve focused on whether the administration said “terrorist attack” soon enough. Why aren’t they asking serious questions about the security set up in Libya and whether the State Dept and CIA underestimated the threat? I would like to know the answer to those questions – not to hang anyone but to make any corrections necessary to make it less likely we’ll lose more people.

  42. 42
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    and I don’t suppose whichever Sunday Show Senator Pittypat Graham was on brought up the campaign ad he’s running– two years out– based on ‘getting to the truth’ on Benghazi?

  43. 43
    agrippa says:

    I do not think that there is anything in it.
    I think that the GOP will try to make something of nothing. But, it will go away fairly soon.

  44. 44

    It seems to me that at this point it’s more about tarnishing Susan Rice’s name and preventing her from becoming the next Secretary of State.

  45. 45
    quannlace says:

    and it’s not currently playing now as they want, I’m not sure yet whether they will continue pursuing “Benghazi” o

    Even on some websites like Free Republic, Benghazi is falling off the radar. There’s one article posted there, but no less than five about brave Allen West’s recount fight down in Florida.

  46. 46
    Anya says:

    Why isn’t a single “journalist” asking McCain, if he’s actually serious about the security issue, why is he focusing on the freaking UN Ambassador, instead of Clinton, who after all is responsible for US embassies?

  47. 47
  48. 48
    danimal says:

    You hinted at one of the motives. I’m decidedly not a racial conspiracy kind of guy, but it’s pretty obvious that the (institutional) GOP doesn’t want to get in too deeply on racial issues with Obama, so they go after the lower level black appointees. Van Jones-the ‘czar’ (heard that one lately?), Shirley Sherrod–the reparations gal, Eric Holder–gun runner, Rice–the in-over-her-head hack, etc, etc.

    It’s a strategy, but McCain is so rock-stupid he can’t come close to pulling it off. The man is on a vengeance kick, but no one’s really into it, outside of the usual suspects.

  49. 49
    biff diggerence says:


    Indeed. As Rudy Googliemooglie was mayor of NYC on nine one one oh one.

    His Leadership Style: “Hey. Everybody. Run Uptown. FAST!”

  50. 50
    Lurking Canadian says:

    The strangest part of all this, to me, is that this issue probably could have hurt Obama if they had stayed “more in sorrow than anger” and “this is what wishy-washy liberalism causes” and so on. All this stuff about how Obama lied to cover up the mumble mumble stuff, instead is just bizarre.

  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Anya: not the least interesting part of it, doncha think? My take: 1) he still thinks he and HIllary are co-victims of the sneaky cheater Obama who cheats by refusing to throw the game and 2) he doesn’t want to take her on, which is maybe the last thing he can do to help Republicans.

    If anybody actually could separate the McCain myth from the fact of the man, all the while being as respectful and proper as a Southern boy could be, it’s Bubba, and I’d only give him about a 40% chance.

  52. 52
    PeakVT says:

    @Svensker: I think LOLWUT is more appropriate.

  53. 53
    Keith G says:

    @danimal: Don’t forget Tom Daschle….oh….wait.

  54. 54
    different-church-lady says:

    It’s actually more like if hot-stove baseball lead off the network evening news.

    And I say let ’em go after impeachment — it’s the surest way to a Democratic HOR in 2014.

  55. 55
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It’s the most serious scandal in modern political history after Fast and Furious, Solyndra and whatever the next one is.

  56. 56
    Paul says:


    How does McCain explain the bill passed by House Republicans which slashed embassy budgets by a half-billion?

    This is a point that every Obama surrogate needs to keep hammering in. If we are going to make fake charges, then House Republicans sure as hell have as much if not more blood in their hands for what happened in Benghazi.

    It’s ironic; the Obama administration wasn’t asking for much money in Embassy security. Yet the GOP turned it down.

    This is the same GOP that had no problems whatsoever spending $4 billion a week in Iraq. Hell, they didn’t even include it in the budget. That’s how eager they were to spend other people’s hard earned money on their stupid Iraq war.

  57. 57
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    He’s another one of those morans living in that alternate reality they have built.

    Ignore him, he’s the online version of that crazy homeless-looking guy that every town has that walks down the street muttering to himself about aliens and anal probes.

  58. 58
    g says:

    The whole thing is a dispute over what words someone said to the press. That’s pretty thin sauce. You can’t wring much outrage from it.

  59. 59
    GregB says:

    Some Democratic surrogate needs to come out in the press and state that John McCain, Lyndsay Graham and Kelly Ayotte personally cut the defense of embassy/consulate funds in order to murder our Ambassadors.

    John McCain personally planned this murder in order to make Obama look bad.

    We must look in to these reports that John McCain plotted with Al Qaeda to murder Americans.

  60. 60
    aimai says:

    @Aries Moon:

    Good point. But of course whether or not Rice said X or Y on the Sunday talk shows is only dispositive if you thought that the President had some personal culpability to cover up. Otherwise what is the point of pursuing an attack on Rice, who was not under oath and had no other priviliged knowledge to share, for something she said on a god damned SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW. The notion that it matters at all at what moment the tiny proportion of eldelry white americans heard one thing or another on a Sunday Morning Talk show is bizarre–what is this supposed to have affected? What upper level decisionmaking or action would have changed if Rice had run on stage screaming “terrorrismterrorismterrorismthemuuuuslimsrouttogitus?”

    “Mr. McCain, why don’t you take this up with the CIA?” Is the only question that needs to be asked of McCain.


  61. 61
    Stacy says:

    Of course the right wing is bitter and throwing tantrums.

    Solyndra was supposed to be the big Obama scandal, then when that fizzled and no one cared, they turned to Fast and the Furious. Of course Fast and Furious was started under Bush so they had trouble making that one Obama’s fault.

    Is it any wonder they’re trumpeting Benghazi as if it’s the biggest debacle ever? They are desperate for something – anything – to stick to Obama.

  62. 62
    1badbaba3 says:

    @biff diggerence: Well, not five of ’em anyway.

    As far as attacking a smart Black Woman, the GOP wants to attack any Woman that is not breeding for their Master Race. The biggest critics of Grampy Walnut’s well-endowed daughter have been from the Reich. Me, I’m just hoping she starts late night drunk-tweeting pictures again.

    Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?

  63. 63
    Feudalism Now! says:

    @GregB: Why did John McCain avoid a committee hearing on Benghazi to hold a presser on the lack of information on Benghazi? Has John McCain stopped hating America? Will McCain and Graham demand that the corpses of our State Dept. dead testify before their kangaroo court?

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I think it’s supposed to be, “Hey, even though Obama presided over the killing of Osama bin Laden, he just got lucky there, because look at how this other thing happened where the terrorists killed some people (because the liberal liberals were out there liberaling rather than taking security seriously), and, worse, they kinda sorta didn’t seem to want to admit it (because the liberal liberals are incompetent too).”

  65. 65
    jonas says:

    Others have point this out already, but it bears mentioning again: what did the Obama administration have to gain by misconstruing the nature of the attack in Benghazi? What would be the point of conspiring to concoct a story about a riot over the anti-Islam film, as opposed to saying “some terrorists/extremists/ attacked our diplomatic compound.” No one has yet explained why there *needed* to be a conspiracy in the first place. It’s not like Obama goes around claiming there are no more Al Qaeda terrorists in the Middle East. His drones are toasting them (and lots of bystanders) on a weekly basis. Can someone connect the dots about how we’re supposed to be connecting dots here?

  66. 66
    handsmile says:


    While I’ve not seen the nym “Steve Crickmore” here before (and that could be just me), the gist of his comment (who edited the CIA talking points? why was the US public misled?) was being bruited about today by Mrs. Greenspan and the buddies of the Morning Joe fraternity. So perhaps this is the most recent verse of the Benghazi battle-cry.

    Also too, on the Zombie McCain watch: the Village media is aflutter this morning with Gramps’ suggestion that Bill Clinton be appointed as US mediator in the current Palestinian-Israel conflict. President McCain is never going away.

  67. 67
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stacy: In other words, it’s just what they do. Whenever we go looking for their deeper, more logical motivations we get confused. Because there aren’t any.

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jonas: IMHO, the critics want to make it seem like Team Obama was playing the “nobody could have predicted” card. “Spontaneous” means unpreventable. “Premeditated” means could have been stopped.

  69. 69
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @jonas: To the Republicans it is payback for Iran/Contra that tarnished Reagan in the 2nd term. Since the Lewinsky Affair was a dud in their war against Clinton.

  70. 70
    Soonergrunt says:

    A big part of this is that the Teabagger wing of the Republican party is coming for Lindsey Graham in two years. Unless Graham tacks hard to the right, he will not survive a primary challenge. This is the hill he’s chosen to die on, for good or ill. This is more about McCain saving one of the few genuine friends and fans he has left in the Senate than anything else.

  71. 71
    kindness says:

    How is it that Lindsey Graham hasn’t been outed yet? McConnell too, both of them are obviously switch hitters and I could care less other than to beat them up over their hypocrisy. I’ll leave it to their fundies to do the actual damage once the truth comes out.

    McCain? The Get Off My Lawn Senator? Who cares what he says?

  72. 72
    redshirt says:

    It’s still about hippies with flowers in their hair.

  73. 73
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Soonergrunt: But remember, teh Teabaggas came after Walnuts, still reeling after his drubbing from Bronco, and the ol’ codger beat ’em back. Graham is running scared, to be sure, ‘cos Clods for Grope dude sez Lindz is too librul. Jeez Louise, as compared to whom, Himmler?

    Here’s all we need to know about Walnuts: The fundamentals of the economy are strong. Phil Graham – nation of whiners. Sarah Palin. Done.

    Hey Grampy, you lost! Twice! Now, get the fuck off *our* lawn!

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    I would like to know what happened in Benghazi and who fucked up, because it’s obviously a massive fuckup when the security detail loses track of the ambassador and he has to be taken to the hospital by locals on the scene because the consulate has been evacuated without him. But I still can’t figure out how anyone thinks that the fuckup by the ambassador’s security detail was somehow personally ordered by the president.

  75. 75
    NonyNony says:


    “Mr. McCain, why don’t you take this up with the CIA?” Is the only question that needs to be asked of McCain.

    Wasn’t that the opportunity he missed when he decided to have a press conference instead?

  76. 76
    NonyNony says:


    But I still can’t figure out how anyone thinks that the fuckup by the ambassador’s security detail was somehow personally ordered by the president.

    I believe the answer to this is BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!

    The GOP has lost the plot – the Benghazi narrative was supposed to be spun to make Obama look like Jimmy Carter for the election.

    Honestly this entire past 2 years seems like what’s going on with the whole GOP can be summed up with the sentence “The GOP has lost the plot”.

  77. 77
    becca says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: I read the Iran-Contra report when it was released. Had to go to the local library and pick it up.

    Reagan violated the Boland Act, an impeachable offense. The dems felt impeachment would not serve the country’s best interest, so they did not prosecute.

    I’ve often wondered how the world would be now if democrats had followed through.

  78. 78
    MaximusNYC says:

    I think the obsession with Benghazi is not just about seizing any excuse to attack Obama. I think it’s specifically an attempt to discredit him, and the Democrats in general, on national security.

    The killing of OBL made Obama essentially bulletproof on national security, and the GOP really, really doesn’t like that. They’ve had the upper hand on those issues in the public mind for decades, and are desperate to get it back.

  79. 79
    TerryC says:

    @Paul: Which country, indeed. I have wingnut FB friends who don’t understand that secession is inherently treasonous. They think seceding is patriotic. I tell them, yes, it is patriotic to the NEW country you create, not to the old one.

  80. 80
    priscianusjr says:

    No actual change. The stupid GOP talking points asserting that America was going to hell did not convince America to elect the permanent GOP majority — which just proves that America is REALLY going to hell.

  81. 81
    Felonius Monk says:

    First, we’ve got a grumpy old man whose hemorrhoids are flaring up because he’s been in the Senate so long his brain has migrated to his ass. Then, we have the walking shit-stain from Long Island named Peter King who has dedicated his life to be the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy except he sees a terrorist(= Muslim)under every rock.

    Between these two idiots this will drag on for quite awhile until people stop paying attention to them. I blame the news entertainment media for keeping this alive, when they finally move on to another story, this will go away.

  82. 82
    aimai says:


    That is definitely “overcompensating parental unit’s” point when he was trolling the thread with “just asking questions” stuff–Benghazing happened because liberal liberals were out liberalling in libya instead of sulking and refusing to engage diplomatically with a country that was still dangerously chaotic. He as much as said that if the safety and security of US citizens/personell couldn’t be guaranteed by accompanying them everywhere with a major armed force we shouldn’t have a presence in a country. In other words: the manly men are so tough that if a US Marine base were to be blown up, say, in a country like Lebanon we should turn tail and run. Overwhelming militarization of diplomacy or go home. Sounds like another winning strategy for manliness!


  83. 83
    priscianusjr says:


    The killing of OBL made Obama essentially bulletproof on national security, and the GOP really, really doesn’t like that. They’ve had the upper hand on those issues in the public mind for decades, and are desperate to get it back.

    Right, but what’s so amusing about this is that the GOP isn’t just taking on Obama, they’re taking on the goddamn CIA.

  84. 84
    Felonius Monk says:


    Can someone connect the dots about how we’re supposed to be connecting dots here?

    You got right to the meat of it. This is the question everyone in the lamestream media should be asking and yet they don’t. This is exactly why this whole thing is bullshit.

  85. 85
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    It’s the right wing “grab the news cycle” strategy, and the problem with it, in one package.

    Benghazi was supposed to be useful for turning the tide of the election, but it didn’t work. A strategist would say “just let it blow over, now, it’s no good.” But a True Believer says “That it’s *so hard* to find the wrongdoing is just proof that it’s a secret conspiracy!” And there are enough True Believers out there to press the message forward.

    And if *any* message gets repeated enough, people start to assume it makes sense. Otherwise, why would so many people keep saying it?

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Then, we have the walking shit-stain from Long Island named Peter King who has dedicated his life to be the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy except he sees a terrorist(= Muslim)under every rock.

    As long as the rock’s not in a Catholic neighborhood in Belfast.

  87. 87
    Soonergrunt says:

    1–Benghazi fuck-up on many levels.

  88. 88
    DFH no.6 says:


    A big part of this is that the Teabagger wing of the Republican party is coming for Lindsey Graham in two years.

    You are absolutely correct. This is most definitely the hill Graham has chosen to die on, in an attempt to inoculate himself against a teabagger primary (he’ll have to do much more than this, and my bet is he’ll lose anyway).

    McCain’s right there with him, of course, though this means nothing one way or another to his Senate “career”. This very well may be, as you say, personal in McCain’s case, but more than just Graham and McCain are involved.

    The overriding purpose of the fascists ginning up this Benghazi “scandal” is to poke Obama in the eye any way they can. They’re all in favor of that.

    Susan Rice will not become Secretary of State; that much they can (and will) accomplish.

    The only thing the Democrats can get out of any of this is pointing out how “bipartisan” and “stops at the water’s edge” they were in regards to Condeleeza Rice’s SoS confirmation, comparing that unfavorably with how the fascists are acting regarding Susan Rice.

    Small beer, that. Not sure that argument will even be made outside the confines of the left blogosphere and, say, Rachel and The Nation magazine. Not many will care one way or the other.

  89. 89
    blingee says:

    yawn, mistermix concern trolling poorly again I guess.

    The point is not impeachment even though they all fantasize about it 24/7. The point is get Obama’s approval numbers down so he doesn’t have as much leverage to do stuff. Also to try get more Repub senators and keep the house in 2014.

    If not this they will just try manufacture some other controversy and as long as Repubs control congress it will be never ending partisan committee investigations.

  90. 90
    jon says:

    Obama should announce a meeting with McCain and other Senate Republicans, hold an post-meeting press conference and mention McCain at least thirty times, apologize for the confusion caused, and then say the following (with props provided by an aide):

    “I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense! Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with Benghazi? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with it! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m the President of the United States of America representing the State Department and all of America as well, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in your living rooms deliberatin’ and conjugatin’ the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed center-right nation, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! God Bless America! (to picture of McCain, if he hasn’t left yet) As for you, you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!

  91. 91
    Chris says:


    Right, but what’s so amusing about this is that the GOP isn’t just taking on Obama, they’re taking on the goddamn CIA.

    American conservatives have a long history of doing exactly that, from J. Edgar Hoover right through to the present, with Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon and the Bush administration in between. They hate the CIA.

  92. 92
    jon says:

    The Bushes ran the CIA. They just hated when it contradicted the new version of the official story.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    Is it just my blind tribalism, or is this what it looks like: a hummer-free snoozefest headlined by a obviously bitter, pissed-off old man, aimed at a smart black woman.

    The primary reason for all this is that Obama’s been very effective at rebuilding the Democrats’ national security cred, and they think this is an opportunity to wreck it. Plus, of course, they lost an election and they’re throwing a tantrum – but that’s why this tantrum in particular is the one they’re putting all their efforts into.

    I agree that they’ve got it in for black Obama administration members, though. Really says something that Susan Rice is the one being put on the spotlight while Petraeus, who was actually in charge of the agency that’s supposed to see things like this coming, gets off smelling like a rose.


    what did the Obama administration have to gain by misconstruing the nature of the attack in Benghazi?

    This is their logic, last I checked: Obama wants us all to believe the war with al-Qaeda’s over and won (which is why he talks about killing Bin Laden so much), and if he admitted that Benghazi was terrorism, then that would mean al-Qaeda isn’t defeated and he was wrong/overconfident/lying to us.

    That rationale has probably changed yet again just in the amount of time it took me to write that, but that’s what it was last I looked.

  94. 94
    Chris says:


    They’ve changed tacks over time from hating and fearing the CIA to trying to control it via political appointees and purges. Hoover hated it and wanted it shut down because he thought they moved in on what should rightfully have been his turf. McCarthy (of course) thought it was secretly controlled by communists. Nixon (God knows why) had a paranoid belief that they’d stolen the 1960 election for Kennedy, and had Kissinger keep them on a very tight leash when it was his turn to be president.

    The Reaganites tried a different tack by simply co-opting the CIA (Casey would literally rewrite his own analysts’ conclusions when he disagreed with them until it said what he wanted to hear). Then Bush did a little of both, hanging 9/11 around the CIA’s neck (despite the multiple warnings the agency sent them), then hanging the WMD fiasco around their neck (despite the fact that they had in effect just reported what Bush had ordered them to report, in contradiction with their analysts in the field), using the crises to kick out Tenet (a Clinton holdover) and replace him with Porter Goss, who continued the political purge of the CIA.

    It’s been a heck of a relationship. In a nutshell, wingnuts aren’t wrong when they say that the CIA is hampered by interference from politically appointed imbeciles – they just neglect to mention that those imbeciles are usually wingnuts.

  95. 95
    marian says:

    @aimai: Since you brought him up…I didn’t want to want to tangle with a troll who thought combat duty gave him the expertise to opine on matters of embassy security in countries which we do not occupy.

    I am a State Department brat and every single country we lived in had a revolution while we were there. I had a personal body guard for a year when I was 12 who escorted me whenever I left the house. Our house was guarded by soldiers of the host country and we had a Marine in the house for a year.I don’t claim to argue from authority but a couple of points that I observed:

    1. There is no such thing as ‘adequate security’ provided by the US government for Foreign Service Officers abroad. The entire State Department budget is smaller than the budget for military bands and Republicans cut the State Department request for more funds for security. The security for diplomats is provided by the host government and it’s rarely adequate against a determined attack. The poor Marine in our living room couldn’t have done much and the local soldiers fled when there was trouble. The Marine guards are largely decorative and were never intended to be a serious security force. Countries do not accept a substantial foreign military presence in their capitals. McCain knows this.

    2. Diplomacy is a damned dangerous business (see #1 above) that’s why more Ambassadors have died in the line of duty than generals. They have been blown up, taken hostage, shot, tortured to death in a cellar in Khartoum. Check out the list in the State Department lobby. People who join the Foreign Service know this when they sign up and accept the risk. All they can do is be careful in trying to do their job. It’s getting harder and harder since my day. It would be interesting to know, if we ever do, what took the Ambassador to Benghazi under those conditions. I’m sure there were good reasons. But they would have little to do with President Obama or probably Secretary Clinton who has other responsibilities than monitoring the movements of officials thousands of miles away.

    3. It turns my stomach to see the Republicans posing as defenders of our diplomats abroad. As a party they have done everything possible to undermine their effectiveness, from Joe McCarthy’s witch hunts to the present. They refuse to fund diplomacy, refuse as we have seen to protect their diplomats, refuse to listen to their advice and now have the gall to climb on the bodies of 4 brave men to pose as their avengers.

    sorry to take up so much space, but had to get it off my chest.

  96. 96
    Chris says:


    As a fellow State Department brat, thank you. I’ve never lived in the kind of situation you’re talking about, but my parent sure has and would concur with you on all points.

    (I would add that attempts to beef up security generally piss off the diplomats as much as the locals, in my experience. Sure getting outside the Green Zone is dangerous. It’s also the job. And all of them know it when they sign up for it).

  97. 97
    marian says:

    @Chris: There’s nothing to thank me for, seriously (unless you meant for making the point). I had a ball. Children have little sense of danger and my parents (like yours) were pretty cool customers who didn’t let us get too excited. I was devastated that we were never evacuated…I was longing for that :)

    I agree about the burden of security, it does interfere with the job. I’ve been wondering if the traditional model really works any more in some parts of the world.

  98. 98
    Chris says:


    Yeah, that’s what I meant – thanks for making the point. I’ve made similar ones a couple of times. But a lot of people seem sincerely bewildered that diplomacy can’t be made 100% secure.

  99. 99
    aimai says:


    Thanks for posting that, marian. Very informative. I remember seeing the sign “Marine Guard On Duty” in Stockholm and just wondering what that was about. It was one guy, standing at parade rest, staring into space. What was he supposed to do if there were a sudden attack of berserk swedes?


  100. 100
    JoyfulA says:

    @kindness: Everybody in South Carolina knows about Graham’s supposed preferences. They don’t mind as long as he doesn’t announce it publicly.

    He mostly needs to run right so Jim DeMint doesn’t decide to back a teabagger against him.

  101. 101
    Patty K says:

    You’re right on all counts. Four Americans are killed in the Middle East. Not exactly earth-shattering news. Most Americans care zip about Benghazi.

  102. 102
    marian says:

    There’s a thought! Swedes with their dander up!

    I don’t mean to run down the Marine guards. I watched a couple of them on top of the consulate,in fatigues and visibly armed, which cooled the ardor of an unruly crowd that was thinking about storming the building. But they would have been helpless against determined attackers armed with RPG’s, as you say. The theory is a diplomatic mission is a guest in the host country, not an occupying force.

  103. 103
    El Cid says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how the existence of some protest outside an American embassy (and it would of course be the first time that had ever happened in any Middle Eastern country, ever, ever) would have prevented the incident from being a militia / terrorist attack.

    If there was a protest, then, it could not be a terrorist attack?

    Or, if there was no protest, it must be a terrorist attack, because we would have to know about the protest bit because without that info we wouldn’t know what a coordinated attack with rocket grenades etc. would suggest?

    Or, it would look better for the administration if there was a protest, because Americans would not think that security or logistics decisions were questionable if American personnel were attacked by heavily armed groups during / after a protest whereas we would get really mad about it if this had happened without a protest?

    Or maybe people imagine that instead of being a city this all took place on some vast desert or plain area, in which if it was a protest there would be a bunch of people and you wouldn’t know who to blow up, but if there was no protest it’d be a couple of dudes in dark clothing & headwrapping silhouetted against the empty sand with their rocket launcher and we could easily blow them up?

    I’m trying to figure out how the facts of what happened change for me, the ordinary citizen, if there was or was not a protest.

    How does the existence or non-existence of a protest change much of anything about this?

    If there had been a protest, Republicans would be less angry with Obama?


  104. 104
    marian says:

    @aimai: Oops! #102 was supposed to be a reply to you.

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