From the WaPo:
“Bottom line, I’m more disturbed now than I was before,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the critics, said after the meeting.
The Republican senators have repeatedly said they are concerned with how Rice explained what caused the Benghazi attack during a series of Sept. 16 appearances on Sunday political talk shows. At the time, Rice said that a spontaneous demonstration led to the violence, a claim later debunked by intelligence officials and reports from the ground.
I could understand them having questions about security arrangements on the ground. And I could understand them expressing disagreement with the U.S. response. But making this all about what Rice said on the talk shows or what the President said in the Rose Garden is just bizarre.
It really speaks to the magical thinking that drives Republican foreign policy views. For them it is all about saying the proper incantation in the right order. As if some saying some combination of the words “terrorism, Islamist, freedom, resolve, and missile defense” somehow fixes everything.
Remember this is nothing new. All through the Bush years, the dominant perspective on the right wasn’t that Bush was screwing things up all over the place. The dominant perspective was that people just didn’t understand what we were up to, and that you know, if we could just explain ourselves, everything would work out great. So, Iraq wasn’t a problem of an idiotic strategy and incoherent goals, but rather of public communication.
The rest of us noted this was a “lipstick on a pig” problem. Well, that’s the GOP response to Benghazi in a nutshell. The situation was a disaster. An ambassador died. There are legitimate issues that serious people might want to address, but instead, the GOP is arguing that the lipstick was the wrong shade of pink.