Let me start with the fact that the preventable death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 was a tragedy. I mean, four people die because of gun violence in America every hour. In some countries, the preventable deaths of any four people gets Flight-370-like coverage. But yes, four deaths in one of our embassies in the North Sahara are tragic and terrible.
That’s not what I want to discuss, though. I’m more interested in the press coverage about this story and the Obama administration’s reaction to it. My statement today comes down to this: bring on more Benghazi stories. I’m serious. I want hundreds more. Tomorrow if not sooner. Yes, I really mean this. Let me take just a half a jiff to explain why.
The way I see it, Benghazi stories hurt two groups of people. 1) Democrats. 2) Republicans. Bring on more stories!
Let’s start with Democrats. Should there have been more security in Benghazi? Eh, probably. Should administration officials have been more forthcoming in the days following the attack? Let’s say I think “sure.” Does that rise to the level of criminal activity? I doubt it, but we all know that’s hardly the point. The liberal press says that the point is to keep throwing mud at Obama and by extension Hillary Clinton, hoping that something sticks. The conservative press says the liberal press has been ignoring the extent of the Benghazi story for almost two years now.
Actually, the liberal press misread and obscured another, more consequential story that occurred during that same late summer of ’12. They cackled with laughter when the speakers at the Republican convention seemed to be promoting themselves – like Chris Christie and Marco Rubio and Rand Paul – and almost uninterested in Mitt Romney. They ignored the obvious corollary: that the Democrats’ convention didn’t have a lot of 2016-campaigning speakers because that party doesn’t have a Rubio-Paul-like bench waiting in the wings. If Hillary stumbles for whatever reason, who’s next? Elizabeth Warren? Doesn’t want it, probably too liberal for the general election. Cory Booker? A little early.
When the Democrats paint themselves as the party of diversity, don’t they paint themselves into a corner? After all of their rhetoric of the last few years, can they really run a white guy in 2016? Who, John Hickenlooper? I mean, heck, maybe the party is full of geniuses and they’re currently grooming an Asian woman to take over after the 2017-2024 Clinton and 2025-2032 Richardson presidencies. (Richardson was the Latino governor of New Mexico.) Just saying…that’s a lot of eggs in the Clinton basket. I mean, what’s their slogan for 2016, we’ll work with the Republicans just a little bit better? Wow, inspiring.
Meanwhile, I’m not sure Fox News knows how transparently partisan they’re being when they talk about a story – say, Ukraine – as “a convenient distraction from Benghazi.” When they come out against climate change or welfare subsidies, that can at least be seen as defending conservative principles. But this story? If it had happened under a Republican administration? To call it “naked partisanship” is an insult to naked parts at my grandpa’s sauna. And where goes Fox, so go elected Republicans.
To put it another way: has any administration in anyone’s memory failed to have something at least as impeachable as Benghazi? I have read recent articles in Politico and the Wall Street Journal about the GOP getting ready to impeach Obama over Benghazi, but no one seems ready to look two moves ahead: whether or not Obama is pushed out of office, the GOP becomes the Party of Impeachment, period, end of story. 42 and 44? Basically, the GOP will impeach any Democrat America elects President? Is this Ted Cruz’s plan, either to proudly make the GOP the Party of Extreme Measures, or just to make moderate Americans reluctant to vote for any new Democrat knowing that they’ll be voting for years of useless impeachment proceedings? (Hm, maybe he’s thinking three moves ahead.)
Nah, I don’t believe that. It’s almost as preposterous as the possibility that Dems, who seemed so feckless and cowardly in choosing not to charge Bush with high crimes over things like torture and warrantless wiretapping – upon becoming House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi said impeachment “is off the table” – were actually the ones thinking four moves ahead. Knowing the base-coddling Republicans must rally their base with “hang em high, hang em high,” you just give them enough rope, and they’ll have to unveil a noose or two from time to time? Hard for me to believe Pelosi knows that much jujitsu.
If Pelosi really had a handle on this, she wouldn’t be playing Wargames – namely mutually assured destruction without nukes. Post-Benghazi, both parties main platform is: “Hey, we’re not those guys.” That’s why I love it. In the four months since I began using this space to advocate for non-partisan populism, I’ve been hearing (not publicly) from more and more people and sources…the possibility of a third party insurgence is very, very real. Percentages of people declaring allegiance to one of the two major parties is at an all-time low. I know, I know, people always say this time it’s different. And then it isn’t. But…in terms of brands, every day of Benghazi news makes Facebook (Dems) and Twitter (GOP) look like Friendster and MySpace.
You see, majorities of Americans very broadly agree on broad common-sense solutions, but these can’t be implemented because of partisan squabbling. Take foreign policy, which is the ostensible subject of this post. The Republicans may never again agree to anything the U.N. or NATO has approved. The Democrats are cutting down the military. This is how a great nation stops being a superpower: one side takes away the soldiers, the other side takes away the paper that authorizes the soldiers. Way to go, idiots. A party that listens to 51%+ of Americans will honor and extend our U.N. and NATO obligations while ending military cuts and instead putting our military to work re-building our bridges and infrastructure. Geez, people, do us populists have to do everything?
So yeah, Repubs, Dems, keep fighting over Benghazi. I feel like the LAPD in the 80s watching the Bloods fight the Crips. If one side starts winning, I’ll surreptitiously help the losing side just a little bit. I quote The Godfather: “They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls.”