Wednesday, October 10, 2012


How overconfident are the Republicans right now? So overconfident that they think they can win two presidential elections at once:
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is setting his sights on his biggest political target yet: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton....

While Issa has not directly criticized Clinton, one of his lieutenants -- Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) -- did on Tuesday, arguing the White House and Clinton had been more concerned with normalizing relations with Libya’s new government than with security.

"It seems to be a coordinated effort between the White House and the State Department, from Secretary Clinton to President Obama's White House," Chaffetz said on the Fox News Channel morning show....
Now, it should be noted that
Issa has not called on Clinton to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning meant to investigate security lapses at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Of course not -- Clinton has an approval rating in the mid-60s in the latest polls, while Congress has an approval rating roughly equivalent to Jerry Sandusky's. Nevertheless, the GOP is clearly dropping its phony we-love-the-Clintons act, which was always nothing more than a cudgel to beat Obama with, and is about to give us a four-year rerun of the 1990s, on the assumption that Hillary will run for president next time around. Then again, everything Republicans do is with an eye to winning elections, except when they're shoveling more money at fat cats, so maybe this is just another day at the office for the GOP.


Now, I'm not saying there aren't issues here. It's clear that security could have been better in Benghazi (although irony dies a little every time Democrats are lectured on terrorism preparedness by the party that was in power when 9/11 happened).

But the public seems far less focused on Benghazi than the Beltway is -- and I mean the mainstream media as well as opportunistic Republicans.

I think that's for a simple reason. When Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed, that was the death of someone from the same stratum of society as Beltway insiders. Oh, sure -- UN and aid workers die all the time, but they're, y'know, Norwegian or whatever. Stevens was an American who might have gone to Georgetown cocktail parties.

But people from the same stratum of society as ordinary Americans have been dying the way Stevens died for more than a decade. To the Beltway, the death of Stevens was a shock. To the rest of America, it was more of the same. It was just like the miserable news from any other day since late 2001 -- news that usually people just like neighbors and relatives, if not neighbors and relatives themselves.

Maybe the GOP and the media will make America care about this incident. But to me it makes sense that Americans just heard the news with a shrug of resignation. They've heard it before.

(Via Memeorandum.)


Diane said...

You should have my Facebook friends (right-wing and definitely not beltway-oriented). They are all over the Libya story, and both incompetence and "cover up" are being highlighted. I would not be surprised if this is as much responsible for Romney's rise in the polls as the debate, but no one from "the beltway" seems to realize it.

Steve M. said...

Yeah, you're right -- right-wingers are really focused on it. But they're really focused on anything that makes Obama and Democrats look bad -- Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and so on. So far, I don't see much crossover.

Victor said...

Perhaps before they start pounding their chests, they should think of how to explain the 241 dead American servicemen under Reagan in Lebanon in '83, and W's epic "Whooops! Oh, THAT'S what 'determined' means!" that cost almost 3,000 American lives on 9/11.

People need to realize that a Mitt Presidency means MORE Middle East involvement, NOT LESS!

And that getting into a war in Iran may inflame Pakistan, too, and make our recent adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq seem like Grenada.

You want a Holy War/Oil War?
Vote for Romney and Ryan.

You want green energy improvement, which will lessen the importance of the Middle East to America, then Obama and Biden are your team.

draftmama said...

Since embassy security was drastically cut by the present Congress its pretty hypocritical of that awful Issa to call a hearing to discuss the lack of security. The State Department had repeatedly asked for more funding for security in its overseas operations and was turned down by the very Congress that now has the audacity to accuse the State Department of not protecting its employees. Disgusting, but you don't see much about that in the MSM>

markg8 said...

It’s the Republicans own budget cuts that are directly responsible for the tragedy in the first place. Let’s make that clear, thanks to Republicans the State Dept lost $371 million dollars for Embassy Security in 2011 and 2012 and if the GOP has their way under Ryan’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security. Darrell Issa it’s time for you to sit down and shut up.