A couple of brief but worthwhile articles by Steve Benen at MSNBC highlight the dizzying heights of lunacy to which the cult of Obama hatred has ascended. One is about the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, the suspected terrorist mastermind behind the attack in Benghazi in 2012. Remember Benghazi? It’s one of the many “scandals” that the Obama Haters hoped would spell the end of the guy in “their” White House. Terrorists attacked an American consulate in the Libyan city and killed 4 Americans, so somehow President Obama must have been to blame for something or other, right?
But now that the Obama administration has bagged the suspected mastermind of the assault, they’re all ready to give the president credit for at least trying to compensate for his (as yet unidentified) misdeeds, right? Well, about the best they can come up with (Courtesy of fairandbalanced Fox) is that the capture of Khattala is “good news, I guess”. The rest of the radical wingers have kept piling onto their already massive heap of hatred, hyperventilation and hilarity, ever striving to come up with fresh and inventive ways to embarrass and humiliate themselves.
Benen’s piece lists a “top ten” of right-wing talking points on this development, including the claim that the whole thing is a publicity stunt to promote Hillary Clinton’s book tour. And an especially amusing twist is that, after frequently alleging that anything and everything the president does is a “distraction from Benghazi”, they’re now saying that his focus on Benghazi is a distraction from the (other) phony IRS “scandal”. You have to wonder at this point if there’s a limit to how far they’re willing to go, or if they’ll continue to “reach the bottom of the barrel, (then) drill deeper.”
That phrase comes from another piece Benen wrote about Obama’s critics (and I use the term as an overwhelming understatement) on Iraq — quite often including many individuals who not only have been themselves tragically and catastrophically wrong about Iraq in the past but, in at least one case, was among those responsible for creating the Iraqi nightmare that Obama is now trying to clean up. That would be one Richard Bruce Cheney, who for some reason is still not behind bars, and was, according to the Supreme Court at least, vice president for 8 years.
It’s a sort of unwritten rule of civility among members of former administrations that they don’t badmouth current administrations. For one thing, it generally just makes the former appear petty and puerile. But Dick Cheney, as always, is the epitome of class, as witness his suggestion on the Senate floor that a colleague “fuck yourself”. Accordingly, he has made disparaging comments about the current president not just once but numerous times. That’s particularly galling from someone whose own ascension to his office was, to put it charitably, highly questionable.
And now he and his daughter Liz (who, one gathers, is another foreign policy expert of equal caliber) have co-written a diatribe in the Wall Street Journal about the Iraq quagmire which opines that
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.
But ironically enough, it’s not a confession about the administration he served. It’s another sleazy attack on the current administration. In Benen’s words:
Yes, the failed former vice president, a man whose catastrophic failures and misjudgments are the stuff of legend, has decided the president cleaning up Cheney’s messes has been wrong about everything – according to the man who was wrong about everything.
Just how much credibility has Mr. Cheney earned on Iraq? About as much as George W. Bush on the English language. Or Sarah Palin on American history. Or Bill Clinton on marital fidelity. Or Alex Jones on mental health. Not just because of his incompetence, which lord knows is considerable, but also because of his dishonesty, which he’s served up in equal doses. He and other members of his administration repeatedly lied and pushed fraudulent evidence to make a case for the invasion of Iraq.
My favorite instance of Cheney chutzpah was when he appeared on Meet The Press in 2002 and solemnly declared:
There’s a story in the New York Times this morning — this is — I don’t — and I want to attribute the Times,” said Cheney. “I don’t want to talk about, obviously, specific intelligence sources, but it’s now public that, in fact, he has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge.
Was he possibly referring to the “ultra-liberal” New York Times, the kingpin of the librulmedia cartel that controls what we see and hear, and is never to be trusted? Well, it turns out a little skepticism would have been in order, because the article by Judith Miller turned out to have been based on phony intel — supplied by the administration itself. That’s right: the Cheney administration first supplied fraudulent information to a journalist, then cited that journalist’s obedient parroting of that phony information as justification for its plans to invade Iraq. Classier and classier. Somehow, this guy reminds me of the anecdote about the kid who killed his parents and then implored the court for leniency on the grounds that he was an orphan.
This man’s colossal blunders and duplicity have cost thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of lives, and trillions of dollars — but coincidentally have made a tidy profit for Halliburton. And he expects people to lend him an ear as he savages the current president. Don’t look now, but the media are doing just that.
At the conclusion of his essay about the Cheneys, Steve Benen asks, “Is the nation comfortable with a degree of political madness this severe?” The answer, alas, appears to be yes.