The Fair-Weather Patriotism of the Benghazi-Gate Conspiracy Theorists

My Tuesday column covers the disparity between the Republican reaction to September 11, 2001 and September 11, 2012, and the growing conspiracy theories surrounding Benghazi.

When terrorists hit the consulate in Benghazi, Romney and the Republicans couldn’t muster the decency or discipline to wait until the disaster was over before they politicized it by attacking the president, even while the fires at the consulate were still burning. Imagine if the Democrats had reacted the same way during 9/11. They would’ve been tarred and feathered and driven out of Washington on a rail. Yet the Republicans did it with impunity. I remember quite distinctly how Bill Maher, on his ABC series Politically Incorrect, dared to agree with conservative fire-eater Dinesh D'Souza that the 9/11 terrorists weren't "cowardly." Maher was forced to publicly apologize; he was scolded by White House press secretary Ari Fleischer; and was fired from his show, all for one lone remark in agreement with D'Souza who's a conservative hero.

This says a lot about how Republicans too often comport themselves in the wake of a disaster -- these self-proclaimed “patriots” are merely fair-weather patriots, only willing to lend their unified support when the president is from their own party. As such, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Republicans, given the chance during a would-be second Obama term, tried to impeach the president for the Benghazi attack.

Actually, I'd love to see a study performed to determine the number of times Republican leaders condemned the terrorists who fired rockets at the Benghazi consulate versus the number of times Republican leaders condemned the president's response. I'd wager Mitt Romney has spent more time on the latter. [continued]

Continue reading here.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Please. Don’t give Darrell Issa any more ideas.

  • muselet

    The 9-11 Truthers were rightly dismissed as cranks and fools, and our glorious news media rightly refused to take their claims seriously.

    Yet the cranks and fools now pushing “Benghazigate” (can we all agree right here and now to stop naming every faux scandal by appending “-gate” to nouns?) get to peddle their unbelievable conspiracy theories on every Sunday yak show while the shows’ hosts nod along like bobbleheads. And the major newspapers have wasted entire trees on long, meandering analyses of the conspiracy theorists’ claims.

    It’s quite depressing.


  • IrishGrrrl

    the commander who was on the ground in that area, General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation

    The President can’t win in their eyes. If he (and Panetta) had ignored the advice of the commanders on the ground they would have dinged him for that. And since he accepted their advice, they’re dinging him for that. These accusations are just an excuse.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if the Republicans, given the chance during a would-be second Obama term, tried to impeach the president for the Benghazi attack

    Neither would I. Indeed they will find it a very useful tool for slowing the President down in regards to his second term agenda. Just like they used it to take the wind out of Clinton’s sails in his second term. I wonder how many Dem presidents will get impeached before the American public realize that the right is using Impeachment as an every day political tool like the filibuster, cloture, adding amendments, etc. They’ve been waiting for an incident that they could use against him and the Benghazi fits into their narrative (regardless of the facts) because it involves Muslims. In a way using the Benghazi situation in this way, the conservatives are making it into a very complicated Dog Whistle. I sure hope they’re just whistling into the wind but I suspect not.

    • GrafZeppelin127

      If Obama wins, Republicans in Congress will begin putting together their impeachment complaint at 12:01 a.m. on November 7. Assuming they haven’t started already.

      That Obama will be impeached in a second term is a given, a foregone conclusion. The only questions are when, for what, whether the GOP will have enough votes in the Senate to convict, and whether they will also impeach Biden at the same time so that Boehner can become President.

      • IrishGrrrl


        The Orange Man as President….good Lord man, are you trying to give me a heart attack?!

      • D_C_Wilson

        The only thing that will stop the impeachment would be if the GOP loses the House.

        Every if they keep the House, it’s doubtful they’ll have the 2/3 majority in the Senate necessary for removal from office. But that won’t stop the republicans, because if nothing else, impeachment will weaken Obama political and bring anything else he tries to do to a screeching halt.

        • bphoon

          …it’s doubtful they’ll have the 2/3 majority in the Senate necessary for removal from office.

          It certainly didn’t phase them in ’98. Everyone and their brother knew they didn’t have enough votes in the Senate to convict even before the articles of impeachment came to the House floor. But they went ahead and dragged the country through the entire kabuki dance anyway. All to stymie President Clinton’s agenda and score a few political points. Don’t forget, too, that it impacted Gore’s 2000 campaign since he couldn’t then put Clinton on the stump. Couldn’t even benefit from his endorsement.

          The day the House passed the articles of impeachment, I drove to my local Democratic Party office and changed my voter registration from Independent to Democrat.

          • D_C_Wilson

            Of course. Clinton’s impeachment was never about actually removing hi from office. It was about damaging his ability to govern and the democratic “brand” for the 2000 election.

            This is why retaking the House is nearly as important for Obama as re-election. If the GOP is still in control next year, it’s only a question of when, not if, they vote on articles of impeachment.

      • muselet

        I’d wager there have been draft articles of impeachment circulating at least since the 2010 election, and possibly since the ’08 election. As for impeaching Joe Biden, four years ago I’d have said that was unlikely—the Rs wouldn’t overreach that much—but now …? Eric Cantor is probably salivating at the prospect.


        • GrafZeppelin127

          You’re probably right; I imagine the Heritage Foundation, AEI, Cato and other think tanks have been working on them since the moment Obama won the election, if not sooner. They probably have standard templates for whenever a Democrat is president. I’d say the over/under on when the House starts talking about impeachment is September 2013. That’s enough time for the House to deliver the impeachment while Fox convinces the public that the POTUS (and possibly the VPOTUS) is guilty, but not too soon to delay the trial until after a Republican Senate is elected in 2014 to convict in 2015.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    There’s no question in my mind that Republicans and their fans are very much “fair-weather patriots.” The gross cynicism of the last four years (viz., pretending to be outraged by things they were fine with in 2005, and being fine with things they pretended to be outraged by in 2005) is proof enough. I’m surprised we don’t see more of this:

    Republicans used to say it was unpatriotic to criticize the commander-in-chief when troops were in harm’s way — that it would endanger the lives of our soldiers and damage morale.

    thrown back in their faces. The fact that “this deeply heart-felt and often repeated declaration of wartime patriotism was entirely abandoned on January 20, 2009″ is indisputable, and in my opinion renders any and all statements by any and all Republicans on any issue of national importance presumptively untrustworthy.

    Can you imagine what Sean Hannity and the rest of the mouth-breathers would be saying if President Obama refused to testify before any investigative body investigating anything unless (1) he was not under oath; (2) no transcript or other record of his testimony be created or kept; and (3) Biden could go with him? It would be a rhetorical bloodbath, and everyone knows it.

    This is but another feature of the most heinous, cynical, ugly, destructive, mendacious, deplorable four-year political strategy in modern history, one which has the GOP on the brink of regaining executive power and either complete or nearly complete control of the federal government a mere four years after they nearly destroyed the country.

    The article made me think of something else: Why does the American public take its cues from Republicans in terms of how one should appropriately behave toward one’s President and government in times of national crisis? The country “rallied around” and lionized President Bush after 9/11 but immediately formed psychotic Tea Parties to demonize President Obama in the wake of the economic crisis. We got behind the reckless, unnecessary, costly (and debt-financed) invasion of Iraq but freaked out over the End of America As We Know It™ in response to the very necessary, moderate Recovery Act and equally necessary, fully-paid-for Affordable Care Act.

    For better or worse, we’ve let Republicans take over and control the narrative of What’s Going On In America™. The unfortunate result is that the entire country is completely full of shit. Or, as George Carlin put it, “Stupid, full of shit, and fuckin’ nuts.”

    • IrishGrrrl

      George Carlin was the only person on the planet who could make me laugh about this stuff. Since he’s been gone, I can only meet the ugliness and stupidity with tears and worry.

  • Beth

    Obama was not responsible at all for the successful military operation that killed Bin Laden. He shouldn’t get any credit at all. It was all the military’s doing.

    Obama is solely responsible for the deaths of the Americans in Benghazi. He should take all the blame. The military had nothing to do with it.

    Do I have that right? Can I have my wingnut membership card now?

    • GrafZeppelin127

      Don’t forget that the military killed Bin Laden on Bush’s orders, of which Obama simply was present for the carrying out.

      • J

        Before President Obama’s press conference was even over, my Facebook feed was being flooded with messages like “Thank you to our military and President Bush for keeping us safe.”

        According to them, if not for the policies and military action taken by Bush & Co., we’d have never found Bin Laden. He baked the cake and we took it out of the oven.

        Now when it comes to the deficit, oh no – Obama baked that sucker all on his own!!!

        Cognitive dissonance all around!

        • bphoon

          According to them, if not for the policies and military action taken by Bush & Co., we’d have never found Bin Laden. He baked the cake and we took it out of the oven.

          And Bush wouldn’t have had the military he had to invade Afghanistan and Iraq if not for the policies of the Clinton Administration. We live in a continuum where the actions and policies of one affect the options of the successor. That’s the way it works in matters military, economic and a myriad of others.

          • Victor_the_Crab

            Well, according to my English to Batshit translator, Bush had to pick up where Clinton left off because he was too busy getting blowjobs from Monica Lewinsky and tarnishing America’s reputation with his trailer trash behavior.

    • IrishGrrrl

      Beth, sorry, but I think you have to be wearing a tin foil hat and drooling when you say those kind of things. Oh, make sure you thrown in something about Soros for good measure.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Needs more crazy and some “yargle-bargle” to boot.

  • ArrogantDemon

    Then they will be seen as vindictive soar losers, and will speed up their eventual implosion as whats left of their moderate supporters leaves them and all they have left is the crazies.