Well, many have likely heard that the Senate Intelligence Committee report is out with regard to the tragic attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/2012. It is sad reading anyway you look at it. The President didn’t perform as he should have have, and GOP look like idiots for not holding him accountable. Is that because the GOP are squishes? No, it’s because they’re so out of touch they couldn’t effectively use what was a failure of this administration against them.
It seemed to me as soon as this became an issue that the issue was: Did the administration use proper foresight and planning to protect its people? How they spun the issue after the fact seemed beside the point; I think that’s what Hillary meant when she said: “What does it matter?” I never doubted that once the attack was underway the administration did what it could to right the situation, but it was tragically to late.
That said the GOP seemed to attack this issue based on criticism that was beside the point or implausible to anyone not blinded by rage and hatred directed at President Obama. The most criticism was directed at the so called talking points: Did they show the administration tried to put a happy face on this tragedy – beside the point! The President didn’t use available forces to stop the attack – makes Obama such a monster few would believe it. In the end Benghazi never got beyond an issue your angry old father or uncle might go on about, and President Obama glided to re-election.
So the GOP are villains attacking the President? No they’re incompetent as an opposition. The Senate report seems to show on the real issue with respect to Benghazi the President need to be called to account. How else can you respond to:
“The State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly”.
“There were “tripwires” designed to prompt a reduction in
personnel or the suspension of operations at the Mission facility in Benghazi
and although there is evidence that some of them had been crossed, operations
continued with minimal change. Some nations closed their diplomatic
facilities in Benghazi as the security conditions deteriorated during the
summer of 2012, but other nations stayed along with the United States,
contrary to some public reports and statements that the U.S. was the last
country represented in Benghazi.”
With regard to the real issue about Benghazi the administration failed. Such failures have happened before and will again, but we must strive to learn and improve all the same.
At the same time the report confirms what were side issues or diversions were just that. There was no means to save the Benghazi mission that was spared out of shear malice:
“There were no U.S. military resources in position to intervene
in short order in Benghazi to help defend the Temporary Mission Facility and
its Annex on September 11 and 12, 2012.” and “Unarmed U.S. military surveillance assets were not delayed when responding to the attack, and they provided important situational awareness for those under siege during the attacks against the Temporary Mission Facility and the Annex on September 11 and 12,2012.”
Furthermore, it appears to me the administration did attempt spin the issue by either ignoring it or spinning it:
“The DNI’s Office of Analytic Integrity and Standards (AIS)
failed to provide complete and accurate information to Congress during its
review of the Benghazi attacks. The Committee found AIS’s methodology in
assembling documents to be flawed. Despite repeated requests from the
Committee, AIS also refused to provide complete, accurate, and thoroughly
cited information to Congress.”
But even once you know this – is anyone shocked by it really? Yet, the GOP made that a major issue against Obama, or it tried to.
So there were real issues about Benghazi that could have figured in the 2012 race, but didn’t . There were stupid and pointless issues that shouldn’t have figured in the 2012 race, but did. Why is that?
It’s because we have an ineffective and perhaps above all totally insular opposition. They used issues with regard to President that most people saw as nothing more than insanely partisan or beside the point. In the end Benghazi exacted little or no political price because of that. The way Benghazi was used arose for the fact that attacks that demonized President Obama are what Republicans wanted to hear, and did. In the end though this covered up the real issue that should have been discussed and alienated median voters.
Benghazi and its political aftermath, or the lack of it have starkly illustrated some things. The GOP has become more and more extreme in views and mostly listens only to itself. It can’t or won’t engage with the electorate. Finally it can’t hold the party in power to account. The Democrats learned the cost of this path; when will the Republicans?