Who are the kings and masters of U.S. politics? Who lowered taxes and tore down trade barriers? Who led the nation to a new morning of 1980s prosperity and sunshine after the downward spiral of Carterist malaise? Who stood idly by as crack cocaine and gang violence razed American cities to the ground?
Who are the kings and masters of U.S. politics?
Who lowered taxes and tore down trade barriers? Who led the nation to a new morning of 1980s prosperity and sunshine after the downward spiral of Carterist malaise? Who stood idly by as crack cocaine and gang violence razed American cities to the ground?
Who have obstinately stymied a once-inspirational president’s popular initiatives to pump needed cash into an ailing economy, provide affordable health care to the masses and keep tabs on firearm purchases?
Who deregulated the banks? Who bailed out the billionaires? Who successively launched two highly unsuccessful land wars in Asia?
The Republicans, that’s who.
Let me tell you why: The red-state set is the best at everything. In their liver-spotted hands and Friedrich Hayek-addled heads, the Republicans have the market-based solutions to each and every one of our economic problems. And their schoolyard bully brand of foreign policy rhetoric thrusts our nation’s enemies into the trouser-soiling depths of existential terror. The GOP meets every confounding dilemma in our Age of Uncertainty with the crisp clarity of self-assured moral righteousness.
The recent hearings on last September’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, stand as a prime example of congressional Republicans’ infinite capacity to find fault with—and rectify—Obamian political deviancy. Responding to recent revelations that United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice’s initial talking points on the attack had been changed at the last minute, Republican lawmakers charged the Obama administration and former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton with covering up the circumstances of what later turned out to be a coordinated terrorist assault.
Some also questioned the former secretary’s competence. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was particularly vehement in his remarks, calling her “absolutely responsible” for the security failure and questioning her competence to hold future public office.
“She was in charge of the State Department,” Paul said. “She was asked repeatedly for increased security for Benghazi. Some of the media have been reporting that because she didn’t read [the diplomatic cables] she’s protected—she wasn’t responsible because she didn’t read them? I fault her absolutely for not reading the cables.”
If only a foreign policy professional the caliber of Rand Paul—a first-term senator with exactly two years of experience working in Washington—were running the show!
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: The attack was by all accounts a massive fuck-up by everyone involved.
Four Americans died, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens. The official responses of the Obama administration and the State Department were muddled and incoherent, and in a press appearance Rice appeared to attribute the attack to a spontaneous demonstration against a cheaply produced anti-Islamic video called The Innocence of Muslims.
All PR garbage. The American facility, initially referred to as a “U.S. consulate,” was in fact a CIA operation acting under the guise of the State Department, and the majority of those in the compound at the time of the attack were CIA employees.
At the time, the intelligence agency was charged with tracking down surface-to-air missiles left over in the wake of the Libyan uprising against former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. And the attack, far from being a spontaneous expression of anger, was in fact a well-coordinated assault by Islamist militia groups.
The most likely explanation for the administration’s muddled, misleading public statements on the Benghazi affair is that the State Department and the CIA—which, according to information I’ve gleaned from Seth MacFarlane’s animated sitcom American Dad!, is a sinister and shadowy organization that is never keen to air its dirty laundry—were engaged in some bureaucratic back-room bickering that led each to omit all sorts of relevant details.
Surely if a strong, sure-handed and decisive Republican leader the likes of former President George W. Bush were on the scene, he’d quickly tidy up this fiasco and cram some Hellfire missiles down the perpetrators’ throats. Never mind that the nearest American troops were miles away from the scene of the Benghazi attack. The GOP has God on its side, and with Bush’s direct, red-phone line to the Lord, divine lightning bolt justice would surely be done!
As the Republicans never fail to remind us, the Obama presidency has been fraught with a series of foreign policy failures: Iran continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions, North Korea is on the warpath, Afghanistan is nowhere near peace and Syria has descended into a bloodbath of internecine violence. The only solution is to inject the fresh elixir of GOP expertise into the moribund corpse of the American state.
It certainly worked in Iraq.