Wednesday, January 30, 2013

‘Stupid’ Republicans

Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s Republican governor, bluntly called his party the "stupid party." He also said that, "The Republican Party does not need to change our principles…but we might need to change just about everything else we do."

This stupidity was recently on display when House Republicans and especially grandstanding Senate Republicans melodramatically grilled the now wildly popular Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about "what she knew and when she knew it" about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Any viewer of the televised hearings would have thought that Republican members of Congress were talking about an administration transgression of Watergate-style proportions. It’s a travesty that the real tragedy of the killing of four Americans associated with the American consulate by heavily armed Islamists has become so politicized.

Hillary Clinton skillfully made monkeys out of the Republican congressional attempt to make a mountain out of a molehill – or perhaps in this case, a sandstorm out of sand dune – by noting that President Barack Obama had said right from the start that the attack was a terrorist attack and asking this obvious question: with four Americans dead, who cares if those militants took advantage of a protest (later determined to be inaccurate) or just decided they wanted to kill Americans? Even the worst case – that the Obama administration had been fibbing a bit to avoiding undermining its election storyline that Obama’s first term had been one of vanquishing Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda – is a yawner after the mountain of lies the George W. Bush administration told about Saddam Hussein’s involvement with al Qaeda and 9/11 and Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. These lies were told to involve the United States in an unnecessary and costly war – in both blood and treasure – that lasted almost a decade and was counterproductive in generating more terrorism.

The more important issue, remedying the obvious gaps in U.S. diplomatic security, seeped its way into the hearing but was, of course, eclipsed by Republicans beating a dead horse (or shall we say camel) about the Obama administration’s initially erroneous version of how the Benghazi attack went down. Even more crucial, the Republicans were too busy grandstanding – and war boostering – to legitimately attack Clinton about the chaos in Libya that resulted in the consular attack being caused by the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, which the administration played a crucial role in facilitating.

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