Jay Bookman’s post yesterday at the AJC dismissed me -and hundreds of thousands of other Americans- as imbeciles and hysterics eager to be led by right-wing media puppet masters like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and everybody at Fox News, and frankly, I resent it.
In Bookman’s world, Americans are supposed to sit idly by and while their Ambassadors are murdered, and are not allowed to ask “Couldn’t we have sent in some kind of rescue?” No, in Bookman’s world, the “…wave of mass hysteria about the decision by the Obama administration not to attempt a military rescue of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya” has been “ginned up” by Glenn Beck’s latest crazy theory.You might think there are other questions that need to be answered, but shut up, and behold, The Bookman! “If you Google the words “Benghazi” and “traitor,” you get some 518,000 hits, almost all of which cast President Obama as [a] traitor.” Of course you do. You know what you get when you Google “flat” and “earth?” About 59 million hits. How about “global” and “warming?” 366 million hits. Bookman’s conspiracy theory is chump change compared to the coverups about flat earth and global warming, but whether that makes it more believable or less believable, I can’t say. (Aside: You counted Google hits, Bookman? Really?)
Bookman also claims that since Mitt Romney hasn’t mentioned Benghazi since October 12th, Romney must either be “in on the conspiracy” or has been told that a rescue would have been impossible and Romney would “embarrass himself” by suggesting such folly. I have another theory: Foreign policy is the turf of any incumbent President, as Bookman and other knee-jerks and liberals are ever eager to remind him. The press likes to pounce on everything Mitt Romney says and then dissect timelines to make sure people know EXACTLY what the gaffe of the week was, and WHEN Romney apologized for it. Romney has learned that lesson twice now, once from Bookman himself in his own post on September 13, and more recently when Candy Crowley defended Obama during the foreign policy debate:
Wait, that’s not the foreign policy debate, that’s Candy Crowley saying Romney was basically right! And what’s that about a tape? Did the current administration get the Benghazi story wrong for two weeks, blame the attack on our embassy on some stupid videotape and arrest the guy who supposedly made it, or lie about it along basically the same lines? Wait, maybe Candy Crowley been co-opted by the same seething hive of insanity that animates conservatives! It’s epistemic closure on steroids! Somebody Google something! Eeeeek!
If only there was some organization, or maybe a bunch of organizations, who made it their mission to get to the bottom of these questions! Their job would be to provide the American people with facts, and they would be unafraid to ask incumbent Presidents things that incumbent Presidents don’t want to talk about it. Those groups could form a trusted and respected American institution. They could send the answers to these kinds of questions out over the airwaves, on television or the radio, or in paper formats on a daily or weekly basis. Such an institution would deserve protection in the Constitution. They could even be almost considered a “check” against governmental power, that would “balance” governmental overreach or deception. Some people might even consider these organization a “Fourth Estate.” Challengers to incumbent Presidents wouldn’t have to be the ones to raise issues about the competence of incumbent Presidents if those organizations did their jobs carefully and well. The organizations could report the answers to questions about tragic debacles like Benghazi, so people wouldn’t work themselves into “hysterical frenzies” due to a lack of facts.
Wouldn’t that be great, Mr. Bookman?