Monday, May 13, 2013

"Please proceed, Republicans"

In case you haven't noticed, I'm not writing about Benghazi or the IRS.

At some point, perhaps I will. You never know. But right now it seems to me that we're all in hysteria mode...inflammatory charges followed by defensive reactions. I suspect the scandal-mongers are eating all that up.

Last week Steve Benen pretty much broke it down in referencing the Benghazi half of this hysteria.
I suppose, to this extent, it's become the latest in a series of political Rorschach test -- has Fox News convinced you that Barack Obama is an inhuman madman? If yes, then it stands to reason Benghazi is the most important story in the world. If no, this story is about a tragic attack that left four Americans dead, but it's about little else.
Another point about these stories to keep in mind is that President Obama is essentially the CEO of the federal government which employs approximately 4.3 million people. As any other CEO, he is accountable for what they do.

The worst that can be said in terms of what we know about these situations so far is that some of his employees have probably done some stupid things. It is his job to hold them accountable.

But other than that, I agree with BooMan.
They won't try to impeach the president over anything that is in the news right now. They will talk about it, but they won't do it.

The thing is, if they ever find something (no matter how flimsy) that really reflects quite badly on the president, they will impeach him for it. They won't care if only fifteen percent of the public agrees with them. They won't care if the offense is the farthest thing imaginable from a high crime.
What Republicans need out of this hysteria is something that will stick to President Obama. So far they have nothing but wild accusations.

I suspect that any African American who has had success in this country will be able to relate to what is happening to the President right now. Every single move he makes is scrutinized and if he ever shows his humanity by making a mistake, he is likely to face impeachment.

We should all think about that and let it sink in. I'm sure the President is very aware of that fact. He is cautious by nature and that is probably one of the reasons he was able to become our first African American president.

But in this context, caution is called for. He's carrying a lot on his shoulders...more than is possible for me to even imagine. What he needs from us now is to keeps our heads together, focus on the long game, and remember that "no drama Obama" has always been the winning ticket.

Let the Republicans be the party of hysteria. That's what a beast in its death throes does. And to paraphrase what the President said to Mitt Romney..."Please proceed, Republicans."


  1. At some level, they're doing this simply because this is what they do. They do it because it works with their audience. I know I've said this over and over, but if the GOP wants to win national elections it will have to not only change its rhetorical line, but the actual way it operates. However, if the GOP changes the way it operates, they lose a greater number of voters than they gain, in the short or even medium term. So, despite clear evidence in 2012, we see the GOP intensify its appeal to precisely the constituency that drives other constituencies away. Cruz really is what the party is about.

    And for the politicians who stoke this stuff, the benefits are at the same time very tangible and totally fleeting. Michelle Bachman is the example. Her star rose, and now has fallen. That said, if at one point she might have commanded five if not six figure speakers' fees, she looks at a future where she commands four. While this might produce some real resentment in her, any of us who work for a living would still think that's pretty good pay for a day's work. There is a right-wing--I know you know this--industry of sorts that can provide for those who can stomach it a lot of money, if with diminishing returns, over decades.

    The point of the GOP is not to govern. It feeds Fox, Fox feeds it, and everyone involved makes more money than they ought to. THAT is the point of the GOP, and it's the only interpretation I know of that fits the facts.

  2. I think it's clear now what the Republican strategy has been on this:

    1. Throw as many accusations at the wall as you can, no matter how ridiculous.

    2. Statistically, at least a couple of them might have enough stickiness that they might justify serious mainstream media coverage.

    3. The media will ignore the hundreds of insane accusations once one at least semi-serious accusation arises.

    4. Use the plethora of accusations (again, most of which were ridiculous), to push a "scandal plagued administration" narrative once at least one accusation actually demonstrates the necessary stickiness.