Friday, November 16, 2012

What the Republican obsession with Benghazi is all about

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The American Prospect's Paul Waldman may be onto something -- scandal envy:

Republicans are indescribably frustrated by the fact that Barack Obama, whom they regard as both illegitimate and corrupt, went through an entire term without a major scandal. They tried with "Fast and Furious," but that turned out to be small potatoes. They tried with Solyndra, but that didn't produce the criminality they hoped for either. Obama even managed to dole out three-quarters of a trillion dollars in stimulus money without any graft or double-dealing to be found. Nixon had Watergate, Reagan had Iran-Contra, Clinton had Lewinsky, and Barack Obama has gotten off scott-free. This is making them absolutely livid, and they're going to keep trying to gin up a scandal, even if there's no there there. Benghazi may not be an actual scandal, but it's all they have handy.

There may be some truth to this, but I really don't think Republicans are thinking historically (nor, of course, rationally).

It's Obama Derangement Syndrome (and it's far, far worse than anything seen during the Bush years). There may be a few exceptions, but by and large Republicans despise the president with an intensity that is psychotic. It may be racism, it may be the view that he simply doesn't deserve to be president (for racist or other reasons), it may be lingering bitterness (as in the case of John McCain), it may be any number of other things, but the goal is the same: to bring him down, or at least to put him in his place (which of course has racial/racist connotations).

Which is to say, Republicans aren't focusing on Benghazi because they want Obama to suffer just as his predecessors did but because they want him to suffer period. They're desperate, particularly after his re-election win, and they think they can get him on Benghazi, even if there's nothing there.

Are they "livid"? Are they "trying to gin up a scandal"? Yes, of course. And if it doesn't work with Benghazi -- as it won't -- they'll try with something else. There's really no end to this psychosis.

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