There are two realities. In one, President Obama has had a relatively scandal free Presidency. No major investigations or revelations have dogged him like they did his predecessors. No Whitewater, Monica, Iran-Contra, Iraq, etc. In another, Obama has been awash with scandals involving the IRS, Benghazi, where Obama was really born, gun running, etc. That second reality, however, is built on a house of cards. There is no real evidence, just suspicions drummed up by Obama’s opponents trying to do what they can to undercut the President.
For awhile the biggest and most threatening to Obama was the aftermath of the terror attack on Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Led by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republicans claimed that the US muffed the reaction, covered it up, didn’t do what could have been done to prevent or respond to the attack, and as late as March this year Graham claimed that Obama’s response to Benghazi was the reason Russia took Crimea.
Graham was adamant on Benghazi. It was symbolic of Obama’s “inability to lead,” “lies the administration told,” and ultimately “proof Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State at the time) is unqualified to be President.” He called the people at the White House “scumbags” who were “telling lies,” full of venomous accusations that we now all know were utterly baseless.
Saturday a Congressional report from a Republican led committee finally give the last word on Benghazi and guess what: the Obama Administration did nothing wrong. There was no evidence of anything close to a scandal, or that there is some trove of evidence that isn’t being released. In short, Graham was always just grandstanding.
That has caused me to lose all respect for Lindsey Graham and John McCain. To use a national tragedy like that not to unify the country but to try to undermine the President and manipulate the media is sick. When the US was attacked on 9-11, the US rallied behind President Bush. Even though the 9-11 Commission found plenty to fault the Bush Administration on in the run up to 9-11, it was deemed wrong to try to use that to politically attack the President. In crises things are fast moving and hindsight has 2020 vision. Alas, Graham and McCain were guided by neither ethics nor honesty.
The report drew no fanfare. Certainly the two did not apologize or admit defeat. Graham used attacks on Obama over Benghazi to shore up his conservative bona fides before his re-election, and has tried to use it to attack Obama’s foreign policy — one that is much more successful than the Bush foreign policy Graham supported.
In a just world Graham and McCain would stand on the Senate floor as rotten eggs were hurled at them, humiliated and ashamed. But they’ll move on. They are politicians. They’ll be shameless in attacking the President, and will probably wink and dance to avoid having to admit being wrong about Benghazi. I find it disgusting.