I noticed today that Ann Althouse asks a series of questions about why Obama decided to put out such a blatant, easily debunked, lie about Benghazi. Her queries are similar to those I was planning to ask in a post today. So I needn’t bother to ask them myself; I’ll just link to her, and offer my answers.
First, her questions in a nutshell:
Quite aside from the wrongness of lying, generally and specifically, in this case, and quite aside from the motivation to lie — I’m going to presume, without more, it was campaign politics — why did Obama think he could get away with this lie long enough, and why was he not daunted by the risk entailed in going on and on, doubling down on the lie, and even lying in a U.N. speech? How did he have the nerve to co-opt our U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, and subvert her credibility and honor? How did he get this millstone around the neck of Hillary Clinton, who has such a strong interest in her independent career and who knows a thing or two about the devastation of getting caught lying?…
It wasn’t respectful at all to promote this caricature of Muslims as people who look at a stupid video and lose their minds, take to the streets, and work themselves up into a murderous rage. The video story could only work as a cover for the truth if it could be leveraged on an offensive stereotype of Muslims. It is the story about the response to the video — far more the video itself — that has “a deeply cynical purpose, to denigrate a great religion”! Why didn’t Obama care that he was insulting Muslims in this weird charade about caring for Muslims?
Obama thought he could get away with the lie because he always has. There was no reason for him to think the media would hold his feet to the fire on this particular issue; why would he? Unless I’m forgetting something, for the most part (if you exclude Jake Tapper and the media on the right, which hardly counts in the scheme of things), when have they ever done so?
So it was in a sense a no-brainer for him, because to have admitted the truth would have been to admit that his approach to the Middle East Islamists/terrorists is wrong.
As for the co-option of Rice and Clinton, Hillary lost all credibility with me as Secretary of State long ago—probably from the moment she took on the job, which is clearly above her pay grade. Among Obama’s very first foreign policy acts was his stance on Honduras, which remains one of his worst (although the press basically ignored it or covered for him). If that didn’t cause her resignation or protest, she has no integrity left. She has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Obama, as has her husband. Whatever they may be plotting behind the scenes, that is the case at the moment.
Rice is more of an unknown. Perhaps she was misled; perhaps not. Perhaps she was being a good diplomat and saying what the administration told her to.
As for Obama’s view on Muslims, he has been very consistent in parroting the PC party line, which is that no insult to Islam is allowed, and it is to be expected that they will riot as a result. The entire approach of the left to the behavior of what used to be called “the Muslim street” is that their acts of rage are justified, and if that position infantilizes them then so be it. It’s a very small price to pay, one the left probably doesn’t even recognize as an issue. Remember the PC Commandments, from 2005? If you don’t, here’s a refresher:
1. America is uniquely evil.
2. America is never justified in defending itself.
3. Illiterate people from poor societies are superior to Americans.
4. The Earth would be better off without human beings.
5. Making a profit is always immoral.
6. Differences between individuals or groups are unfair.
7. For Designated Victim Groups, strong feelings excuse all behavior.
8. Policies informed by Judæo-Christian principles are inherently suspect.
9. Conservatives are hypocrites; liberals are sincere.
10. There are no acts of God; there are only acts of Government.
11) We defend the right to free speech for ourselves, but anyone else whose speech hurts our feelings must be censored.
12) In any conflict between a third-world nation and a first-world nation, the third-world nation is always right.
13) Tyranny in third-world countries is not our concern unless the US (or Israel) can be blamed in some way.
14) All criticism or disagreement with any policy of a third-world nation, culture, or person is, by definition, racism.
I have some questions of my own to add: has Obama finally gotten into significant trouble for this? How deeply has it penetrated the public consciousness, and will it matter? I keep thinking his polls should be in the 20s right about now. But although they’ve moved downward, it’s been a small shift considering the magnitude of his offenses. How many people are even following the story? Will that number increase as time goes on, or will the media minimize and excuse?
In other words, will Obama’s gamble pay off?