So, Benghazi is finally coming back to haunt the Obama administration, much to its chagrin. It’s understandable, given the reluctance of this administration to own up to the facts surrounding what happened the evening of September 11, 2012. It was an election year, there had been this drumbeat on the campaign trail that Bin Laden was dead and Al Qaeda was on the run; we were leaving the Middle East and could start getting on with our lives. Nothing could have been further from the truth, as events on the ground transpired that night.
Much is being made of the cover-up surrounding that evening and the correspondence, meetings, and television appearances that took place after the fact, dismissing this as a planned, deliberate act of terrorism and more the result of an anti-Islamic video. What has become apparent to this aspiring scribe is a mindset on the left that wants to drag us back into a pre-9/11 posture, not because they think that the world isn’t a dangerous place, but because this country is the reason why things are so bad. Anyone who saw the Dinesh D’Souza film “2016: Obama’s America” will understand what I’m alluding to.
George W. Bush ran a campaign based on a domestic agenda in the 2000 presidential election cycle. His administration underwent a sea change in the days after 9/11, becoming one that focused on a pre-emptive strategy to deal with potential problem children around the world. Some eleven years later, despite what we hear from the media and the left, we are still on a wartime footing. This has focused our attention and resources on areas far from our shores and according to many on the left, has caused other priorities to be neglected here at home. The problem (for the left that is) is that as long as national security is at the forefront of our consciousness, it makes things a tad difficult to focus on a domestic agenda. So, the question that needs to be asked is how does one get back to focusing on the home-front in light of all of the things going on around the world?
Simple. Benghazi? A predictable reaction to a horrible film demonizing Islam. The Boston Marathon bombing? A law enforcement matter since it was carried out by a couple of disgruntled individuals. The shootings at Ft Hood? Workplace violence. Rogue nations like Syria, Iran, and North Korea continually behaving badly? Leave it to the UN and the greater community of nations to deal with. Open mike sessions where Israel, our staunchest ally in the Middle East, is insulted; an oligarch-backed wannabe strongman in Russia being given assurances that we won’t threaten his ascendancy once our commander-in-chief is re-elected? Nothing more than idle, harmless chatter.
As one can see, there doesn’t seem to be an end to what can be made excuses for, reclassified, marginalized, or just plain sloughed-off onto others to deal with. This is not an America that is looking to retain the mantle of leadership in a world that is seemingly bereft of it. It is however, an America that is looking to get out of the business of world affairs so that it can concentrate on matters closer to home: gay marriage, immigration reform, health care, abortion and contraception, expansion of entitlement programs, and the list goes on and on.
In an election year (the same is true in off years as well) it’s understandable that one side will look for ways to bash the opposition over the head whenever it stumbles or does something that can give the other side political advantage. There is no doubt that the Republicans would have used Benghazi as a bludgeon in the 2012 elections to show how inept and weak the Democrats were on national security. Furthermore, the presidential election could have turned in the challenger’s favor had the truth been known. Additionally, Secretary Clinton, despite getting pilloried for a security/policy misstep might have been able to shrug off Benghazi and remain a viable candidate for her party in 2016. It now appears that the steady drip of information coming from various sources, as well as whistleblowers who want their day in the sun, may well derail her chances at her party’s nomination if she is implicated in any sort of cover-up, or at the very least shown to be incompetent or detached in her role as Secretary of State. That, for the Democrats, would be intolerable since they would find themselves facing a major setback in terms of accomplishing their domestic agenda without one of their own in the White House.
No one knows what the world of 2016 will look like. Three and a half years is enough time for the political, economic, and social landscapes to shift, although any change that occurs won’t be all that drastic. Given the number of scandals that continue to come to light, any agenda the president would like to have pursued will be relegated to the back burner, since his administration, instead of being a lame duck, will more resemble a wounded duck scrambling for cover. And that, no doubt, has Republicans and conservatives licking their chops like a pack of hungry wolves.