Posted by: Rick | Monday, November 12, 2012

Benghazigate: The New Whitewater

The Republican Party is in a world of hurt. At some point, its corporate wing has to rein in its teabagger wing or the Party will become extinct.

But even as the wingnuttiest wingnuts are being spayed and neutered, they’ll need to be provided with something to occupy their angry little minds. If they don’t get it, they’re liable to attack the money men with torches and pitchforks.

Enter Bengazigate.

From now on, anything unusual that comes down the pike in the Obama Administration gets thrown into the Paranoia Pile as evidence of — well, who knows? Barack Obama did something wrong, and he’s so downright evil that it’s going to take monthsif not yearsto put all the pieces together. So when CIA director David Petraeus resigns over a sex romp, that becomes part of the plot. Sugar and spice.

It’s important to note that the president must never be charged with a specific act of malfeasance in these matters. To do so might make it possible for him to defend himself. Think of Kafka’s The Trial. The truth is out there, but it’s a moving target. It’s always just another subpoena away.

The template for this political strategy was formed in the nineties with the Whitewater pseudo-scandal. No one ever got to the bottom of Whitewater because there was nothing to get to the bottom of. That’s why it dragged on so long and had so many ridiculous offshoots.

But Whitewater also had the mainstream media — which, in those days, hated Bill Clinton with a passion — behind it. Today the media does not hate Barack Obama. It’s also much less powerful than it used to be. And Clinton ultimately made his enemies pay for their lunacy. All of which means that Republicans are only making things worse for themselves as they go down one Benghazi rabbit hole after another.

Please proceed, gentlemen.

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