Democrats “absolutely must boycott this absurd, insane, sickening, repulsive, shameful, and at the same time shame-less circus,” read an article at the Daily Beast last Wednesday. While you may be forgiven for assuming that the author was referring to the Obama administration, he actually was describing the upcoming hearings on the Benghazi investigation, which the article bluntly calls “bullsh*t.” That’s because progressives are rallying now in a desperate effort to dismiss Benghazi as a joke and the hearings themselves as a waste of time.
From the beginning, when four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed in a terrorist assault in Libya in 2012, the administration did its level best to downplay the attack and divert responsibility for the murders to a scapegoated “Islamophobic” filmmaker and his hilariously inept, obscure YouTube video dramatizing the life of Islam’s prophet Muhammad.
But unlike the lapdog media, the right refused to accept the administration’s whitewashed narrative, so now that the left is feeling the heat from hearings to be chaired by bulldog South Carolina Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, they are naturally going on the offensive (when has the left ever gone on the defensive?). That means reaching for the most effective weapon in their arsenal: ridicule. Remember, this administration’s guru Saul Alinsky counseled that “ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” It is simultaneously a defensive and offensive strategy.
Political commentator and consultant Donna Brazile, for example, mocked on Twitter that “The Republicans are hyping the Benghazi hearings like they are about to launch a new TV series: what should we call this?” One Twitter respondent called her tweet “a horrifying display of arrogance and disrespect for the dead.” Another jabbed back that the show should be called “Truth and Consequences.”
Missouri Democrat Representative Stacey Newman got into the act, sending out the cutesy tweet that she was “thinking of saying ‘Benghazi’ while debating tomorrow on the House floor. Just to see what happens.” This is a woman who asserts in her Twitter bio that she is most “obsessive” about “saving lives due to gun violence” – unless they are American lives and Islamic guns, apparently. Then it’s just funny.
Mississippi Democrat congressional hopeful Trish Causey, another candidate in a crowded field for the title of Least Classy Comedienne, tweeted this hilarious nugget to her 1,325 social media followers: “As part of National Masturbation Month, Republicans like screaming the name of their fluffer, Ben Ghazi, when they orgasm.” It’s hard to imagine how anyone of any political persuasion could take a candidate seriously after such a disgusting, flippant public remark regarding American deaths, but then again, Causey admits on her website that she is “not a politician. I am an ActivistArtist [sic].”
CNN contributor, Daily Beast columnist, and now would-be standup comedienne Sally Kohn tweeted this smirky joke: “Little known fact: Monica Lewinsky is how Republicans pronounced Benghazi in the 90s.” She’s actually trying to claim that the unanswered massacre of Americans abroad, and the administration’s ensuing coverup is no more consequential than what the left considered Clinton’s harmless sexual indiscretion.
Here’s a little-known fact for you, Ms. Kohn: the Lewinsky affair rightfully ended in Clinton’s impeachment, and if the Benghazi hearings get to the truth, they could result in Obama’s. Kohn’s Twitter bio describes her as someone who “works for justice” – except justice for the Benghazi victims and their loved ones, because that might embarrass presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the woman who angrily shouted “What difference does it make?” when questioned about the attack. The woman who looked the victims’ family members in the eyes and promised them that a lone anti-Islam filmmaker would be brought to justice.
But Eleanor Clift, yet another Daily Beast columnist, won the prize for diminishing Benghazi Sunday when she stunned the other talking heads in an episode of The McLaughlin Report with the assertion that Ambassador Chris Stevens “was not murdered. He died of smoke inhalation in the safe room in that CIA installation” – as if his death were a mere workplace accident and somehow completely unrelated to a terrorist attack. She too insisted that the Muhammad video was responsible for everything, as did Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, a program built on satire and ridicule which has become a trusted news source for young progressives. He dismissed the Benghazi controversy last week and asserted ridiculously that “there is no dispute that this situation was spawned by the release of a video. I don't think there's any question.” Stewart must be confused, because there is actually no dispute that the “situation,” by which he means the slaughter of American citizens, was not spawned by the release of a video.
Dismissing/joking about Benghazi is nothing new. A year ago for example, former DNC chairman Howard Dean announced in a televised discussion with RNC communications chairman Sean Spicer that “Benghazi is a laughable joke.” When Spicer countered that “With all due respect, governor, when four Americans die serving this country, that’s not a joke, sir,” Dean interrupted with “Oh, stop it,” and proceeded to use the words “ridiculous,” “silly” and “nonsense” in regard to the Republican pursuit of the truth.
But this recent flurry of irrational reactions confirms that Benghazi is not merely a minor incident of workplace violence “that was, like, two years ago, dude,” to paraphrase former White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. After all, you draw the most fire when you’re directly over the target. Benghazi is a potential Achilles heel for the left, and they are acutely aware of it.
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 5/12/14)