Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Presidential Puffery

President Obama is puffing out his chest and accepting challenges from all comers. Why? Because he's a big man. Not a person, not a woman, but a man. And the cause of this puffery? Criticism of Susan Rice over her statements about Benghazi, statements that were founded on nonsense, on a fantasy about a YouTube video. And apparently, Obama is just not going to stand for any criticism of Rice. His comments from earlier today:
As I said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and besmirch her reputation is outrageous... 
When they go after the UN ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.

Is Susan Rice not an adult? Is she not responsible for her own words? Is Obama actually stepping in front of her and saying "bring that shit to me!" because she is a woman? Is this chivalry on the part of the President?

Or maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe Obama is simply saying that his ambassador to the UN is--for some reason--off limits, that such an Administration spokesperson should never be subjected to criticism. Because as we all know, Democrats have never criticized previous UN ambassadors; as a group, they never had a harsh word for, say, John Bolton. Right? Oh, wait. They went after him relentlessly, from the moment he took office until the day he left. But I'm sure that was different, I mean aside from the fact that Bolton is a man. Because there's no sexism in the Democratic Party...well except when sexism is convenient and can be spun into something supposedly admirable. Like here.

Susan Rice is an adult. She served in various high-level positions during the Clinton Administration, prior to becoming Ambassador to the United Nations. She knows the score. She knows how the game is played, how Washington works. On September 16, five days after the attack in Benghazi that killed Chris Stevens, Rice went on CBS' Face the Nation and said:
We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.
When Rice said "we," she was speaking for the U.S. Government at large, or the Administration at the very least. Obama is crystal clear about this: her appearances were made "at the request of the White House." And we--meaning everyday American citizens who keep up with current events--now know that information indicating the Benghazi attack was preplanned did exist and was available, was known, to the White House within 48 hours of the attack, if not much, much sooner.

So there are two possibilities here: Rice lied when she said what she said, or Rice was given incomplete information by her boss--i.e. the President of the United States--and passed that information along. Thus, Rice lied to the American People under orders from the President, or Obama (or his surrogates) lied to Rice. Either way, Obama intended to deceive. Obama intended for the public to believe something that he knew full well wasn't true.

And either way, Obama made Rice a party to his deception. She can take her medicine like everyone else. And Obama can pack up the playground bravado and stop acting like a thirteen year old. Because it's embarrassing.

Cheers, all.