SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2013 — President Obama may have a lot of faults, but stupidity isn’t one of them. He still knows how to play his base like a fine violin.
While part of that base ― the White House Press Corps ― seems to have rediscovered the long, lost art of asking real questions, Obama himself remembered a different maneuver called “preemptive strike.”
That might sound like a military strategy for protecting American lives in places like Benghazi, but Obama uses a verbal version instead to deflect discussion about this very same Benghazi.
While preparing for Thursday’s news conference shared with the Prime Minister of Turkey, Obama was aware that even his loyal reporters are now being forced to do their job.
Perhaps they’re doing it kicking and screaming, but even the White House Press Corps cannot ignore three scandalous flavors to choose from: Benghazi, IRS and AP.
Evidently Obama feels his damage control for two out of three is working. Benghazi, on the other hand, simply will not go away, thus his decision to get it off the table before anyone could even ask a question: “I’m calling on Congress to work with us to support and fully fund our budget request to improve our embassies around the world.”
This was a brilliantly played hand. While not coming out in so many words and placing blame on Republicans for the Benghazi murders, Obama’s less than subtle insinuation suggests that had Congress (mostly a Republican congress incidentally) provided more funds, perhaps Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans might still be alive.
If pressed later under oath, Obama can insist he never held Republicans responsible in so many words. Technically he will be telling the truth. While telling the truth might be a whole new experience for Barack Obama, he still knows how to use it like a good lie.
Charlene Lamb, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs, was asked during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee interrogation if the denial of additional security for Benghazi had anything to do with budget cuts. She said, “No sir,” and then went on to add, “We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi on the night of 9/11” (The Examiner, 10-11-12).
Unfortunately, real honest-to-goodness facts have little to do with political talking points.
After all, if Democratic strategists were able to blame George Bush for every American problem during the first four years of Obama’s presidency, they can certainly blame a whole litter of Republicans who happened to be running Congress while the White House and State Department ran the Benghazi consulate.
It might just work. True believers will side step facts and cling to faith. While Republicans certainly have their share of whackos, sometimes dubbed “birthers,” Democrats have birthers of their own, those who believe Barack Obama was born in a manger.
Why blame the Messiah when there are “partisan” Republicans to kick around instead?
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Bob sometimes selects reader’s comments and responds to them on his radio show. Readers are free to call in and challenge Bob’s response over the air. Details of his program can be found at www.bobsiegel.net.
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