The Party That Cried “Benghazi!”

facebook_1755998979Pretty much any day of the week and a few times on Sunday, depending on who’s making the Sunday talk show appearances, you can hear about something that has outraged the GOP. It might be something that the president has done, or it might be something a federal court has done (slapping down unconstitutional marriage bans has been good recently for the GOP outrage industry), or it might just be that some group of objectionable people haven’t obediently faded away. No matter the source, there’s generally something that has the Republicans’ collective panties in a knot.


It’s boring. Yes, BORING. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and the hat and the commemorative mug, all the stickers for Benghazi outrage, Obamacare outrage, IRS outrage, 2nd Amendment outrage, Bergdahl outrage… The proverbial cup doth overflow with the fevered drool of pundits and putzes, ranting and raving about how the latest focus of their fury is the Doom of America, the gateway to fascist communist dictatorship ruled over by King Barack the Cruel. They do their best to keep the froth at a boil, because if they don’t, their easily-led-and-distracted base will lose the plot. They do their best to take statements out of context and fan the flames to manipulate and shape their hapless victims’ voting habits.

The simple fact is, it’s overplayed. You can only repeat the same refrain so many times before everyone has the whole deal memorized. We’ve spent pretty much every day of the past 5 and a half years hearing the cry of “wolf! wolf!”, the same refrain over and over. Most of us are ready to feed those crying wolf to some real wolves… or a bear, or a lion, or maybe a wolverine. On second thought, that might be animal cruelty. A wood chipper might be better. It might be even too cruel for the wood chipper.

Thankfully, President Obama is taking a similar, if perhaps not quite so bloody, stance. There is no reasonable individual who can say that he hasn’t tried his darnedest to work with Republicans on the various issues we face; no REASONABLE individual, which is why the GOP still acts like he hasn’t done enough to suit them. Given that they’ve conclusively proven that they’d rather gnaw off their own arms than reach out across the aisle and join hands with Obama or congressional Democrats to get things done, it’s completely understandable that the president is finally saying, “Fine, I’ll handle it myself.” He and his administration have acted on their own in various ways, and he’s stated that he’ll keep looking for ways to “be creative about how we can make real progress.”

This, of course, generates even new heights of apoplexy. “How dare he work around our obstructionism! He’s supposed to be stuck, we’re supposed to be in control here!” Too bad that pesky Constitution lets him go it alone, to a certain degree. Boehner cried out, “I’ll sue!“, to which the president has effectively said, “Cool, bring it on.” Not exactly the response of a man who fears the outcome of such a lawsuit… perhaps because it would underline the differences between an active Democratic administration and a passive-aggressive obstructionist Republican congressional caucus, just in time for the 2014 elections. There’s a reason that Congress enjoys a blistering 9% approval rating at the moment (at their worst, the president and USSC haven’t gotten below 30%), and here’s a hint: it’s not because Democrats and the president have had things their way. The House and Senate GOP have become the poster children for what is wrong with our system as it currently stands. Perhaps we should be grateful to them; without their execrable example of how not to exercise power in the legislature of the federal government, we might never have grasped how badly it needs to be fixed, or how badly these kind of people need to be removed from office.

The governance of the nation doesn’t suspend itself because someone or a group of someones throws a tantrum. Issues have to be addressed, problems have to be solved, progress has to be made. The ideal would be that the opposition would be working toward this goal at the same time as the administration, if not WITH it. We’re well short of that ideal right now, but it still has to get done… and that’s what Obama is set to do. If the Republicans want to change that, the only thing they have to do… is their jobs. I wouldn’t advise holding one’s breath.

Jason Francis

Jason Francis is a red-state liberal, residing in the heart of Dixie where he gets to watch the train wreck of conservative politics up close and personal on a regular basis. He's lived in affluence and poverty, in both urban and rural settings, attended both public and private schools, and has visited most of the US at one point or another.


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