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Hillary Falls on her Sword

She takes responsibility for Benghazi:

“I take responsibility,” she said in an interview with CNN. “I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha.”

Well, alright then.  Make of that what you will.*

She has also spent the last week laying out the reasoning behind the recent diplomatic decisions and missions to the middle east. (Probably hoping that Obama will “get it” before the debate tonight)  I’m not surprised.  It’s her legendary third ball talking and she’s a loyal Democrat.  It’s likely that she wanted to soften the blow of Benghazi on Obama this evening at tonight’s debate since Republicans seem to be heading for that train wreck full speed.

And as Secretary of State, it is ultimately her responsibility.  There was a failure somewhere and she needs to do a Cause Map and a Kazein Event and make corrections.  It might be the case that there are others responsible as well, like Congress or Defense or Obama’s national security apparatus.  And we can’t let the Libyans off the hook here.  There are some elements in Libya who are determined to be flaming fundamentalist jerks who could very easily derail the rebuilding process.  And dealing with fundamentalists of any religion is pretty close to impossible.  They’re not rational people.  So, we can’t rule out the possibility that the film that caused so much turmoil in the middle east was a deliberate inflammatory event.  And who is responsible for THAT?

There’s no question in my mind that the Republicans were prepared to take full advantage of Benghazi as a way to peel some voters away from Obama.  By the way, I am not aware of any team membership for the PUMAs.  We only joke about having a welcome package.  As far as I know, the PUMA thing lost its mojo after the 2008 election with many of the liberal ones relegated to observer status.  We didn’t lose our minds and become birthers or Tea Partiers or Palin loving authoritarian whip kissers.  We’re just here trying to talk some sense into the rest of the party.  We gave it our best shot to try to convince them to drop Obama before it was too late.  Have you seen the polls lately??  I guess it’s possible for Obama to win this but it’s going to be a nail biter and he didn’t do himself any favors in the last debate.

There are still a lot of people out there who are pissed as hell at the Democrats for dumping Hillary and sticking them with a lightweight who only ended up making their lives more difficult and futures more uncertain.  Yep, they are not going to let the Democrats off the hook.  In retrospect, sucking up to the donors while thinking that throwing Lilly Ledbetter at the base they ditched was going to keep them down on the farm was a pretty fricking stupid idea.  It’s so stupid that it could only be dreamed up by the “culture of smartness” that has invaded Wall Street and the White House.  It’s the kind of atmosphere that assumes that if you didn’t get your degree from Princeton or Harvard, you’re instantly dumber than a box of rocks and can’t think yourself out of a paper bag.  They think they can exploit what they perceive as ignorance and asymmetric information and you’ll just go along with it because you have nowhere else to go.

That’s not a winning strategy.

See, those people the party blew off in 2008?  They still have votes.  Lots of them.  It’s simple A-R-I-T-H-M-E-T-I-C.  They call the donors the 1% for a reason.

So, Obama goes into this debate as the underdog.  Hillary is taking the fall.  Obama looks like, “Wha? We didn’t know anything about Benghazi.  That’s Hillary’s thing.  See? She even said so herself.”  Then the Republicans have to say, “How conveeeeenient for you to have such a dedicated Secretary of State.  {{flattery, flattery}}  She’s pretty strong.  What a man to step up and take the blame!”

That could be game, set, match if Obama has no decent comeback.  He’s going to have to fake some bonafide Democratic credentials to get himself out of this one.  Too bad we can’t unsee what we’ve seen in the past four years and prior debate.  Even if he manages to come up with a reasonable response, who is going to believe him?

Like I said, I don’t have a dog in this fight anymore.  I can’t stand Republicans and my former party has been aerosolized.  Occasionally, we get a sniff of something Democratic in the air from Biden or Elizabeth Warren or Bill Clinton but the people in charge of the party sure don’t smell like Democrats and they don’t hang together like Democrats should with a sparkling top note, substantial drydown and long lasting sillage.

Anyway, bring on the debate!  I want to see which party praises Hillary more effusively.  It should be very revealing in so many ways.

*Sounds a bit disgusted at having to save Obama’s bacon again while she’s busily trying to keep things calm around the world.

38 Responses

  1. Behold the poltical genius of Hillary R. Clinton…what a master stroke, to fall on her own sword and so disarm her enemies ( in both parties, the more implacable being within her own ) . They can’t hang this horse collar on her as she leaves , She beat them to it . She has more genius and guts than all of DC combined. They keep judging Hillary by thier own dullard standards and wonder how she keeps slipping the noose . A child could see they were fixing to put this on her…she beat them to it lol

  2. I return every request for donations to Obamney or any other candidate that calls him/herself a “Democrat” – an envelope stuffed with trash. And I write in big black marker – NObama! Ever! PUMA! And Occupy Wall Street – on the outside.

    In that context, PUMA means Party Unity My Ass….which is, I believe RD, your original explanation for being a proud PUMA. Sorry that others highjacked it!

    • That’s ok. The label was compromised, not us.
      I’m just disappointed that so many people who supported Hillary in 2008 abandoned what she stood for after she lost the primary. There’s nothing in the Tea Party that should be attractive to a former PUMA. It’s all driven by anger. And if you can get back your power by bedeviling the guy who stood in the way, well, it might not make a lot of sense to side with the Republicans but I can certainly understand the power dynamics.

  3. It appears that she said nothing about taking responsibility for Susan Rice’s claim that it was a spontaneous reaction to a video. When Rice was asked if she really believed that, she said emphatically and with a real strain in her voice: “yes, because it’s true”. Nothing on the order of it’s being investigated, etc.

    • Or it could have been an act of terrorism provoked by a reaction to a video, in which case it’s not a lie, is it?
      Or you could wait until the SOS explains it all to a Congressional hearing. Do you have a problem with that? Because I don’t.

      • RD, this was a sophisticated terrorist operation that was rehearsing this complex attack long before the absurd video became known. But sure, they could have used the video to provide cover and provoke chaos.

        All this was in the British, German, and Israeli press within 24-48 hours after the attack. It’s only the American press that was asleep at the wheel.

    • Susan Rice has been earmarked for Sec.State when Hillary leaves in Jan. presupposing Obama is re-elected, hence her agreeing to do the Sunday shows w/absurd Video lie. Machinations aside, what has been going on in the WH and why. The terrorists are one thing. The terror in our hearts evoked by this administration is another.

      • Oh please, he’s just an incompetent, sell out to wall street. He’s not a Muslim terrorist. Don’t get your knickers in a twist and imagine imams behind every door. It just makes you look and sound like the most gullible people in the country. This site deals in reality not right wing propaganda concocted boogiemen.

        • Bob Beckel said essentially that same thing on Imus this morning, to the effect that any reference to Al Qaida still being viable is a myth. I can only hope that gets repeated tonight. It would be “Good Night, Nurse.”

        • How easily one misses the point. Stuff the right wing propaganda baloney. “This site deals in reality” Really?

          • Yes. We deal with reality. Note that I did NOT say that Al Qaeda was dead. I said that there are no terrorist sympathizer muslim presidents in the White House.
            As for terror, you can choose to hide under the bed and shake with fear everytime an islamic fundamentalist says Boo! but I’ve got better things to do with my time.
            Americans really have become fricking cowards. Grow up and stop snivelling. It’s embarrassing.

          • I agree that too many Americans have become scaredy cats and it is embarrassing. Jumping at shadows. So easy to manipulate.

  4. I think what Hillary did is the smartest thing.
    To take full responsibility, takes brains, balls, integrity, heart and leadership.
    This chess queen move, exposes the Narcissist in chief as the little boy-man he is, lacking any of the traits she just gallantly displayed.

    Besides, by doing this in Peru South America -where she’s adored and respected; she let the national snake pit media, regurgitate on their own venom.
    This is not going to hurt her politically.

    • She just did the right thing period. It comes with her position. I hope that she will tell us where the failures were soon. I look forward to it.

  5. I agree with paper doll’s assessment. By taking responsibility publicly, Hillary Clinton deflates the Republican rage machine over the issue, proves herself a loyal, unflinching Democrat and looks noble in the effort. She is the grownup in the room. And makes the rest of the DC crowd look small in comparison.

    Positively brilliant! And in keeping with her character. Carville was right–Hillary has ovaries and a double set of balls. She beat her detractors and the Washington weasels to the punch.

    Hahahaha! I love it. She’s ten times better than any of ’em.

  6. Obama hiding behind a woman. How manly. The buck doesn’t stop with the Secretary of State, though. Although, of course, she is the only one capable of finding out what exactly went wrong. She is also the only eminent politician on (off) stage.

    • So Hilary says confusion was a result of the “Fog of war.” This was an action of war against the American consulate in Benghazi resulting in the death of the Ambassador and three other Americans. How did our President and our Secretary of state react? They apologized to the Middle East. When they felt that wasn’t enough they used $70,000 of taxpayer money to craft an APOLOGY video and had it air on television.through the middle easy. The fog was in Oboy’s and Hilary’s brains. They think they can cram their BS down Americans’ throats. They surely have some explaining to do, truth – not coverup. Both need to resign!

      • I didn’t hear an apology to the middle east. Where did you hear an apology to the middle east? Should we just bomb the shit out of them instead? Because that’s Obama’s thing, droning people.
        It’s much harder to say, ‘we had nothing to do with that video and we’re not leaving our embassies. Deal with it”.
        Leaving would be easy. Bombing would be easy. Standing your ground in hostile territory on behalf of diplomacy without striking back? That’s hard. Which option do you think will get us more respect in the middle east?

        • The video had nothing to do with anything, though. The apology came first of all from the consulate that was attacked, about “hurting feelings” because of the video. Surely there’s some action between bombing and leaving. A Marine guard may not have saved the consulate, but it could have saved the ambassador’s life. The place didn’t even have a fire extinguisher, or bulletproof windows.

          • I read somewhere that they were making changes to the building when the attack happened. The ambassador has been said to favor more local security and more interaction. That will necessarily involve risks. When people sign up to serve in the state department or the military, they are aware that there are risks. If you don’t want to take risks, just bomb the shit out of your enemy and become a benevolent dictator. Or ruthless dictator. Or secretly join the local dictator’s team. Or leave. You don’t have a lot of options. The locals either hate you for helping the bad guys or they think you’re chickenshit for leaving. It seems to me that staying and not leaving because of an attack is the bravest option.
            I don’t know many of the details of the statement from Cairo but probably too much was made of it. Maybe they should have gotten an official seal of approval or an editor. Who knows. They weren’t the ones who had mortars and bullets fired at them.
            I wouldn’t apologize to extremists. But retribution at this point would only make it worse for the people who don’t see us as the big satan.

          • Again, I’m not suggesting bombing. We wouldn’t know who to bomb anyway. But the bravery of the particular ambassador does not absolve the administration’s responsibility for his well being. It wasn’t his call to make.

            It was apparently an intelligence operation (there is no reason to have a consulate in such a place) – it could be presumed to be a dangerous outpost. We’ve lost a lot of intelligence by its destruction. Even in Barbados, they have a Marine guard.

          • A.) There was a very good reason for being in Benghazi. Libya has two major cities, each controlling half of the country. To have only an embassy in Tripoli and not Benghazi would be not to be thinking ahead.
            B.) There were US security on site. There were Libyan security on site. The problem is that even if Stevens had asked for as many US security officers has he could get, that would have only increased the number by 2. The assault on the compound was overwhelming and they brought the big guns. In order to defend the embassy from such an attack, we would have had to station a lot of marines on Libyan soil. And if we had done that, all hell would have broken loose from the Libyans and the Republicans and the leftiest Democrats who are completely paralyzed when it comes to foreign policy. Go ahead, ask a leftie how they feel about any foreign policy initiative anywhere and they’ll tell you they don’t approve. It’s a bit insane, if you ask me but at least they’re not shaking under the covers.
            C.) It is pointless to argue any more. The event has taken on the cachet of conspiracy status. It was an unfortunate collision of events and circumstance and the truth will come out someday. But I suspect there will be an irrational, insane group of people who absolutely will not believe it under any circumstances. They’re always going to think this was preventable and maybe it was. But maybe it wasn’t and these are the risks that the State department people take every day.
            Or it may be the case that Hillary takes the blame for the Republicans slashing her State Department security budget but the minute that comes up, there will be some asshole on Fox spinning some improbable, elaborate story about how that couldn’t possibly be the case and a whole lot of gullible Fox watching seniors who have a pathological fear of Muslims will eat it up.
            Right, Maria? Isn’t that what’s going to happen? Like the birther thing? There is no amount of proof that will ever be enough, no evidence that can be dug up what will satisfy. Heck, you could uncover documents at the perpetrators hideout that say “This is the plan to attack the American embassy in Benghazi because of the blasphemous video of the prophet” scribbled in arabic in big black crayon with fingerprints and signed in blood and there will still be conspiracy nuts who will discredit it, deny it, let it fester and rot in their fetid imaginations for years and years. It will never die.
            But the whole 9/11 thing? Well, Bush wasn’t responsible for ANY of that.
            Am I right, maria?
            You know I am.
            Maybe you should withhold your judgement of Benghazi until AFTER the report because I have no intention of taking any conspiracy seriously until I see the official report.

  7. I believe our mercenaries,( the ones we hired to take down Gaddafi…and who are now in Syria and after that, will be dispatched to Russia to make trouble for Putin) were pissed off that after they did the fighting, we then installed some long time CIA asset in power …it’s called blow back

    US intelligence admits Syria arms aid goes to Al Qaeda


    Intelligence officials acknowledge that the bulk of the weapons flowing into Syria for the US-backed war to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad are going into the hands of Al Qaeda and like-minded Islamist militias.

    • When you’re under siege and there’s no one around to help you against corruption, cruelty and tyranny, many people turn to extremist religions.. we shouldn’t be surprised.
      Btw, let’s clarify that sentence. Afaik, we are not supplying arms to opposition forces in Syria. We are supplying humanitarian aid. If we were knowingly arming al Qaeda, Obama would be impeached before the election. The US would like for the Syrians to topple its government. But the longer this goes on, the. Ore likely that the ruling government will have a strong Islamist streak in it. If all you have is god behind you, you tend to feel you owe him something after its over.

    • It may well be US “backed” but it was not US “started”. President Assad started it by ordering his army to shoot on enough demonstrations enough times so as to drive the demonstrators (and army defectors) to give up on demonstrating and start shooting instead. The Assad calculation being that he and his government could win a civil war if they could get one started. And they have.

      Colonel Lang and his commenters at Sic Semper Tyrannis started out being very sympathetic to the Syrian rebels until it became clear that the rebels were getting support and backers and infiltrators from the Conservative Retro-Islamist Gulf Kingdoms. Then he and his commenters became de facto anti-rebellion and de facto pro-Baath government as the only remaining default choice. (One can look up Sic Semper Tyrannis on this blog’s very own blogroll up above to find and read the Syria-relevant posts).

      • There maybe Syrian rebels, but we are not backing them.

        We are backing the extremists mercenaries for hire we sent in and backed in Libya, and calling them ” rebels”.

        And we will call these contras ” rebels” in Russia when we send them there after thier Syrian job is done…

        Can anyone seriously believe we are for actual freedom in these places? We aren’t for it here, much less there…

  8. I was thinking a version of the same thing when she took full responsibility.

    In tonight’s debate, I hope Romney says in the crudest possible way some version of . . . with all due gender-sensitivity apologies . . . ” SOS Clinton is twice the man you ever were or ever will be.” With any luck, Obama will either freeze up like Bush did with that “The Pet Goat” book, or otherwise he will burst into tears.

    Then a day or two later he will announce his resignation from the nomination to “spend more time with his family”. The Dems can then do the needed candidate-transplant.

  9. “The buck stops with Hillary” Utterly inspiring! If I were in Romney’s shoes I’d make a delicious back handed compliment out of it that would emerge as the sound byte of the debate.

    • D’oh! We don’t want the two campaigns to strategize each other into a state of paralysis. Or do we? Hmmmm….
      Wouldn’t it be funny if they played their responses out on a computer and decided that neither side could win and so avoided the topic altogether?
      “you want to go first on Benghazi, mitt?”
      “no, no, you first mr president”
      “please, I insist!”
      “thank you, that’s so kind, but I must defer to you, mr president”
      It could end up looking like a snippet of Chip ‘n Dale.

      • Or those two little gophers whose names I forget who were the lead characters in a few Warner Brothers cartoons.

  10. The only statesmen with clean hands are lefty anti-elitists like Kucinich
    and non neo-con righties like Ron Paul and Buchanan-who oppose every interventionist violent gambit in the Middle East by the American ruling class.

    • Enough with the Kucinich already! His last possible claim of clean hands was forfeited when he endorsed (and campaigned for) the bailout for the insurance companies. I won’t even touch the Valerie Pmumer stained hands of Buchanan or the “let poor corporations roam free” Paul.

  11. I am back, was hilary-zilla now mit-zilla. I will hold back, for now, untill I catch up on your posts.

  12. notsweet

    Buchanan was exposing the WMD lies and arguing against the Iraq invasion months before and opposing the invasion after the vote.
    Which “aye” cost Hillary the nomination. We understand that Hillary hoped for a quick victory and a pro-American, pro-Israel Iraqi puppet government installed whether WMDs were found or not. We can guess this because of her continuing hawkish neolib (neocon lite)

    Buchanan did not out Plame, Libby did.Buchanan wrote
    “…. it was an arrogant and stupid thing Libby did. He lied to the FBI, to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, to the grand jury. He fabricated a story about where he learned about Wilson’s wife, when, as sworn testimony proved, he learned it from Vice President Cheney and was himself moving it to the press.”

    Kucinich has clean hands in the Middle East and should get an award for refusing to visit Israel until it vacates the Occupied Territories.

    • Have you ever listened/watched the you tube video of Hillary’s statement in the senate about her vote on IWR? If not, be quiet until you do, come back and tell us again what she hoped for. PS….Kucinich is an elitist lefty schmuck. He’s the kind of lefty who thinks his lefty shit doesn’t stink just cause it’s lefty.

  13. This isn’t binary. Any culpability that she is willing to assume does not exonerate him. It’s entirely possible for him to be responsible in spite of any of Hillary’s efforts, however noble or political they may be.

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