Basking in Benghazi?

balance

 

We all know those who are fair-weather friends, but even some of Hillary’s supporters could be forgiven for doubting her. Yet after a stellar week, she has put to rest rumors of her demise, spread incessantly by Fox News. And even in the face of relentless coverage of her personal email server, she has fought back against the partisanship freely admitted among Republicans.

… that’s the way that the cookie crumbles in elections. Unexpected events or misinterpretations or simple spin can affect the result. We do not live in a perfect world, and I do not hear Republicans complaining that much about the faulty Supreme Court decision that elected President Bush …

Unlike some on the left, I can understand why the Republicans are upset about Benghazi. If word had spread that the attack was a terrorist action instead of a reaction to an odious video, it could have upset President Obama’s narrative about al Qaeda on the run. And it could have changed the election results.

 

But that’s the way that the cookie crumbles in elections. Unexpected events or misinterpretations or simple spin can affect the result. We do not live in a perfect world, and I do not hear Republicans complaining that much about the faulty Supreme Court decision that elected President Bush over Al Gore, even when the votes in Florida clearly went the other way.

In Jeb Bush’s famous words, “stuff happens.” Democrats would be right to complain about the lack of voting booths in Ohio, for example, a fact that caused many voters, particularly in urban environments, to wait for hours for the right to vote. Maybe, if all those who left instead were given another chance, that state would have swung the other way, and Kerry would have been elected.

So, yes, the spin on Benghazi affected the election. That doesn’t make Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama murderers; they were just good politicians. So suck it up Republicans — you would have done the same thing were the situation reversed.

Hillary Does Her Homework

Rushmore

Hillary Clinton was exquisitely prepared for the Democratic debate this week, and it showed. Moreover, she has consistently studied and learned her lessons throughout her public career.

When Secretary Clinton was elected as Senator of New York, partly due to the dignified way she handled the Monica Lewinsky crisis, she could have relied on her celebrity instead of focusing on the minutiae of her job. But that would have showed, and she chose the harder path.

She kept her head down, assumed a low profile and concentrated on delivering the best representation possible for her constituents.

She kept her head down, assumed a low profile and concentrated on delivering the best representation possible for her constituents.  Hillary learned from other Senators, and she did such a good job that she was easily re-elected.

The entire nation is just beginning to see her productivity and diligence in the way she is handling this run for the Presidency. Running a national organization takes practice, and Hillary is learning from the last time around, focusing on securing delegates and building an efficient campaign infrastructure. This infrastructure will stand her in good stead for the general election and will ultimately result in the first woman President of the United States.

This week’s debate was just the start of a reintroduction to the American people, and we need a well-prepared President to deal with the complex situations in today’s globalized world. We should trust her to handle her duties conscientiously.

Morality in Foreign Policy

war

The United States will always win out in foreign policy versus the Russians for one overriding reason. Morality plays a major role in our foreign policy decisions, and the world knows that. In an arena where so many decisions are underpinned by Machiavellian considerations, the morality factor both restrains us and acts as our greatest benefit.

Now, the Middle East is faced by a re-entry of Russians into their arena. The aerial bombing they are conducting on behalf of their client, Bashar al-Assad, threatens to change the balance of power and perpetrate continued rule by this ruthless dictator. The United States has been largely relegated to a minor role.

The United States will always win out in foreign policy versus the Russians for one overriding reason. Morality plays a major role in our foreign policy decisions, and the world knows that.

While President Obama’s usual opponents are wringing their hands, he may be treating the situation exactly right. The Russians are not, and never will be, loved by their clients. Resorting to their assistance represents a last chance act of desperation by Assad. And the Syrian civil war shows little sign of abating any time in the near future.

But resolutions in the Middle East occur over the long term, over centuries rather than years. And Russia’s bombing raids are making enemies quickly among people who don’t forget.

So President Obama may be correct in his observations about the Russians entering a quagmire. And he may be doing our nation the greatest favor ever by keeping us relatively uninvolved.

The Republican Conception of Jesus According to Maher

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney speaks during a political fundraiser in Washington, September 17, 2002. Cheney said that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's offer to let inspectors back into his country was simply "meant to obfuscate and deter action" and did not signal any significant progress. REUTERS/William Philpott WP - RTRAM1I

Yesterday, Bill Maher observed that conservative Republicans have created another Jesus, one unrelated to the Jesus of the Bible. Here is a brief excerpt of his famous weekly monologue, New Rules:

“. . . and the fact that this story played out last week during a papal visit exposed just how little these so-called Christians of the far right believe in what Jesus actually said.

… [this] papal visit exposed just how little these so-called Christians of the far right believe in what Jesus actually said

How could they? There is not a tent in the world big enough to fit under it both Jesus and Ayn Rand.

In order to be both Republican and Christian, they had to create an entirely new Jesus. We don’t only have two Americas; we have two Jesus’s now.

It’s true. Liberals have the traditional Jesus who hated the rich and wouldn’t shut up about how they should give away all their money, and Conservatives made up a completely new Jesus, a small businessman from Galilee, whose main gripe is big government and who wants to make Nazareth great again.

I call him supply-side Jesus. He’d love to help the less fortunate, but he’s got investors to think about.

Like the time supply-side Jesus performed a miracle and created a bounty of loaves and fishes, and then gave them all to the top one percent so they could trickle down to the “takers.”

Or the time supply-side Jesus came upon a leper who asked to be healed, so supply-side Jesus bought the company that makes leprosy medication and jacked up the price …”

To listen to Bill Maher’s entire dialogue about Another Jesus, visit the clip on YouTube, Republicans Don’t Like the Real Jesus so They Made Up a Fake One.