Back in 2008, the This Week panel, which included Cokie Roberts, went off on John McCain for suggesting, as part of his September flail, that he’d fire SEC Chairman Christopher Cox if he were President, notwithstanding the lack of Presidential authority to do so. (It was more George Will than Cokie, at the end of this video and the beginning of this one.) The point – and I do have one – is that John McCain is the Mayor of Washington. He has cots in the green rooms of all the Sunday talk shows, and whatever fevered gibberish emanates from his lips is treated as serious, because John McCain is a serious man, not an embittered hack who grows more partisan by the week.
So when Cokie Roberts says, in effect, that McCain and Lindsay Graham are full of it on Benghazi, you know they’re tilting at windmills.
Here’s what Roberts actually said, and you have to speak Cokie to get it, but here goes:
It seems to me, Linda, that it’s about Republicans trying to regain supremacy on national security. The fact that it’s John McCain and Lindsay Graham leading the charge on this is instructive. They both believe that their party has gone off the deep end on a lot of issues, especially immigration, but they want to keep the traditional Republican advantage on defense and national security. And for the moment, the Republicans have lost the advantage on that as well. And so those Senators probably think it’s the easiest place to start rebuilding, and the Benghazi attack seems the perfect place to lay down a marker.
Translation: they’re desperate, and they’re throwing raw pasta against the wall.
The whole damn thing is a sorry tantrum thrown by bitter, shameful people, but it is also a very good measure of the way things work inside the bubble along the Potomac within which our politicians and our courtier national press do their daily business. Already, just because McCain has gone post-menopausal and Graham wants to look tough, Susan Rice, an accomplished woman who is far more credentialed to be Secretary Of State than the last woman named Rice who held hat job, is finding herself beset by pipsqueaks. It’s bad enough that John McCain, the man who gave unto the Republic the gift of Sarah Palin, has called her “not too bright.” Dana Milbank wrote a gossipy POS the other day in which Rice was deemed unqualified because she once may have flipped off the late Richard Holbrooke at a meeting….
But you can’t truly get a grasp on how existentially absurd this crusade against Susan Rice is unless you understand the most basic charge against her, the one from which stems the “scandal” that John McCain said this week was on a level with Watergate. Susan Rice, it seems, and the testimony of The Man Called Petraeus — Thanks, Digby — appears to back her up, was the vehicle by which tentative, and partly incorrect, information was promulgated on … The Sunday Shows….
One of the reasons we have such fun with our weekly survey of what the gobshites are saying is that the vast torrents of unabashed, banal swill produced on those shows are treated as mystic revelation by so many important people with so many important jobs. People in Washington actually take these shows seriously, and they like to pretend that the country does, too, even though, on Sunday morning, most of the country is watching ESPN for the latest injury reports and wondering whether they should take Green Bay and lay the 12.
In the course of Watergate, members of the Executive Branch lied to the FBI, lied to federal prosecutors, and lied to various congressional committees for the purpose of covering up crimes in which they were intimately involved. Susan Rice may have said something later found to be inaccurate to David Gregory. John McCain finds the latter just as serious as the former. I think the man needs a cookie. And some thorazine. I think the country needs a new power elite. Stat.
Just make it stop, somehow. That’s all I ask. And if Green Bay’s giving 12, take the dog.