Our latest “liberal” failure: Has anyone ever been repurposed the way Chris Matthews has?
For many years, he was the leading misogynist attack-dog against the vile Hillary Clinton (and a string of liberal women). But now, he has been reinvented.
Last night, he gushed and fawned. Thrills ran up both legs:
MATTHEWS (1/23/13): Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at her best today, appearing before both Senate and House committees on foreign affairs. She showed acuity, eloquence, humanity and charm. To the reasonable questions, she offered candor and humility...Later, at the end of the show: “As her legions of followers like to say, Go, girl, go!”
Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. She never looked better. Venturing forth in unprotected waters today, she showed how not to be defensive, how not to sweat, also how to exhibit humanity, and yes compassion...
It was a magnificent display of smarts, I think, guts definitely, and caring.
You mentioned the fact of compassion and feeling. When she referred to the late Ambassador as Chris—happens to be my name—and constantly hearing her talk about Chris, she had a feeling of common human nature with that guy that a lot of these clowns didn’t even get near today.
She did look great...I thought she has a wonderful way of speaking. And I—and my old boss Tip used to say Ronald Reagan’s great strength was his voice. She has a beautiful voice. She knows how to speak for hours and it's not bothering anybody, the tremendous power of that beautiful voice she has.
Anyway, thank you, Howard Fineman, and thank you, Joan Walsh. I knew you’d love this one. I loved it, too.
Is that what her followers say? Chris made a very good try!
At any rate, Hillary has a beautiful voice—and she has never looked better! For one example of the types of things this horrible man used to say about Hillary Clinton, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/27/08.
Scroll down to “Trashing Clinton.” While in Jack Welch's employ, he ranted this way for years.
Whatever! By now, Matthews has been completely repurposed; he gushes and foams on our side. But Clinton’s twin sessions before the Congress represented the latest liberal failure. They showed the way our liberal leaders let the gong-show attacks against Susan Rice become a great cause in the world.
By now, the whole gang on The One True Channel stands to fight for Clinton and gush. But for months, while Rice was being slaughtered, the channel maintained complete silence. Just as “liberals” once kept their traps shut as both Clintons, then Gore, were savaged and slaughtered, so too our “liberal leaders” kept their traps shut as Rice was sent off to die.
In that sense, the mere fact of yesterday’s hearings represent a major liberal failure. In another way, it helps us see the pitiful state of our upper-end journalism. Even in today’s news report, this is the way the New York Times describes what Susan Rice said:
GORDON (1/24/13): A persistent line of questioning by Republican lawmakers concerned the initial comments from Ms. Rice that the attack might have resulted from a protest, over an anti-Islamic video, that spun out of control.Really? Is that what Rice said? Did she say the Benghazi attack “resulted from” a protest which spun out of control?
Mrs. Clinton defended Ms. Rice even as she appeared to distance herself from Ms. Rice’s comments. “I told the American people that heavily armed militants assaulted our compound, and I vowed to bring them to justice,” Mrs. Clinton said.
Actually, no—she didn’t. After saying a million times that her information was subject to later correction, Rice said that extremists armed with heavy weapons came to the scene of a demonstration and then “hijacked events.”
That isn’t the same thing at all. But you live in an intellectual culture which can’t articulate such distinctions. Basic paraphrase is too hard for your upper-end press corps.
All last fall, Lawrence and Rachel refused to help—and the New York Times still can’t explain what Rice really said. For that reason, John McCain was back on Fox last night, still posing his stupid-ass question:
MCCAIN (1/23/13): I don't think [Rice] has many of the answers. The answers lie within the State Department, the CIA, and the White House. Who changed the talking points and why? Because the talking points, if it had included the classified information they had would have depicted a very different version of events than the ones that Ambassador Rice told the American people.Except, Rice never said that the demonstrators had rocket propelled grenades. She said a bunch of extremists brought the RPGs to a pre-existing demonstration, at which point they “hijacked events.”
And, I guess finally, why would we ever think that people bring mortars and rocket propelled grenades to spontaneous demonstrations? I mean, on the face of it, this cannot be ignored, the fact that this was all in the heat of a presidential campaign, a president who was campaigning, saying bin Laden is dead, and Al Qaeda's on the run. We know that's not true.
John McCain’s question makes no sense. Due to the uselessness of our major elites, he has been asking his stupid-ass question for well over four months!
Final question: Are our liberal leaders just a gang of slobbering racists? After all, they now stand to defend the white woman after they let Rice rot!
Shouldn’t we get out R-bombs out? Or do we just do that to The Others?
"Rice said that extremists armed with heavy weapons came to the scene of a demonstration and then “hijacked events.”"ReplyDelete
"That isn’t the same thing at all. But you live in an intellectual culture which can’t articulate such distinctions."
And you have a commenter who can't understand such distinctions.
For such persons, Bob, your even pointing this out marks you as sainting Rice, "holding her out as a beacon of truth."
So, Bob, you can't criticize the press for distorting Rice's comments; you can't castigate liberals for ignoring or abetting the distortion.
Because, only "beacons of truth" can be so abused, apparently.
Idiocy is king.
A commenter can't understand? What you mean is that only Bob Somerby can parse Susan Rice.ReplyDelete
Here's (possible idiot) Glenn Greenwald:
"Virtually all of this debate has concerned Rice's statements on a series of Sunday news shows in September, during which she claimed that the Benghazi attack was primarily motivated by spontaneous anger over an anti-Islam film rather than an coordinated attack by a terrorist group."
"Everyone now acknowledges that (consistent with the standard pattern of this administration's behavior) Rice's statements were inaccurate, but in a majestic display of intellectual dexterity, progressive pundits claim with a straight face that public officials should be excused when they make false statements based on what the CIA tells them to say, while conservatives claim with a straight face that relying on flawed and manipulated intelligence reports is no excuse."
Someone should tell the Guardian that Greenwald has either: A) been bamboozled by John McCain or B) is an idiot.
Yes, Greenwald is wrong.Delete
Rice *didn't* claim either 1) that the attack was definitely motivated by anger over the film, or 2) that the attack was not "coordinated" (whatever that might mean) by a terrorist group.
This is only a problem for you if A) you believe Greenwald can't be wrong about anything, or B) you are unable to read exactly what Rice actually said.
Whether you suffer from just one or both of these problems is irrelevant. You are quite useless, either way.
Just out of curiosity, did anyone else in the world interpret Rice the way TDH did (and still does)?Delete
Why is Greenwald only wrong? Don't you have more insults for him? Why isn't he a knob-polisher or an idiot? Why are those terms reserved for your commenters? Kiss-up much, Bob?Delete
Greenwald is wrong, and is often (but not always) very tribal when it comes to any foreign policy matter and Obama (his tribe being the holier than now Left). Does ANYWAY deny that Rice's comments included absolutely appropriate disclaimers about being the best information they had on a confusing situation? NO. Idiots like the above Anon just ignore what was actually said because they have an axe to grind.Delete
The Daily Howler is of course correct.
However, rather than racism, it is more likely that weak kneed liberals are conceding points in this matter because it's tough to go against a firmly entrenched factoid once the mainstream media has decided on one. This has much to do with liberals being the respectful people pleasers The Daily Howler so often insists they must be.
I love that the Anonymous idiot thinks (assumes? pretends to think? whatever) that when he gets a dressing down in the comments it just *must* be coming from Somerby hisself.Delete
To be really funny, Bob should just sock-puppet both sides of the argument.Delete
Was this some other Susan Rice...maybe Greenwald got confused?Delete
TAPPER: It just seems that the U.S. government is powerless as this -- as this maelstrom erupts.
RICE: It's actually the opposite. First of all, let's be clear about what transpired here. What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region...
TAPPER: Tunisia, Khartoum...
RICE: ... was a result -- a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is -- that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.
Hmmm... that sounds like Rice claimed, as Greenwald said, that "...that the Benghazi attack was primarily motivated by spontaneous anger over an anti-Islam film..."
That clip is not talking about the Benghazi *attack*Delete
It's obviously, and specifically, talking about what happened THROUGHOUT the region, which was, in fact, understood to be protests against a film.
But maybe bring quotes that don't undermine your own position, OK dummy?
What I don't understand is why even Secretary of State Clinton didn't make the points Bob has been making here. For example, that Rice didn't say that the attack arose out of the supposed protest, or that it was believed that there had been protests in Benghazi because there were protests throughout the Muslim world on September 11 in response to the anti-Islamic video. It's fine to criticize liberals in the press for not making these arguments, but it's a mystery why the Administration doesn't set the record straight itself.ReplyDelete
Because, in the words of Secretary Clinton, "What difference does it make?"Delete
Bob and others can navel-gaze of what Rice said or didn't say on Sunday talk shows, and pretend that the future of the universe depends on being "right."
But it really doesn't make one damned bit of difference what she said.
I understand that this is just a fraudulent attempt by the Republicans to make Rice, Clinton and Obama look bad, and that in reality it makes no difference. But politics matters, and if you can shut-down a BS talking point (like Obama did regarding Benghazi during the 3rd debate), it makes sense to do so.Delete
While Rice, Clinton and Powers and anyone in power in the Executive would like for there to be no accountability for the more negative consequences of their policies, that's not generally good government.Delete
What difference does it make? Well, if the Benghazi attacks were related to protests over a hateful video, then Obama & Co. are off the hook. If there was a deliberate attack against a US mission that was launched by militants that Obama & Co. had supported and possibly armed, then the Libyan intervention would seem less than an unalloyed success.
So there's a pretty big difference when it comes to determining the competence of the officials who backed the Libyan intervention...like Clinton and Susan Rice.
That's frankly ridiculous. This is always a risk when you support something like what happened in Libya, but that doesn't mean you never, ever do it anyway and take that risk. The irony is, of course, that that consulate was there primarily to provide cover for an intensive CIA effort to locate and get hold of those weapons left over from the revolution.Delete
Your theory is that Gadhafi should have been permitted to continue his slaughter of God knows how many tens of thousands of Libyans rather than the risk the possibliity of four American deaths?
gryfalcon, I have been giving the Anonymous idiot a (well-deserved) beating in the comments here, but I must say this:Delete
There is no logical incompatibility between the following views:
1) Susan Rice's words after the Benghazi attack have been distorted, and even inverted in their meaning, in the service of a cynical GOP attack on the Obama administration. Demonstrating this fact, as Somerby has done, is both useful and admirable in the face of an otherwise useless and servile press -- even if Somerby has done nothing to enlighten on broader issues of imperialistic US foreign policy.
2) The Libyan "intervention" was illegal, immoral and very likely to generate blowback against the US, which has no authority to decide what is "permitted" in other nations. Demonstrating this fact, as Greenwald has done, is both useful and admirable in the face of an otherwise useless and servile press -- even if Greenwald has failed to note (and even engaged in) certain distortions of Rice's record.
Not to mention, dear Senator McCain the all-knowing, every single solitary reporter who's spent any time on the ground in Libya and particularly in Benghazi says they *do* bring RPGs to demos just in case, and have even hauled mortars to within range of likely looking brouhahas.ReplyDelete
IOW, there's not only a history of bringing these weapons, there's a history of the people who have them muscling in on otherwise relatively harmless demos and causing bigger trouble.
Well, Republicans did their best to convince the American people that Rice, Clinton, and Obama were dishonest because of the EARLY STATEMENTS about the consulate attack, and incompetent because of the inadequate security.ReplyDelete
It didn't work. Obama still won.
As Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."
The election is over. Obama is not going to be "unelected."
What goes on in Benghazi today may be significant, but what our elected officials are fixated on is not.
So, what else is new?
Years ago,somewhere between being a neophyte and a grizzled figure of experience, I was mildly reprimanded by a person of the highest authority in my work. The reprimand was as unexpected as it was unfair. In my shock, I acted out of paralysis and confusion as much as any incipient wisdom: I apologized. And on went the discussion, out of which I got what I'd been fighting for all along. (I've also lost out in such situations.)ReplyDelete
Mr. Somerby, you/we pick your/our battles. You would have picked Susan Rice. Others didn't read it that way, for good or ill. Move on (as I imagine the seasoned Ms. Rice has).
Observe Hillary Clinton yesterday in Congress. Many moments when she might have responded this way or that, including by rising to Rice's defense. She calculated in other ways, and did very well indeed. You ignore some of your opponents' moves because of a larger strategy, a larger vision.
Give others some room for maybe doing that also. Maybe they're not idiots.
Speaking of Chris Matthews' 180 on Clinton, Richard Cohen in a blog post today wrote: "I myself lack the stomach for what I have written about her over the years, since I now admire her and think she has been a swell — not brilliant — secretary of state."ReplyDelete
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