I really love Facebook. It helps me hone my epigrammatic skills, since I believe it demands some brevity; it allows me, in sneaky fashion, to expose my liberal friends to articles and ideas that don’t normally appear on their horizons; and it allows me to get a window into what ordinary liberals (as opposed to internet activist liberals) are thinking.
For the past week, as scandal after scandal emerged — Benghazi, AP, IRS — my friends have been conspicuously silent. They’re starting to re-group, as the memes beginning to flow. I’m not seeing the overwhelming deluge of posters that they latched onto after Todd Akin opened his mouth, but they’re definitely headed somewhere.
On the Benghazi scandal, we have this one:
Who cares that the intelligence leading up to the Iraq War was the best available at the time? Who cares that much of it proved to be true? Who cares that Plame and Wilson were inveterate liars and self-promoters?
For the Left, Bush is the magic inoculation: Because Bush was once president, there is nothing Obama can do wrong because no matter his culpability or wrongdoing, Bush was worse. Nyah! The fact that the Benghazi incident reveals politically-motivated failures, lies, and negligence simply doesn’t matter, because Bush was worse.
Even if one accepts, solely for the sake of argument, that Bush indeed was exactly as morally culpable for carelessness and cover-ups, that’s a dreadful standard. “Hey, I know I killed those two guys, but you can’t arrest or imprison me, because Charles Manson was worse.” “Yeah, okay, so I killed millions of my own countrymen, but what are you going to do? Mao killed more.”
The fact is, though, that Bush was never guilty of anything more than relying on bad intelligence — or for making bad decisions based upon good intelligence. Nothing he did was done behind the scenes, nor did he walk away during the night, leaving Americans to die. And there’s no evidence whatsoever of a cover-up. After all, post-Watergate, it’s been received wisdom that it’s not the act, it’s the cover-up that’s the problem.
The other thing my Leftist friends are finally catching up with is the umbrella thing. This poster is now making the rounds:
When one of my Facebook friends posted that image, and repeated the question (“What’s the difference?”) I politely pointed out several differences: First, the other umbrella holders are not Marines. They’re Army or aides, and they’re clearly along to lend a hand, not stand guard. Second, Marines do not carry umbrellas, and for the Commander in Chief to demand that they violate standing orders is bad. Third, Marines only carry umbrellas for women, which makes the president look wussy in the midst of scandals that have even his acolytes questioning his leadership abilities (because he’s either ineffective or corrupt, so they’ve chose ineffective). And fourth, the President’s own words were dreadful: “They’re going to look good next to us.”
(Incidentally, after Hillary’s famous, dishonest, prevaricating, cover-up question “what difference at this point does it make?” I would suggest that Democrats/Progressives henceforth avoid that question entirely. It invariably means that it makes a big difference, and not one that looks good for them.)
Those words yield themselves to two interpretations, both dreadful. Either Obama thinks of the Marines as props (which is entirely possible given how Michelle framed herself with troops in dress uniform when she handed out the Best Picture Oscar) or he actually thinks that his overwhelming God-like-ness will make the Marines — the Marines! — look better. Or, as some wit showed in a poster:
The one thing that none of my liberal Facebook friends has dared to touch is the IRS scandal. I know why, too. Doing so would force them to admit one of two unpalatable things: (1) either they think it’s okay for the IRS to be used for partisan purposes or (2) they would have to acknowledge that conservatives were right that Obama’s administration is corrupt and that big government is a dangerous infringement on individual liberties. They choose silence.