Political Animal


February 18, 2013 9:57 AM McCain Plants His Flag in the Fever Swamps

By Ed Kilgore

It wasn’t that new or surprising, but Sen. John McCain’s insistence on Meet the Press yesterday that the Obama administration was engaged in a “massive coverup” of Benghazi! is an indication that conspiracy-shouting on the subject among Republicans won’t go away any time soon, or perhaps ever.

Now maybe I’m wrong, but it seems any line of inquiry about a past event that consists solely of questions rather than any specific allegations or even suspicions is designed to be eternal. All the semi-legitimate concerns about what happened and why should have been resolved by the State Department’s December report. Does it explain every utterance about the event by administration figures? No, because they really just don’t matter except in terms of some master narrative of Obama knowing the War on Terror is a more urgent priority than ever and deliberately hiding the evidence because he’s soft on Muslims or hates Israel or something.

Perhaps this is just McCain being an angry old guy who can’t let go of anything; he is, after all, about to vote against Chuck Hagel’s confirmation for Secretary of Defense because Hagel won’t admit he was wrong about McCain’s precious Iraq “surge.” But it also illustrates how fiercely today’s Republicans will hold onto any topic that leads into the soggy turf of vague but infamous fears about the 44th president.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on February 18, 2013 10:14 AM:

    Maybe we didn't realize at the time, what a calming influence Senator Lieberman (I - Israel) had on Senator McClown (R - AlZheimer) and Senator Limpseed Cornpone Grahamcracker (R - Closet).

    The old bird and the old girl seem to be more than a bit off their med's lately.

    Oh well, the Three Stooges were never the same after Curly died, either.

  • Kathryn on February 18, 2013 10:29 AM:

    There is a huge amount of ginned up "evidence" on the Internet and right wing radio nuts pushing a coverup. The base and I'm betting an overwhelming number of South Carolina primary voters are frothing at the mouth over Benghazi, they won't let it go no matter how stupid they look to the rest of us. Obama hatred consumes them, the base that is and McCain. From what Bennen wrote on a maddow Blog, McCain looked plenty lame when directly questioned about nature of coverup, got testy (imagine) and disagreeable (I'm shocked).

    Wonder how far McCain strays from the Sunday shows green rooms during the week, he doen't want to lose his permanent seat.

  • Gandalf on February 18, 2013 10:34 AM:

    That about sums it up cundgulag. It's impossible for any sane human to fathom what these birds are driving at with this constant Benghazi screaming. Just what would the president have to gain by some kind of coverup unless og course as Mccain suspects the muslim manchurian president was somehow the mastermind behind the Benghazi attack. Yea Yea thats the ticket.

  • Thomas on February 18, 2013 10:38 AM:

    My favorite part of all these conspiracies is that the utter lack of evidence is proof the administration is hiding something.

  • john sherman on February 18, 2013 10:38 AM:

    Still, this is almost sane compared to Republicans on the Clintons. Remember Hillary the murderer and Bill the cocaine dealer and Whitewater (whatever that was) and. . .and. . .

  • c u n d gulag on February 18, 2013 10:39 AM:

    I'm waiting for either McClown or Limpseed to go on a Sunday bloviation fest, and yell, "When did the President not know. And when did he not know it?!?!?!"

    Who knew you needed an oxygen tank and a Sherpa guide to climb the Benghazi molehill?

  • boatboy_srq on February 18, 2013 10:50 AM:

    @Kathryn: IOW, McCain is incensed again that TABMITWH. And there's just enough of a push from his constituents to make dementia defensible.

    McNasty is really showing his colors - and they're not at all attractive. I'd suggest AZ send him home next election, but I'm afraid of who they'd send to DC to replace him.

  • biggerbox on February 18, 2013 11:00 AM:

    At least with the birther nonsense I could understand the underlying point - if he wasn't born in the US, then he would be eligible to be President. But with Benghazi, I don't even get that much. What was the aim of whatever conspiracy they are "covering up"? What are they supposed to be hiding? That the Obama administration couldn't make every spot on the globe safe for Americans at all times? That they let a headstrong ambassador leave his relatively well-defended embassy in the capital of a chaotic country for a lightly defended outpost far from our power projection capability on the anniversary of 9/11? That when everything went crazy they didn't immediately have perfect analysis they were willing to air on Meet the Press?

    I'm sorry. I keep reflexively trying to understand why any of this would be worth making a fuss about, and I keep coming up with "So?"

  • Robert on February 18, 2013 11:16 AM:

    This is certainly an argument for regular testing of the sanity of those hired by us tax payers...If an employer can and will use any test to confirm the viability of an employee, we should use the same standard for people who can vote for NUKING a country...

  • Mimikatz on February 18, 2013 11:58 AM:

    I thought Hagel's great sin was endorsing Obama over McCain. Or was it just Romney he endorsed?

    McCain is not just trying to get vindication for the surge but for the whole damn war. They don't want the public to remember they were conned into it because it will make it harder to gin up war with Iran. McCain is despicable and a publicity hound with serious attention deficit disorder. He needs constant attention. He has to be looking over his shoulder at the far more execrable Ted Cruz, though. People get tired of outrage, that's the thing. Most people are really tired of Benghazi, war and bickering. They are tuning the whole thing out.

  • Peter C on February 18, 2013 1:09 PM:

    I'm glad that usually worthless David Gregory asked McCain repeatedly just what he thought the administration as covering up.

    MCCAIN: We have had a massive coverup on the part of the administration.

    GREGORY: Iím asking you, a coverup of what?

    MCCAIN: Iím asking YOU, do you care whether four Americans died? The reasons for that? And shouldnít people be held accountable for the fact that four americans died ó including a very dear man?

    GREGORY: You said there is a coverup. A coverup of what?

    MCCAIN: Of the information concerning the deaths of four brave Americans.

    McCain and the Republicans have not realized that they've lost on Benghazi; there is no 'there' there. They wanted a scandal but they didn't get one. Their continued sputtering just highlights their senility.

  • Pokeyboy on February 18, 2013 1:14 PM:

    I suspect when they started this that they thought it was a State Department SNAFU, but they must by now know the primary fault lies with another gov't entity.

  • James E. Powell on February 18, 2013 1:25 PM:

    It's McCain's anger & bitterness over the fact that, outside of Sunday talk shows, no one cares what he has to say about anything, plus the Republicans' need to have something/anything to feed their Obama-hating base voters, plus the corporate press/media's desire to have an anti-Obama story that they can run to demonstrate that they are not liberal.

  • mrgavel on February 18, 2013 3:03 PM:

    When is racism not racism? When it is uttered by a GOP Senator.

  • j on February 18, 2013 3:05 PM:

    Why doesn't someone just ask gramps why he did not go to the CIA security briefing on Beghazi, I think at the time he was in front of a camera complaining that he did not have enough information on Benghazi.
    Why don't they also ask him about his statement when he was running for president, that Hagel would make a wonderful choice for defense secretary?
    A couple of items of interest to McGrumpy today - one is Maddow's documentary. The other is the fact that when Obama goes to Israel he is to be given a prestigious award.

  • ralphb on February 18, 2013 4:40 PM:

    McGrumpy will attack the President of Israel for being anti9Israel just as soon as he gives President Obama the award.

  • thebewilderness on February 18, 2013 4:52 PM:

    This is how the "blame game" is played by sociopaths.

  • pjcamp on February 18, 2013 10:46 PM:

    "McCain Plants His Flag in the Fever Swamps"

    McCain has a flag on his face?