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Benghazi and Boston: The Need For Creative Destruction

by John on 12/14/2012

So Susan Rice has withdrawn as a possible nominee for Secretary of State.

This episode shows how corrupt and distorted our politics have become.

We need a political colonic; a political version of Schumpeter’s creative destruction.  Our leaders – the ones not elected to Congress – and We The People need to call for a complete revamping of: Congressional rules, campaign financing; and the role of political parties.

Already I have changed the way I address our political leaders.  No more polite salutations of Senator or Congressman.

Let’s look at the Rice/Benghazi/Boston Affair.  Boston?  Yes, Boston.  I will explain.

First, let me say this.  Do I know all this as fact?  No.  But all the indicators point to this.  In other words, follow the money.

Here’s the evidence:

Susan Rice was a scapegoat – for both parties. 

Democrats used her to shield Hillary Clinton.  Why is the UN Ambassador taking the heat for what the Secretary of State oversees?  

Politically speaking, at least on the surface, Obama is paying it back to Hillary – should she run to succeed him.  Obama is also shielded from a Woman Backlash.  But he may be perceived as throwing a person of color under the bus.

Let me say this about Hillary.  I am actually a fan of hers.  However, she needs to come forward about Benghazi.  And, another however: I am uncomfortable with the anointing of Hillary as the next President.  Democrats and the media are pushing this; it creates buzz and money.  The sooner Hillary makes up her mind, the sooner the special interest money starts to roll in for the corporate media.

Republicans used Susan Rice to get two things:

  1. To get one of their own in as Secretary of State – John Kerrey.  Do you see the Boston connection now?  Wait there is more.
  2. To get Scott Brown, a Republican, back as Senator in Massachusetts.  He would run for Kerrey’s vacant seat if Obama nominates him to State.  Brown’s good-bye speech yesterday on the Senate floor was more like, “See you in a few months.”  Brown was beaten by Elizabeth Warren in November.  Unless Massachusetts Governor Duvall Patrick runs for the vacant seat, I don’t see a Bay State Democrat who could beat him.

Do I feel sorry for Susan Rice?  No.  I have said this for a number of years now about politics.  And I said this on my blogs to John Kerrey and his supporters who were shocked about the swift-boating in 2004.

It’s politics.  You’re playing in the big leagues; start swinging or get over it.

But here’s the bigger point.  And my good friend Sal Mentesana phrased it perfectly to me.  He said: Profits have overtaken purpose.

And he’s right.  Take Benghazi.

  • We don’t know yet what really happened.  This could have been a covert operation that went wrong.
  • The Administration needs to come clean.  Four people died.  We need to know why and can this be avoided.  Even if we find out the obvious that working in a foreign country is dangerous; we need to know that.  We also need to know if the election played a role in the President’s response.
  • Hillary Clinton needs to testify before Congress.
  • I tend to side with this Administration on foreign policy as opposed to the GOP-look back to George W. Bush failures.  I also think the region there is in massive upheaval and there is no playbook on how to handle the mess that is the Arab Spring.
  • We also need to be careful on how this controversy plays out.  Right now, the Libyan people are on our side.  There was an outpouring of support after the death of Ambassador Stephens.  The GOP has to be careful not to paint all Libyans or all Arabs as terrorists.
  • Democrats need to stop pointing to Colin Powell’s speech to the UN convincing everyone that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.   Instead, they should be asking more questions about the catastrophe.
  • However, the GOP should remember what Colin Powell was forced to say in that speech that led to thousands of deaths.  Their tarring of Rice seemed way too aggressive.  Granted, there may have been personal reasons, but we need to know that too.

This is the bias I call the NFL-Bias Of Politics.

  • Both sides bash-in each other’s brains for our entertainment – and they make profits by taking our money.
  • The NFL does this each week.  I either pay for a ticket to a game or I give my time to the NFL’s TV advertisers to hate the Philadelphia Eagles or New York Jets.  Yet at the end of the game, my teams shake hands with the enemy I so hate.  Sure, it’s an illusion; it’s suspending disbelief; it’s my entertainment.

Now look at Congress, namely the Senate in this case.

They create two teams – Republicans and Democrats.  Then they bash each other’s brains in – on the floors of Congress or in the media.  Afterwards, they end up shaking hands knowing that their fans – the special interest groups – have paid all of them.  And We The People watch as spectators – paying for it.

We’re not spectators.  We are the shareholders of this democracy.  These lawmakers are supposed to be beholden to us.  We’re the bosses; not them.

But since we like the NFL business model, we have allowed that system to become the foundation for our politics.

Thus massive changes are needed.

Do you really think Senators from both parties care about the truth of Benghazi?  No, they’re trying to put one of their own as Secretary of State while getting another one of the old boy network back into the fold.

And yet we fall for it — by rooting for either Democrats or Republicans – when both teams are on the same side – the side that doesn’t include us.

This would be fine if it were sports and if we were paying a small fee for this entertainment.  But we’re not.

We are paying for this entertainment with our jobs, the slow destruction of our economy, the take-over of our economy by a few oligarchs, our kids’ education, and our standing in the world.

There is one small change I have made.  You will notice it in all my columns.  I no longer write about, address, or greet a member of Congress or any elected official as “Senator”, “Congressman”, or “Representative”.  They will either be called by their first name or Mr., Mrs., or Miss.

To give them those titles of reverence is wrong.  Too many of them have gotten the title based on bribery and corruption.  Have all of them?  No, but until they act as leaders and clean up the mess, they don’t deserve my expressions of reverence or respect.

We should be talking like this to both sides of the aisle:

“You work for me.  Do your job and tell me the truth about Benghazi.  Trust me, I can take it.  I just hope you can.”


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