Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Difference Does It Make?

I am watching the testimony today on Capitol Hill, and it's objectively not the case that "Madame Secretary" is "wiping the floor with the Republicans who are trying to take her down." But then, as we saw yesterday, progressives can only win debates by successful doublespeak and historical revisionism. Here's Steve M's early attempts to get it done for the Hillary and Democrats on the Benghazi clusterf-k, "THE BREITBART/O'KEEFE-IZATION OF AMERICAN POLITICS, PART MCMLXXVII":

What Difference Does It Make?
Now, sometimes these things never attain any more than shibboleth status -- they're secret codewords right-wingers use whenever they talk about a particular Antichrist of theirs. This will definitely attain that status -- years from now, when Hillary publishes her memoirs or announces a run for president, folks on winger message boards will write "What difference does it make?" and not even bother to put the phrase in context, because all the like-minded readers will just know.

But sometimes these things do more damage. Sometimes they really do color how a story is covered outside the right-wing bubble. Will that happen this time? Will the wingers be able to turn this decontextualized soundbite into a deceptive sign of Secretary Clinton's indifference?

This is an Andrew Breitbart/James O'Keefe tactic, but its use is not limited to O'Keefe and the carriers of the Breitbart torch -- this is a mainstream GOP tactic. The entire party and all its coat-holders are on board.
I can't believe how stupid this is. It won't be just the "deranged" right-wing Breitbart/O'Keefe-bots trotting out the "what difference does it make?" soundbite all night. Every single network will air it because it's a Michael Kinsley gaffe. Hillary amits that the White House didn't give a shit about the truth. Their goal was to deflect the public from the truth, and they did so for weeks. It makes all the difference in the world what version of events plays in the public mind. Nothing I've seen of Hillary's testimony discredits the criticism that the White House politicized its response to the attack. She even threw Ambassador Susan Rice under the bus. Hillary's covering her ass while spinning a bunch of transparency bullshit to evade the real truth of it all: the lives of our personnel were less important than getting this president reelected. And that's why the left has pooh-poohed this entire debacle since September 11. All of the administration's foreign and national security policies have been about amassing and retaining power. From appeasing the Muslim world to grandstanding on human rights to creating a kill list to liquidate those who would expose Barack Hussein's anti-terror hypocrisies, this administration has been a disaster for U.S. interests in the world and for the lives of Americans at home and abroad. That's what difference it makes. At least folks like the late Andrew Breitbart, and James O'Keefe who continues his work, have been willing to point it out.

More from Robert Stacy McCain, "Liberal Blogger: ‘How Dare You Smear Hillary by Quoting Her Accurately!’" (via Memeorandum).

PHOTOSHOP CREDIT: Geri Hendricks on Twitter.


* "'I take responsibility ... I put my arms around the wives left to raise their children ...'"

* "John McCain Questions Hillary Clinton on Benghazi."

* "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Testimony Before House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee."