One of the great ironies of the Obama White House is that it’s filled with the very type of zealots Obama and his aides think inhabit the Tea Party.
The viciousness with which they attack Republicans – attacks laced with suggestions of racism, misogyny, and so forth – as well as the lies and the dedication to ruling by fiat all suggest an administration populated by true believers willing to sacrifice any principle to the cause.
This was, for me, the most startling aspect of the Benghazi email written by national Ben Rhodes. In the aftermath of the killing of four American officials – a most dreadfully serious matter – the urgency in the White House was to protect the president’s image, not to find and present accurate facts to the American public.
Writing today in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan contrasts Obama’s handling of Benghazi with the Reagan administration’s approach to its own scandal, the Iran-Contra affair. Noonan, who worked for Reagan, demonstrates that the Reaganites, though committed conservatives, were not zealots, and were willing to take responsibility for their conduct:
The attorney general, Ed Meese, launched a review of the affair. It was a real investigation, and he went public with his findings. The national security adviser who oversaw the operation had left, but his replacement resigned and his deputy was fired.
The president delivered a national address. Two congressional committees launched investigations. Networks covered the hearings live. Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post said it was the most fun he’d had since Watergate.
Reagan waived executive privilege so his aides would testify. He announced a special commission to investigate everything. There was a full housecleaning. Colin Powell was brought in to run the National Security Council, and Mr. Shultz given full authority for all dealings with Iran. Ultimately Reagan dumped his chief of staff.
The Iran-Contra affair did not spring from low motives. There was no hope of partisan gain, it wasn’t a political play.
All involved were trying—sometimes stupidly, almost childishly—to save lives, and perhaps establish a new opening with Iran. They had good reasons, but the actions were bad, and everyone involved paid a price.
Compare that with how the Obama White House has handled Benghazi. It’s all been spin, close ranks, point fingers, obfuscate, withhold documents, accuse your accusers of base motives. Nobody in the administration has paid a price.
The Obama people are drunk with self-righteousness, leftism, and hero-worship. They could not possibly admit to wrongdoing or serious mistakes, and even if they did, they would never allow repellent, bone-headed Republicans to investigate them.
But, with the press having fallen down on the job, a serious probe by a congressional panel led by an experienced prosecutor is exactly what they’ll get.