"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What Digby Said

With her usual perspicacity, on the Benghazi flap. Quoting Josh Marshall:
One reason the Benghazi controversy has always seemed so bogus to me is that I’ve never bought the core premise, which is that the administration had any clear political reason or advantage to gain by claiming the attack was tied to the video as opposed to a pre-planned assault. (Here’s our look at how Benghazi evolved into a GOP talking point.) In addition to a great number of hacks peddling this idea, some people I respect a great deal seem to credit the idea. But again, it doesn’t add up to me.

She goes on to elaborate:

I was watching the McLaughlin Report last night while making dinner and Pat Buchanan responded to Eleanor Clift's similar question by saying they all lied to protect Obama's reputation as a terrorist killer. That's the best explanation I've heard for why the right is pimping this so-called scandal, but it's mighty thin in my opinion. Most of the country doesn't even know where Benghazi is and don't consider a "terrorist attack" there to be particularly relevant to their lives. To think they would vote for Romney on this basis strikes me as a reach.

I had some thoughts on this bit, though. For starters, a third of American college students can't find their home towns on a map. (That's an old figure -- it may have gone up since I ran across it a couple of years ago.) Second, and most important, I think she has a mis-read on the issue of terrorists attacks and their relevance in most people's minds.

"Terrorist attack," or anything "terrorist," has moved into that category of buzz words that go straight to the lizard brain -- much like "save the children!" and anything Nazi. If you call something a "terrorist attack," I seriously think that most people in this country have gotten to the point where they go straight into survivalist mode without bothering to think about it. They don't have to know where Benghazi is -- they don't know for sure where they are in relation to anyplace else in the world anyway.

And the right, much to our collective detriment, have got a lock on that aspect of human psychology -- they've been using those kinds of tactics very successfully since Willie Horton, or even before -- Anita Bryant comes to mind.

So I suspect that most people, at least those in the right wing target audience, do consider "terrorist attacks" to be relevant to their lives -- they're being threatened, even more so since Americans were killed. After all, we've had eleven years of repeated warnings of "terrorists," to the extent that we put up with things like the abomination that is the TSA, trial by president, abrogation of habeas corpus, and the whole panoply of our government's reaction to perceived threats, even though the perception outweighs the reality by orders of magnitude.

After all, any country that can consider a four-year-old in leg braces a threat is certainly going to have the desired response (from the Fox News point of view) to an attack on Americans someplace most of them have never heard of.

Read both posts, Digby's and Josh Marshall's -- they're worth the time.

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