Some More Debate Dissection

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 18, 2012

I just want to touch on the following general points:

  • President Obama has no agenda for a second term. That ought to worry people a whole lot.
  • I think that we should have another debate in which Candy Crowley goes up against Candy Crowley. Maybe Mitt Romney can moderate; at least he would do an honest refereeing job.
  • Speaking of Crowley’s performance, read Noah Rothman, who shows why her performance is an indictment of the media in general.
  • Read Erik Wemple as well. He emphasizes that Barack Obama tried to avoid the question on Libya, and points out that after the debate, the president admitted that “he delayed calling the attack a [terrorist] attack,” and refrained from using “the full ‘terrorist’ designation” for “about two weeks.” Which, um, is pretty much the point Mitt Romney was making.
  • And do read Will Inboden, who writes a passage worth highlighting:

. . . the core question from Benghazi is whether it was a pre-meditated attack by an organized terrorist group, or spontaneous mob violence in response to the anti-Muhammed video. The available evidence overwhelmingly substantiates that it was the former, yet for over a week after the attack the Obama administration systematically insisted that it was the latter.

This line was most evident in U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points, delivered verbatim at the behest of the White House on multiple news shows. Those talking points were explicitly designed to do two things: 1) knock back the “this was a terrorist attack” allegation and 2) advance the White House’s preferred angle that the assault on the consulate was a spontaneous mob response to the offensive video. This deliberate messaging campaign achieved both goals temporarily, until more evidence began to surface publicly about both the nature of the attack and the early reporting on it by the American intelligence community.

Only after this campaign crumbled did the Obama administration decide to pivot awkwardly to the new angle that President Obama himself pushed last night — creating the misleading impression that the White House had never peddled the “this wasn’t a pre-meditated terrorist attack” line in the first place.

It’s simply no longer tenable to pretend that Barack Obama was shown to have been correct in his debate claims regarding the administration’s response to the attack in Benghazi. The facts just don’t bear it out.

  • MS61

    How dare you! He does have an agenda for the 2nd term – free rubbers for the gals.

    • Pejman_Yousefzadeh

      Voted this comment down, and nearly deleted it. Play nice in comments, please. I’d like to think that kids can read comments here without parents getting upset.

      • MS61

        Fair point and I’m fine if you delete it. I enjoy your blog and want to ensure you keep the right tone.

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