Obama learns a lesson, but the press declines to....
For once, Team Obama learns from an epic policy failure and avoids a repeat: last week it exfiltrated all staff from Tripoli to preclude another Benghazi.
Historian Walter Russell Mead details how the press still gives Obama cover over Libya, and the lamentable consequences of same:
Luckily for America’s self-esteem, it was liberal Democrats that produced this particular shambles. If Republicans had done this, the media would be on the administration non-stop, perhaps comparing Samantha Power to Paul Wolfowitz—a well-meaning humanitarian way over her head who wrecked a country out of misguided ideology. There might also be some pointed questions for future presidential candidates who supported this fiasco. But since both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have their fingerprints all over Libya, there isn’t a lot of press hunger for a detailed, unsparing autopsy into this stinking corpse of policy flub.
If Obama were a Republican, the press and the weekly news shows would be ringing with hyperbolic, apocalyptic denunciations of the clueless incumbent who had failed to learn the most basic lessons of Iraq. Indeed, the MSM right now would be howling that Obama was stupider than Bush. Bush, our Journolist friends would now be saying ad nauseam, at least had the excuse that he didn’t know what happens when you overthrow a paranoid, genocidal, economically incompetent Arab tyrant in an artificial post-colonial state. But Obama did—or, the press would nastily say, he would have done if he’d been doing his job instead of hitting the golf course or yakking it up with his glitzy pals at late night bull sessions. The ad hominem attacks would never stop, and all the tangled threads of incompetence and failure would be endlessly and expertly picked at in long New Yorker articles, NYT thumbsuckers, and chin-strokings on all the Sabbath gasbag shows.
Why, the ever-admirable tribunes of a free and unbiased press would be asking non-stop, didn’t this poor excuse for a President learn from what happened in Iraq? When you upend an insane and murderous dictator who has crushed his people for decades under an incompetent and quirky regime, you’d better realize that there is no effective state or civil society under the hard shell of dictatorial rule. Remove the dictator and you get chaos and anarchy. Wasn’t this President paying attention during the last ten years?
So, WRM writes, the press reports news it cannot ignore, such as the collapse of civil order in Libya. But it deliberately declines to connect the dots, and thus Obama's lefty Democratic administration escapes full public accountability--as in, at the ballot box--for its failings.
And worst of all, the press "will do what it can to let all the people involved in the Libya debacle move on to the next and higher stage of their careers."
Bottom Line. Press double standards matter in two pernicious ways. They help the favored political party win more often than it deserves to win. And worse, the leading lights of that party are allowed to continue to fail upward, and thus the caliber of governance under the favored party declines.
Letter from the Capitol. LFTC, Foreign Policy, National Security, Conservative Politics