Last week, it was Mike Huckabee comparing the latest trumped up non-scandal to Watergate and suggesting that President Obama should be impeached over the handling of the embassy attack in Libya. Now we've got flamethrower Rep. Marsh Blackburn making the same comparison -- Republican Lawmaker: Obama’s Handling Of Libya Is ‘Worse Than Watergate’:
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined the chorus of Republicans criticizing President Obama’s response to the violence in Libya on Monday, going so far as to suggest that the administration’s handling of the situation is worse than Watergate — the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon:
BLACKBURN: I think this is an issue — Benghazi-gate is the right term for this. This is very, very serious, probably more serious than Watergate. And to call this a response to a video when it was obviously a terrorist attack — and when you read some of the documentation on this, and you know that there has been other sites and locations that have bind attack in Libya, when you know that the Libyan government felt there was something getting ready to transpire.
Fox News, Republican lawmakers, and conservative pundits have for weeks criticized U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice for initially characterizing the attack as a “spontaneous reaction” to a movie trailer disparaging the Prophet Muhammed. Since then, however, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and even White House Spokesperson Jay Carney have all used the word “terrorist” to describe the attack. Obama himself attributed the violence to terrorism during a September 12 address at the Rose Garden.
Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly has more on how this is part of the Romney campaign's new strategy that they think is going to turn the election around for them -- Benghazi Truthers:
Now and then you read a report from “within” a presidential campaign that strains credulity to the point where you wonder if it was deliberately put out as disinformation. That’s how I felt when I read this piece at Salon from Craig Unger:
According to a highly reliable source, as Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama prepare for the first presidential debate Wednesday night, top Republican operatives are primed to unleash a new two-pronged offensive that will attack Obama as weak on national security, and will be based, in part, on new intelligence information regarding the attacks in Libya that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens on September 11.
The source, who has first-hand knowledge of private, high-level conversations in the Romney camp that took place in Washington, DC last week, said that at various times the GOP strategists referred to their new operation as the Jimmy Carter Strategy or the October Surprise.
He added that they planned to release what they hoped would be “a bombshell” that would make Libya and Obama’s foreign policy a major issue in the campaign. “My understanding is that they have come up with evidence that the Obama administration had positive intelligence that there was going to be a terrorist attack on the intelligence.”
The source described the Republicans as chortling with glee that the Obama administration “definitely had intel” about the attack before it happened. “Intelligence can be graded in different ways,” he added, “and sometimes A and B don’t get connected. But [the Romney campaign] will try to paint it to look like Obama had advance knowledge of the attack and is weak on terrorism.”
“Chortling with glee”? Seriously? If that’s true, Team Mitt better put down the crack pipe. They’ve already tried to exploit the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens as a sign of Obama’s “weakness” to no apparent effect. But now, if Unger’s source is reliable, they somehow think that getting down into the murky undergrowth of intelligence reports and claiming the administration knew exactly what would happen in Benghazi and lacked the resolve to do anything about it is going to turn the whole election around!
And it actually gets even crazier in Unger’s account: [...]
Landslide? Maybe Unger’s source is Jennifer Rubin, who is beside herself in a post today urging Mitt to get in touch with his inner Dick Cheney on the Benghazi attacks: [...]
Unger’s report, of course, is just one of many emanating from within or near the Romney campaign about its secret brilliant tactics that us outsiders are just too dumb to comprehend. Most at the moment involve micro-targeting: Mitt will get over the hump by promising a nineteenth-century-industrial-revolution effort to fill the skies with coal dust, or put the whole country to work on pipelines and oil platforms, or put the power and authority of the federal government behind the war on Lyme’s Disease. At this point, I don’t know what to believe, and I wouldn’t put any tactic past these birds.
But there’s something about the image of Romney staff and consultants sitting around chortling about how they’ve finally found a way to replay the 1980 election that bears the strong aroma of self-delusion. Heavy reliance on the Benghazi Truther approach would certainly give the wingnutosphere a big opening to revisit all their favorite Obama-Hates-America “vetting” schemes. But the only “October Surprise” such a tactic would likely generate is a consolidation of swing-voter impressions that Mitt Romney is living on a different planet, listening to strange alien voices.