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Dirty Dancing, Politically

Barack Obama dancingFor over two months pundits on both sides have queried Benghazi in shallow fashion. On the left, for weeks and weeks we heard how this was a spontaneous riot, very unfortunate but no big deal. They also tried to spin how the right was hell-bent on politicizing it, trying to take momentary advantage on the eve of the election, falsely sullying Obama’s foreign policy image and impugning his effectiveness as Commander-in-Chief.

Geraldo grimaced and groaned how things looked pretty bad. Questions needed to be answered, but in the absence of absolute proof he wasn’t willing to make conjectures of what had really happened. I interpret this as a deliberate suspension of reality; a case of mono-political psychosis; looking at things from a heavily biased, ever-hopeful perspective, in the face of contrary reason and logic.

Stephanie Cutter opined repeatedly it’s no big deal! Why are desperate republicans trying to say otherwise? How can they stoop so low as to suggest there was a cover-up, or anything smacking of guile or deceit?

Secretary Clinton? First with the mob & video. Then with the buck stops here mea culpa. Then, outta here! Jetting off to Australia and places east on State business, doing the People’s work. Never mind she either has no clue why her people died, nor if any more of her people were still at risk?

Mustn’t worry she wasn’t aware of safety and security issues threatening her Benghazi consulate. Shouldn’t give a thought to how she missed many relevant security and intelligence briefings that might have invaded her top-of-the-forehead awareness with there’s a problem that needs attention! I guess the press won’t ask, and she won’t tell. We’ll have to remain uninformed and ignorant of her personal involvement/incompetency for a while longer.


Same with Secretary Panetta and CIA Director Petraeus.

Oh, not to forget UN Amb Rice. All of a sameness, parroting their responses, not giving direct answers, acting like it’s someone else’s problem. I see Geraldo again, squirming in his chair, saying in essence Petraeus is a brilliant man, decorated war hero, now dedicated civil servant serving his country beyond the call of duty. He simply can’t believe/re- fuses to believe the general could say or do anything suggesting negligence in office, lapse in accountability or breach of national security.

Of course, this affair thing if just awful: timing, betrayal, weakness. What was he thinking? Reputation? Current job? Damage control? Retirement benefits? Obama’s chance for re-election? Dereliction of duty, negligence, incompetence?

If any of these, would you re-think your position Geraldo? Could it be he’s human, capable of being less than perfect?

Last but not least, we have AG Holder and his FBI Director Meuller. These gentlemen were on to the Petraeus affair back in August, but for some reason withheld it from the president until – you guessed it – after the election. Why?

Here you had the top, most senior intelligence official with access to most of our top security and secret information being compromised by a woman; risking his reputation, career and marriage on a sexual misadventure. History is full of cases where men in high office and authority were seduced/compromised by predator-type women, with or without the ulterior motifs of theft, espionage or treason.

So here’s Holder, aware our top spook is compromised, gathering an ever-mounting pile of evidence of same in collaboration with his FBI Director, but keeping it under his hat? Recall, he is the very best, closest friend for many, many years of President Obama. Is it believable, let alone acceptable, that he wouldn’t mention it? Wouldn’t knowing and not telling be some kind of crime? If he did tell Obama, wouldn’t leaving the Director in office for another 2mo be problematic, irresponsible at least, for the president?

Can we imagine for a moment all this going on, whispers here, secrets there, election day approaching, everyone running around like proverbial chickens, Petraeus distracted with thoughts of his next tryst, when a message comes in asking for more security? Let a subordinate handle it.

Obama pre-occupied with his re-election; Clinton off running around the globe to photo-ops & nightclubs; Petraeus in the sack with Broadwell; Holder confiding to Obama they got to do something pretty quick; Rice sent out as the point PR gal to deflect the questions/probings; Axelrod, Wasserman-Schultz and Cutter spinning fast & furious, one step ahead of the truth. Anybody’s guess what Biden and Panetta were doing. Meuller was working with boss Holder, so he’s OK.


Hell-o? Anybody there? We could use some help here.

We’ve got serious deficiencies in our security. We need more people. Who’s our go-to for defense and reinforcement? Who’s our extraction? Hell-o? Anybody there? This is our 3rd request, over .  .   .  oh god, we’re under attack, over! Repeat! We’re in peril, over! Please send help .  .   .


The right at least recognized the gravity and proportion of Benghazi, almost immediately. They could see cover-up, a hurry-up defense surrounding the White House. Still, they were slow on the uptake. O’Reilly danced around the edges but couldn’t bring himself to ask the $64,000 question: was it a cover-up? Politically motivated? Did it go to the top?

Why wasn’t congress moving faster? Why was it only republican senators/congresspersons were concerned? Why weren’t things begun immediately, in spite of the election?

Where were Clinton, Panetta, Petraeus and White House Security Advisor? Why wasn’t Obama more forthcoming with his knowledge of the situation? Why weren’t Special Senate & House Committees organized/created when it was obvious nothing was being released by the White House?

The republicans didn’t do their job quickly/tenaciously because they were intimidated by an ever-accusatory, democrat machine, a nonplussed and sycophantic press/media, and an apathetic if not oblivious populace. They didn’t want to over-react/misjudge; didn’t want to get it wrong.

So here we are, 2 ½ mos later, holding hearings & trying to sort it out. Memory’s have grown dim; the sense of urgency is gone. Key players have already resigned or given notice. Some, unbelievably, even being considered for promotion.

Dirty DancingIn the film Dirty Dancing Patrick Swayze plays an older man-of-the-world to Jennifer Grey’s young ingénue. She’s attracted to his confidence & poise, following his lead. He basks in her insouciance, getting beguiled in the process. Both find passion and love, in the metaphor of dance.

Just as Swayze’s character sweeps Grey off her feet in a swoon of dubious trust, so this president sweeps over our good political sense and hopeful expectation. Too many give him a free pass, assume he means well and knows his job. Too many bask in his caring persona, believe his rhetoric, and trust his purpose.

But some of us are concerned, becoming impatient. Bereaved families remain on vigil, hoping to learn the truth of why their loved ones died. We wait with them. We hear their thoughts and our own; does anybody care?


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I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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