Addressing the critics of the Obama administration’s prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky posited that this controversy represents the Right’s new Benghazi, by which he means a new scandal obsession which will prove fruitless.
The absurdity in the piece is unrelenting; Tomasky claims that “Bergdahl may well end up being the flimsy excuse for the impeachment hearings they’ve been dreaming of.”
Tomasky alleged that, if a Republican were in office, the Right would “be defending the move all the way.” At the end of the day, according to Tomasky, the Right has been pushing Benghazi “mostly to see if they can pin anything on Hillary, but when it comes to wet impeachment dreams, Benghazi may have just been pushed to the back seat.”
This piece at once manages to be offensive to the families of the Benghazi victims while also being riddled with presuppositions. At the same time, this is an insult to Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers, six of whom died looking for him when he (more than likely) deserted his post for reasons not yet known.
Of course, in some respects on this, Tomasky is right. This is the Right’s new Benghazi in that, here as there, there’s a strong desire to get all the facts out on the table. Of course, with Benghazi as with Bergdahl, there’s nothing stopping Democrats from being critical of the administration and holding its feet to the fire over the decisions made by the president and Secretary of Defense Hagel.
As to Tomasky’s impeachment claim, the columnist failed to provide any evidence that anywhere near a significant number of House Republicans were seriously pushing for that, let alone making noises about it.
For what it’s worth, even liberal legal experts like CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin assert there’s no two ways about it that the White House likely broke federal law by refusing to notify Congress 30 days prior to the release of five high level Taliban members from Guantanamo. Certainly the president can claim that requirement was a gross violation of the doctrine of separation of powers as it unnecessarily tied his hands as commander-in-chief regarding an issue of military administration, but that’s not something the courts have spoken to. At the very least, it’s a marked departure from Mr. Obama’s rhetoric as a candidate where he insisted he would rein in the powers of the presidency as they had been arguably exploited under the George W. Bush administration.
All of these facts are evidently lost on Tomasky, who will stop at nothing to defend the indefensible when it comes to President Obama. It has been difficult to find–even from the fairly liberal networks–such a desperate defense of the president on display.