I can't help but be reminded of almost any big city police chief when I listen to the question even the conservative and independent media ask. What did he know and when did he know it? Sure that was a valid question for the Water Gate investigation forty years ago, but not because it was forty years ago, but because at the root of that scandal was a criminal incident of Breaking and Entering. In short, the cover-up involved a crime.
Benghazi is not a crime, it was a military attack against an American installation. It was an act of war. Treating it like a crime plays into the Obama narrative that America is weak, and into the obvious lowering of expectations for the performance of duty by the President. So asking what he knows and when he knew it ignores the basic problem. That is, why didn't the Obama administration prepare for the possibility of increased risk in the aftermath of major upheaval in the Arab world , or that the enemy at war with us could adapt and attack on a new front. In short, forget about the anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2011. Why during this period of upheaval when old alliances were falling and new alliances being formed at all levels in these societies, why did the Commander in Chief neglect to take basic precautions against risk? In short why did the President fail in his most basic, restriction free responsibility to protect America's interests abroad. A small detachment of Marines, along with minimal support from the fleets station in the Mediterranean would have been a significant deterrent. The basic premise behind guerrilla warfare is to catch the enemy off guard, and if unable to do so, to disappear quickly in the background and live to fight another day. The attack in Benghazi came about because it was an easy target, the local forces providing security no better than TSA screeners, good at intimidating law abiding citizens but totally useless against a determined opponent, if not actually sympathetic.
For someone who claims to be the smartest man in the room, and described as well educated the President seems to be deaf to any ideas but his own. Given that every person that does things, not just studies what others do, is limited in their personal experience to what they have done. It only makes sense to surround yourself with people that have experience in doing things you did not do. For this the President has the Department of Defense. Not that does not say the department of aggressive military action. Defense. Even a person with no other knowledge of defense then playing basketball knows that the game is never over until the game is over. And in politics, there is no clock. It is the responsibility of the Department of Defense to evaluate threats, but it is up to the Commander in Chief to balance the response to those threats with political consideration. From the local convenience store to the largest military operations, there is a basic understanding that the easiest way to prevent unwanted situations is to make it easier for people to do what you expect them to do. From the store designs and video cameras intended to discourage the casual shopper from becoming a thief by making shoplifting to easy not to be tempting, to the projection of force through the Pacific, Atlantic and Europe designed to discourage an enemy from careless attacks on American interests the idea is to encourage good behavior by making it easier then not. Anyone that has held any kind of job with even minimal responsibility understands this. The military understands that with sufficient project of strength, use of force is rarely necessary. The drug dealer, mugger and gang banger knows this.
Either the commander in chief doesn't know this, or he doesn't listen to the people who know this, or worse, he has surrounded himself with theoreticians who have no practical real world experience. In any event the real question about Obama is why is he so blind to reality?
Most people could see this coming, it is why independents are abandoning his campaign in droves. Obama has a record of poor judgement.
From the very beginning, he has shown that he doesn't pay attention and that he is blind to reality. Even before he was elected, he used the excuse that he never understood what his pastor preached after twenty years of attending services. I could care less what his pastor said, but how can spend twenty years at anything and not know the first thing about what is going on around you? And how can you admit that you are that dense and still show your face in public? Or to make promises about the recovery that you are unable to deliver then excuse that away with the idea that you didn't know how bad it was in reality. Or promise a turn around by spending billions on "shovel ready jobs" that you admit weren't "in reality" as shovel ready as you thought. Or promise that your signiture health care initiative, what people call ObamaCare would reduce costs for the average family by $2,500.00 per year when "in reality" they increased average costs by $3,000.00 per year.
This is a man whose head is firmly planted in the clouds, not reality. Is this a person that surrounds himself with people that tell him what he wants to hear, or worse someone who simply doesn't pay attention. I think it is the later.
And therefore you can't trust anything he says, not because he means to lie, at least not all the time. The risk isn't the lies and distractions hoping that people will forget about Benghazi, but the obvious lack of attention to details. Such as, where the next major terrroist attack may come, or what the impact of a military withdrawl from the middle east really means. The questions about Benghazi we should be asking is this: does this total lack of attention to the job mean that we are safer, that our future is more secure, that our prosperity is assured? Or does it mean that without a new direction for America all of this great country will come to look like the "Southland Chicago"? Increasing violence, increasing danger, shrinking honest opportunity, despair, deterioration and neglect? Can we afford to take the chance that while Obama is not paying attention our enemies (that he refuses to acknowledge exist) will decimate the heart of this great nation. Can we afford another deceit or worse, another excuse that he did not know "ready to attack" was reality.
The answer is in his effort to rally the resources necessary to support the biggest block of Obama supporters in the country east of the Mississippi. The voters of Northern New Jersey and the five boroughs of New York. He had weeks to call meeting with the heads of FEMA and to contract for resources, deploy assets and stage resources so they could be on the spot the minute the weather cleared. In reality he did none of these things.
Like Benghazi, this too shows he is not paying attention, that his head is firmly planted in the clouds, and that in reality he lacks either the ability to anticipate or the skills to implement even the most basic leadership needed anticipate the needs of the citizens he is sworn to serve. A man incapable of anticipating what happened in Benghazi w(hich any 4th grader in Cicero would recognize as "asking for trouble") and who doesn't know what to do to prepare for the aftermath of Sandy isn't ever going to understand anything as complex as our economic recovery.
What we should be asking is why is President Obama always the last one to know that what he is doing is going to hurt us?
Romney/Ryan because we need leaders who heads are not in the clouds.