Did President Obama devise the Bergdahl prisoner swap as a distraction from:
- A) The EPA’s new carbon emission regulations
- B) The Veterans Administration backlogs
- C) The missing Nigerian schoolgirls
- D) The missing Malaysian plane
- E) Benghazi
Send your answers to…..Oh forget it. This started out to be a satirical article intended to illustrate the absurdity of the conservative mindset that is hyper-fixated on finding covert schemes and nefarious intent behind everything that President Obama does. However, as I researched it, it became clear once again that satire can never keep up with the ludicrous reality of America’s right-wing, to whom everything is a scandal or a distraction from one.
Consequently, this attempt at a humorous presentation of possible justifications for the Bergdahl prisoner swap has produced actual allegations of a deliberate effort to distract the public and the media from other pseudo-scandals. For instance:
- Glenn Beck: The only reason why this happened is because the president is trying to get the VA off of the front page of the newspapers.
- Manny Alvarez (Fox News): Don’t let Bergdahl’s rescue make you forget about the VA scandal.
- John Hayward (Breitbart): Obama’s gambit to distract America from the VA scandal is turning into the most devastating scandal of his crime-riddled presidency.
- Erick Erickson: The Administration is focusing on this and distracting the press, most likely willingly, from a few issues that require focus.
- Ben Shapiro (Breitbart): Disastrous Bergdahl Deal Attempt To Distract From VA.
- Herman Cain: The administration did this to create a major distraction. I hope that many of the Republican leaders are listening: Don’t chase this rabbit.
- Rick Perry: Is it just, whatever we need to do to move a press story a day to get something off the front page of the papers?
- Matt Lewis (Daily Caller): This was meant to distract from the VA scandal.
- Allen West: [A distraction from] all the scandals facing the Obama administration, especially Benghazi.
Never mind that the very suggestion that the Bergdahl affair would be a useful distraction makes no sense whatsoever. The administration surely knew that the exchange would be controversial and that the resulting clamor by anti-Obama politicians and press would be no better than the preexisting clamor over everything else the right is outraged by. Why would the President simply add another log to the already flaming inferno burning in the hearts of wingnuts everywhere?
There is so much wrong with the logic behind this that it would boggle the mind, if it weren’t for the fact that Teabagger logic is always preposterous. Everything about the complaints by the President’s critics fails the test of rationality.
First of all, the frenzied assertions that the five Gitmo detainees are the “worst-of-the-worst” is refuted by every expert. They were all captured at the beginning of the Afghanistan war and were never alleged to have American blood on their hands. Twelve years later, most of those they knew back home are either dead or dispersed to the hills. And they know full well that if they reengage in any hostilities, they will be leveled by drones. In all likelihood, they would have been released in the next year or so anyway, but without the benefit of securing the release of an American captive.
Secondly, the claim that Obama broke precedent by negotiating with terrorists is easily refuted. Many presidents have done the same thing, including the sainted Ronald Reagan. Sen. John McCain returned home after seven years in a POW camp as a result of a prisoner exchange. And those who suggest that Obama’s deal will result in making Americans targets for further abductions obviously don’t know our enemies very well. Do they think that Al Qaeda needs this incentive to harm Americans and without it they won’t do so?
Finally, the assertion that Obama broke the law by not consulting with congress prior to making the deal is undercut by the precedents of his predecessor, George W. Bush. I don’t happen to like it when any president relies on signing statements as a justification for dismissing otherwise effective laws. But if Republicans are going to allow it for Bush, then they have to allow for Obama as well. Further undercutting the law-breaking argument is that even Fox News stalwart Charles Krauthammer has declared that the President has the legal authority to conduct this sort of activity.
In a few days the news wheel of fortune will spin onto something else, or reload a handy calamity from the past (probably Benghazi). But the residue of these events will metastasize in the cells of rightists and Fox News viewers who are already forming conspiracy theories, smearing the innocent, and calling for Obama’s impeachment. The rest of the country will be satisfied with the actual facts and distance themselves from the right-wing nut cases. And this carousel will go round and round until responsible members of the media decide to do their jobs as journalists, rather than scandal mongers.