Senator Lindsey Graham went beyond “broken record” on Benghazi into something either downright hilarious or downright terrifying last night. Graham argued that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine “started with Benghazi” not once, not twice, but three times in an On The Record discussion that lasted just a little over five minutes.
On The Record began the segment with a series of clips of comments from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry interspersed with conservatives criticizing and ridiculing the administration. As if the whole matter of Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine is a political debate instead of a serious international situation.
Graham got two clips in the montage. In one, he said, “Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll.” In the other, he said, “We have a weak and indecisive president. That invites aggression.” Because nothing says “I’m a real tough patriot like gratuitously attacking our president in the middle of a foreign policy crisis.
Not that any of that was a concern to host Greta Van Susteren. Even though Fox News suits insist she is some kind of liberal balance to Hannity and O’Reilly. She sounded positively cheery as she said to Graham:
I can’t tell whether you ripped the president more on foreign policy or the Washington Post Editorial Board when they described it fantasy. But you said that the president has a weak and indecisive policy that invites aggression.
But heck, maybe there’s a real party atmosphere over at Fox at this latest opportunity to smear our president – and throw in Benghazi.
Right. This is a symptom of a greater problem. It really, in many ways, started with Benghazi, when our consulate was overrun and our first ambassador was killed in thirty-something years in the line of duty, three other brave Americans died and not one person’s has been held accountable. You’re sending absolutely the wrong signal to our foes around the country.
Instead of challenging Graham, Van Susteren asked a question she almost surely knew would elicit further attacks on Obama. “What do you think President Putin is thinking about President Obama and the United States?” she asked.
Sure enough, that gave Graham another opportunity to blame Ukraine on Benghazi:
I think he has basically come to the conclusion that after Benghazi, after Syria, after Egypt, after everything that Obama’s been engaged in, he’s a weak, indecisive leader.
Later, Graham brought it up again:
The world is never in a better place when you have a weak, indecisive American president and Russia is a symptom of that weakness. And again, it started with Benghazi.
Media Matters pointed out that Graham’s “bizarre claim was swiftly ridiculed” but that it “didn’t even seem to register” with the host.
You’d think that if Van Susteren gave any credence to Graham’s comments, she’d be at least a little alarmed at the dark picture Graham was painting. Or else, she should have challenged his allegations. But Van Susteren sounded upbeat as she closed the segment instead, saying, “Senator, thank you, sir.”
Unless Graham can put forth any solution, his talk is weak, indecisive, and not showing much leadership.
Let’s not be too hard on Lindy; he may have been looking at a Fox News map — probably the same one John McCain was apparently looking at back in 2008 when he warned of a “Hard struggle on the Iraq-Pakistan border”:
Grahmmy is in Big Trouble
NOTE TO GRAHMMY
If you lose your re-election bid blame it on Ukraine and Benghazi.