There are a few things guaranteed to occur in my house on a regular basis.
1) Being the head male, I will always assume the blame whenever any part of the structure decides to blow a gasket or pop a nail.
2) The channel on any TV from which is either heard (or seen) the face (or voice) of Nancy Grace will immediately be changed faster than you can say “loudmouth exploitive opportunist.”
3) If I mention or make reference to religion in a column, I will receive at least three emails from all-loving self-righteous types assuring me of a reserved spot in their mental version of a pretend place called Hell.
None of them are ever a surprise.
So call me jaded, but when I extrapolate these personal idiosyncrasies on a national political basis, I am never shocked to see either political party accuse the other for anything — anything at all — if there is the slightest chance of benefitting their own while making the other appear as stupid as promoting Casey Anthony as the queen of a Mother’s Day parade or Jodi Arias for the Girlfriend-of-the-Month Club.
Whether the accusations made are true is completely irrelevant.
For eight long years we had to endure the never-ending complaints about (insert subject of choice) being Bush’s fault. The only thing that’s changed now is we spell Bush O-B-A-M-A, and those who were loud are now quiet, while those who were quiet are now loud.
But now that our 44th president can no longer run for office (that pesky 22nd Amendment), the focus of continuous contempt has shifted to that other minority, Hillary Clinton.
Evidently the fear of her running for president in 2016 is so severe that GOP leaders have created Hyperbole-Gate in a desperate attempt to pin the four tragic deaths last August squarely in Hillary’s lap, apparently choosing to ignore the 131 American servicemen and women who have died since then in Afghanistan.
That’s 131 compared to four.
“But Richard,” some of you are shouting at this very moment, “those specific deaths could have been avoided if the State Department had paid proper attention to the CIA intelligence reports!”
I agree, but which reports are you referring to? The 1999 report from the National Intelligence Council warning that fanatics loyal to bin Laden might try to hijack a jetliner and fly it into the Pentagon? The July 2001 CIA memo with the headline “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.”? Colin Powell’s infamous yellowcake warnings about traveling motorhomes of death?
Listen, repeated intellectual failings on both sides have done nothing to prevent thousands of dead Americans and will continue to be ineffective until Team America gets off its lazy backside and realizes that they all serve the same master: themselves, or at least the political party they pretend to represent.
Those screaming at who they perceive is the enemy, obsessed with what side they are on (all style, no substance), are simply part of the problem. Did the Obama administration play politics with the CIA “talking points” in order to downplay the effects the Benghazi tragedy might have on the election?
But that sadly is no different than nearly anything the Bush administration tried to get away with, and the result is more dead Americans either way, so why bother pretending to be upset when both sides are playing to the exact same double standard?
Some things in life are just so damned predictable.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.