Photo: Mindaugas Danys/Flickr
Fox News’s black friend Ben Carson has claimed that Obamacare is worse than 9/11, legal abortion is the equivalent of pagan human sacrifice, and gay marriage is a lot like bestiality. And that’s all just within the past few months.
It’s no surprise, then, that he’s the one to take the right’s pathological obsession with Benghazi to stratospheric new heights. You may remember a couple of weeks back, when it looked like hack TV shrink Dr. Keith Ablow might have won whatever contest conservatives have going to see who can come up with the most ridiculous thing that’s a distraction from Benghazi, but Carson just made him look like an amateur. Ablow said that America’s interest in the World Cup was both exploited by President Obama and was aimed at keeping the masses in the dreaded Black Sleep of Benghazi. Carson, however, told World Net Daily chief crazy person Joseph Farah — a guy who himself believes, among other things, that Obama is readying a clone to succeed him in the White House — that Pharrell’s inescapable hit song Happy is, in so many words, a distraction from Benghazi.
Watching the two of them condescendingly lament how little most people know or care about “important” things like Benghazi — and the insult-to-injury that is our culture’s enjoyment of a catchy Pharrell song — would be painful if not for the fact that we’ve been hammered so relentlessly with this kind of thing for so long now that we’re practically numb to it. The level of smarm on display in this particular exchange between Carson and Farah is admittedly something special, though.
Since it’s obvious by now that no amount of reasoning with the Benghazi obsessives, pointing out their gross hypocrisy, or ignoring them entirely is going to make them go away, maybe the best thing to do is take the opposite approach and offer to help them out. If they’ve reached the point where they have to bemoan the World Cup and Happy, it’s clear that the first, second, third, and fourth strings of alleged Benghazi distractions have been exhausted. They’ve passed the at least somewhat legitimate-sounding, blown through the ludicrous, and are now well into the borderline insane. They’ve reached a crisis point and will soon be engaged in a desperate search for something to solve the growing Benghazi distraction shortage.
With that in mind, The Daily Banter is stepping up to lend a hand. Here are a few items that are in no way Benghazi-related which the usual suspects within the conservative political entertainment complex can complain are capturing the public’s precious attention instead of Benghazi. We hope this post acts as a kind of reservoir that many on the right can go back to more than once in the near future as new distractions-from-Benghazi are required. Although some of these are indeed timely, we all know that the conservative carnival barkers can’t always count on breaking stories like missing jetliners,racist NBA team-owners, or Benghazi suspect arrests to provide the supposed distractions they can complain about on Fox News and across the right-wing psychosphere. Maybe we can help. Because we care.
Photo: Jack Guez/Getty Images
1. The Situation in Gaza
Israel just launched a series of assaults on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in an effort to stop rocket attacks coming from the region and says it will be calling in reserve troops. Not only is it politically expedient to claim that any attention Barack Obama pays to this crisis is an attempt to duck his responsibility in Benghazi, but one can easily make the argument that his weak leadership is what’s responsible for Israel and Hamas coming to blows. Best of all, you can come back to these hostilities over and over again if necessary, since they’ve been going on since the mid-20th century (and really since biblical times).
Photo: Sam Hodgson/Reuters
2. The Immigration Protest in Murrieta, CA
A lot of news coverage over the past few days has been devoted to angry protests against buses of immigrants headed for Murrieta, CA. New buses carrying mostly children have reportedly been diverted now, but protesters still plan to gather by the dozens to say that enough is enough when it comes to “illegals” overrunning their town. While this is certainly the kind of story that interests hard-right conservatives since it allows them to complain both about Mexicans and the foreign-born usurper who’s letting them come here to take the country away from “real” Americans, it also provides the perfect opportunity to wail and gnash teeth over the distraction these Mexicans and their problems are being from the even more pressing issue of Benghazi. In fact, if you interviewed them, chances are everyone on those buses would be able to tell you who sings Happy, but none would know what happened in Benghazi. They would just look at you strangely then plead with you for something to eat.
3. The Return of Women’s High-Waisted Pants
For well over a decade now the trend in women’s (and men’s) fashion has been low-slung pants and jeans that ride directly at or even below the hipline. That’s starting to change, with the high-waisted look of the 80s and 90s suddenly making a comeback. Not only can the fascination with this be called a distraction from the truly urgent topic of Benghazi, it allows one to simultaneously lament the decline of moral values under Barack Obama, given that the high-waisted look accentuates a woman’s posterior. And we know what segment of our culture has a particular fetishizza for women’s posteriors, right?
4. The $39,000 (and Counting) Potato Salad
If you’re a hardcore conservative you probably spend a lot of time bitching about how it’s not 1956 anymore — and therefore you’re likely not “hip” enough to be aware that there’s a guy on the internet right now promising to make the world’s most expensive potato salad. He’s raised $39,000 so far on Kickstarter to make this potato salad and that amount continues to rise as really stupid people donate money to fuel his online prank. Not only is the attention being paid to this crap a distraction from Benghazi, you can devote entire rants to all the ways that this represents the end of the empire here in the formerly proud United States. And for once, you’ll be right. (If you choose not to go with that, there’s always the “Fuck Her Right in the Pussy” phenomenon.)
This is really more of a pro-tip than anything else. Don’t even listen whenever anyone refers to Benghazi as this:
6. Various Distractions from Benghazi
When in doubt, go meta. Arguing that the very act of complaining about distractions from Benghazi is itself a distraction from Benghazi is a stroke of Charlie Kaufman-level genius. It’s not only the kind of thing that will knock your political adversaries completely off-balance, but your own outrage over Benghazi is the one thing you’ll never run out of.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.