John Sununu says President snoozed. Yawn.

John Sununu

John Sununu recently made a choice but short-sighted accusation on Fox News. So what’s new? Image: tehbudman623/Flickr/CC BY-SA

It’s no news that Republicans will oppose anything President Obama supports. It is equally true that they will not hesitate to heap blame on the administration for every dark turn in national and global affairs.

John Sununu and the vilification of a president

Why is this current president vilified to such an unprecedented degree? Some Republicans go out of their way to include the middle-name “Hussein” when mentioning him, simply to remind everyone that it was also Saddam’s name. They shamelessly call him a socialist and a radical and the corrupter of a once-great nation.

But no matter how it is twisted, Obama simply is not that radical. He is a middle-leaning Democrat who is even a bit hawkish around the edges. He has no Bill Clinton-style closet skeletons that have leaped up to haunt him. And yet, this guy can still do no right. Even Slick Willie, whom the Right hated plenty, doesn’t turn a room chilly at his very mention the way the “O” word does.

Pox talks on Fox

This week, John Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire and Romney campaign adviser, appeared on the Fox News show “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren.” There he dropped a bomb that typifies the hypocrisy of the Right regarding this particular administration.

The show’s host asked Sununu to defend his words that President Obama is “absolutely lazy and detached from his job.”

“Lazy and detached.” That conjures up images of Obama lounging on a river bank bank, shooing flies.

Sununu replied:

“One of the key responsibilities of a president is to keep up with the intelligence data that’s coming in and what’s going on around the world. … This president thinks he’s so smart, he doesn’t have to go through that! He thinks he doesn’t need to put the extra work in for going through that process. That’s why I say he’s lazy and detached. And unfortunately, Ambassador Stevens suffered the consequences of us not providing adequate security there.”

Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was, of course, killed when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked on September 11.

That’s right. Sununu implied that Obama was, at least in part, responsible for Stevens’ death.

And this argument from a man who has been more than once called out for his free-spending on the public’s nickel — another accusation the Right is quick to hurl at Obama.

‘On its watch’

Sununu went on:

“An administration as a whole is responsible for what happens on its watch, unless he wants to tell us that the buck doesn’t stop there. This president has, in my opinion, failed to maintain respect for the United States in that part of the world. And respect is one of the great assets you have in trying to protect your diplomats around the world.”

So then, if a president bears ultimate responsibility for everything that goes wrong during his “watch,” doesn’t that mean that a certain other president on a previous 9/11 dropped an even bigger ball? We have learned in retrospect that there was plenty of intelligence before the towers at the World Trade Center were hit in 2001. Intelligence that should have tipped the administration off. Yet, as we know, it was tragically overlooked or unheeded.

Not a blame game

But my meaning here is not to point fingers and say that one president messed up more than another. A president has a lot of material to digest and to make decisions about on a daily basis. I’m sure strategic hints get missed all the time. My point here is to highlight the short-sightedness and the hypocrisy of the claim. And the length to which the Right will go to heap blame on this administration.

Why this president is reviled by the Right to a degree well beyond any previous Chief Executive still remains uncertain.  It is, however, a colorful question to ponder.


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