The Party of Cultural Resentment

Among all of the thousands of words being penned and posted by observers of the GOP’s convention, the phrase that may have most aptly summed up the current character of the Grand Old Party was an observation that it had devolved into the “party of cultural resentment.” (I wish I remembered where I read that, so that I could properly recognize the author.)

Trump began this political cycle with his embrace of birtherism–a stance firmly grounded in the conviction that an African-American could not possibly be a legitimate occupant of the Oval Office.

Trump’s Presidential campaign has been upfront and unembarrassed about its anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim positions; it has been somewhat more covert in its appeal to white supremacists and anti-Semites, but not much. David Duke remains positively euphoric about Trump’s candidacy, as are a number of other avowed racists. The campaign has regularly tweeted out quotations and symbols first posted to white supremacist websites.

At the Convention, on day one, the party had to close down its online chat feature after it was swamped with what was characterized as an “anti-Jewish hatefest.”

You can live stream the Republican National Convention on the RNC’s official YouTube page, but you can’t chat about it live anymore.

Why, you ask? Because the Republicans have now disabled the live chat window on the page after it got overrun by anti-Semitic Trump supporters.

It is hard to avoid the impression that the major source of Trump’s support is cultural grievance–resentment at the perceived displacement of WASP Americans from their formerly privileged social status. That sense of displacement hits particularly hard in people who are otherwise dissatisfied with their lives or economic prospects; it is noteworthy that Trump currently trails Clinton in polls of college-educated whites, a demographic that has previously been a reliably Republican voting bloc.

Trump’s campaign has drawn comparisons to Nixon’s southern strategy, but his appeal to the dark side has actually been far more blatant. The question is: how will the American public respond?

The frightening possibility is that, win or lose, this campaign will normalize an ugly underside of American culture, an underside that “political correctness”–aka civility and humanity–had kept mostly contained.

The hopeful possibility is that voters will reject Trump et al by a margin crushing enough to send the clear message that he, his campaign, and increasingly, his party, are the antithesis of what America stands for.

At the end of the day, the Republican “team players”– the ones who Rick Wilson (a longtime GOP operative) calls “Vichy Republicans”–  will have been responsible for one of two results: furthering national division and tribalism, making the country even more ungovernable; or the destruction of the current iteration of the Republican party.


  1. Mention of religion and morality was liberally peppered in the posts yesterday.
    It brings to mind last night’s destructive rhetoric and venom from Christie, McConnell and others with the outbursts of approval from the barking fanged Cerberus leading the crowd.
    Hillary Clinton was the target and the objective was clear: dump on her and her candidacy.
    Then there was the drumbeat of “lock her up”.
    Most destructive to me were the concluding remarks from each speaker such as:
    “God bless The United States of America, and God Bless you.”
    I heard God’s response: “Forget about it, you are committing so many unforgivable sins your pleas are empty . Not feeling My wrath yet?”

  2. I was hoping to learn how the convention rules could possibly be legal. On Monday, we learned that “party unity was more important than who the nominee was”, thus, delegates could NOT change their original vote during the convention. On Tuesday I watched the state roll call as delegates reported their individual vote counts; all of which were replaced by changing them to Trump. Washington, D.C. delegates gave him 0 votes. Yes, yes, yes; I understand that Trump was the only candidate remaining (still don’t understand WHY), but was it legal to change the number of actual delegate votes he received? Even if he would have become the nominee? One Republican Senator stated on Monday that the committee rule was voter suppression – that is exactly what it was…until they changed the delegate’s votes to Trump. How the hell will this be written in history books? It actually made me severely nauseated; I still cannot watch anything about last night without my stomach rebelling.

    “At the end of the day, the Republican “team players”– the ones who Rick Wilson (a longtime GOP operative) calls “Vichy Republicans”– will have been responsible for one of two results: furthering national division and tribalism, making the country even more ungovernable; or the destruction of the current iteration of the Republican party.”

    What I see in our future is, not one of two results but an eventual combination, further national division and tribalism until it ends with the destruction of the Republican party…it will happen quickly if Trump loses but will gradually be accepted by gullible Americans (which is the majority) if he wins. I see little chance of Hillary winning so doubt that we have lost Pence; he is just “out of the office” (with the new Lt. Gov. at the helm till January 1st) till the presidential/vice presidential inauguration when he takes a fuller control of all our lives from a higher level of power.

  3. Marv: I cannot believe what I witnessed the past two nights; as my ex-husband (one of the commenters on the blog) frequently asked me, “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” Per the brief bits of news I could stomach this morning, my eyes were not lying. Beyond here there be dragons!

    I think I would prefer falling off of the edge of this flat earth which science deniers swear by.

  4. I’m so glad that this convention is being played out while I sleep. I am with JoAnn, I doubt I could stomach the whole shebang.

  5. PAUL REVERE (Won’t You Ride For Us Again?)

    Words by Joe Goodwin Music by Halsey K. Mohr

    Published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., 224 West 47th Street, New York, NY (1918) [ I have the original sheet music]

    With your lan-tern, Paul Re-vere,
    You rode miles a–round,
    “One if by land,”
    “Two if by sea,”
    Spread-ing a–larm thru ev-‘ry town
    You warned us then of dan-ger that was near,
    We need an-oth-er warning, Paul Re-vere:
    Paul Re-vere, Paul Re-vere,
    Won’t you ride for us a-gain?
    Won’t you ride thru each ham-let, vil-lage and farm?
    Ride, Paul Revere, and spread the a-larm;
    Paul Re-vere, Paul Re-vere,
    You’re a mem-‘ry we all hold dear.
    Tho’you’ve rest-ed for a–ges on His-to-ry’s pa–ges,
    Ride for us now, Paul Re-vere.
    Paul Re-vere.

  6. I heard a live “feed” on NPR of Governor Pence’s speech this weekend. I was surprised NPR had gone over to simply running matters “live.” Governor Pence quoted (possibly the worst) President Reagan to the effect of “Who said an intellectual elite in a city in the East can tell the American people what is best for them?”ll, in a five words: the Framers of the Constitution. Most were well-educated. They were white, male, landowners of wealth, and of whom at least 20 out of 53 who attended, at one time or another, the Convention in 1787 claimed ownership over other human beings. The Framers did not believe in democracy. The Framers wanted to create a republic that would not be subject to the passions of the uneducated masses. That is why we have the electoral college. That is why the members of the United States Senate were elected by State legislatures. As much as Trump’s supporters advocate protection of the United States Constitution (and its ever-important Article XII—the Article that sets forth, without words, the notion that people can simply invoke “the Constitution” for whatever they wish), most of those supporters would not have been allowed to vote back in “the day.” Of course, the Constitution was amended, most notably as a result of the Civil War, but at other times and in ways that change, significantly, the government wrought by the Framers. The irony is that those who invoke its “original” meaning in the Twenty-First Century had little understanding of its roots in the Eighteenth Century.

  7. I believe a more fitting song, and I forget the group who recorded it, would be, “Eve Of Destruction”.

  8. “The frightening possibility is that, win or lose, this campaign will normalize an ugly underside of American culture, an underside that “political correctness”–aka civility and humanity–had kept mostly contained.” Your statement affects me to the inner core. The ugliness, which was hidden just under the skins of social norms, is finally showing its ugly head. Friends, whom I thought I knew, are obviously not the people I knew. It is very disappointing, and their support of Trump’s issues are unfortunately exposing them. I feel that one can’t trust people, as they will disappoint you every time. Very hurt at the mindset, and this actually worries me more for America than anything. Make America Great Again – how do we start? Everything on the Republican platform will hurt our country. Pro-guns, outrageous immigration policies, privatizing education, destroying Obamacare, messing with Social Security, climate change deniers, selling our National Parks, extreme “Christian” views, extreme pro-life views, haters of the disabled, LGBT, women, and Muslims, crazy diplomatic proposals and trade agreements with the world, warmongers, plagiarized speeches and rants by second rate actors, politicians, and unstable moms grieving the loss of sons in the line of duty and blaming Obama/Hillary (what isn’t the RNC participants blaming Hillary for?)….. as the Trump supporters sit with their goofy signs and outfits, chanting the hate propaganda against Hillary and Obama………….. do they really understand what this con man will do for our Country? It appears that the RNC is more about promoting hate, rather than unity and demonstrating positive policies for our country. Watching the RNC reminds me of watching American Idol…..oh my – the ego of Trump – scary, scary, scary. I also laugh at the “Where’s Waldo” search techniques of the cameramen, as they search out minorities clapping for Trump in the audience and zoom in on their happy faces. Hopefully, the DNC will offer some sanity and wake people up to reality!

  9. Joanne,

    A fellow by the name of Barry McGuire recorded “Eve of Destruction” in 1965. That song might be a perfect title for what’s in store for us if what these fools have set out in their party platform ever are implemented.

    I’ve been watching national political conventions since I was around the age of seven but I have been trying to avoid this one like the plaque other than checking news accounts of it sporadically. I just cannot bring myself to sit through a speech by any of their speakers nor did I want to hear the roll call vote. The fact that Trump’s campaign manager also used to advise dictators and those that are worse than that for huge amounts of money is not lost on me either.

    I very much like the term “Vichy Republicans” to describe the churls that have foisted this abject catastrophe on all of us but also for what they have done to what was once a rational. viable, and necessary political party. All of this plus the weakness of the opposition candidate is like the political train wreck of all political train wrecks to me and I’m at a loss to see how this is all going to shake out in any way that benefits anyone. Maybe the GOP will hand grenade before November but the chaos that will ensue if it does will even further distort our political practices and system.

    I must confess that watching parts of the roll call vote and seeing the glee on the faces of the state delegations on the convention floor as the called off their votes for absolutely horrific candidates, including the eventual official nominee, was like watching some sort of bad zombie movie to me. After watching conventions since 1960 as if they were big parties, with me being the political junkie that I am, was a disturbing experience. I’m just glad that all of those Indiana Republican blue bloods in my family that are long gone, including my own Mom, aren’t here to witness this aberrant spectacle.

  10. Several years ago I finally reached my limit of people who consider themselves to be good Christians, yet they harbor extreme hatred for other races and LGBT folks. My Mothers Day gift to myself three years ago was to stop going to church and Sunday school. I have never looked back and don’t miss their hatred and judgement at all.

    The uber wealthy Republicans like Kochs, etc have spent their money very well. They have indoctrinated most of the middle class with lies about what is best for us. They have spent their money on “educating” people to believe ideas that are completely false. Additionally, they have been working for fifty years to destroy public education so that they can completely control curriculums and allow only what they want the general public to know. Their goal is to completely control our minds and our lives. Their ultimate goal is to build what used to be the middle class into an army of slaves.

    The saddest part of this is that so many people are willing to be controlled and believe what they are told. Is it pure laziness or ignorance? I am not sure – maybe a combination of the two?

    I tried to watch some of the GOP convention last night, but found that I just could not stomach it. I made it through about 5 minutes of Donald Jr.’s speech and felt like my ears and mind were being violated. I did not need to sit there and suffer through it. We all know that the Republican leadership is all about winning by spreading hatred and anger. They have NOTHING to offer the public. They only care about keeping their power at the expense of the people that pay their salaries. Unfortunately, I know far too many people who have fallen for their vitriol and are more than willing to keep voting them into office, even though their livlihoods and lifestyles have been decimated. Sigh……….

  11. Just as difficult is watching a similar overlay in the Democratic party. You may or may not like the nominee to be, think somehow your integrity is at stake. I understand a rallying to Trump as it’s what I want to see in the center left. A compromise to the greater good of the coalition. I see a growing factionalization, from the oozing pustules of racism and bigotry to world peace visionaries only temporarily thwarted.

    Of course that draws all manner of false equivalence as far as policy. IMO one is far, far off the charts, deserves next to nothing but disdain but friends of many years point out to me regularly the supposed errors in my thought. course I disagree, no matter.

    The passions stirred are, I suspect, something far larger. A radical cultural shift, brought about by forces barely understood but wide ranging and multi-variate, from the psychological blindness to the demagogue of one party or to the misogyny in both. The ubiquitous information overload that presents the most amazing opportunities while fueling resentment full force as every pauper can see inside every palace in ways never before. The abject lunacy of arming every faction under such conditions is akin to calls for mass suicide. I digress.

    Regardless, A new POTUS will not solve these issues of exploding technological advance and knowledge growth resulting in such disparate distribution that resentment and insecurity are the norms.

    The best I can see is a rocky ride with a fist tightly wrapped close to the pommel. Whether or not that’s possible, let alone productive, a guided ride or an unlucky souls shot at tying themselves to a horse that cannot be ridden remains to be seen.

  12. Welcome to Dystopia! We have already come so far that mere civility is defined as “political correctness” and derided as somehow disqualifying. While many of us seek rationality, too many of us clamor for “red meat”. Show us how tough you are. Show us how low you can go. We will be there with you, because we can’t give up on our anger. We are addicted to it.

  13. “I must confess that watching parts of the roll call vote and seeing the glee on the faces of the state delegations on the convention floor as the called off their votes for absolutely horrific candidates, including the eventual official nominee, was like watching some sort of bad zombie movie to me.”

    Tom; while all of those candidates may be horrific, not all delegates votes went to Trump till the committee switched them…including Washington, D.C. who gave him ZERO votes. That is why they would not allow delegates to switch their own votes at the convention; the committee intended to accomplish that to maintain their rule that “Party unity is more important than who the nominee is.” One Republican Senator stated on Monday that it was voter suppression, which it was. I ask again; was any of this legal?

  14. I stopped watching when Scott Baio stated “Let’s make America American again”

  15. Here’s an article that describes the Cleveland ultra nationalist and anti American rant as the first meeting of the “White Resentment Party”. It also details a less formal meeting of the Republican old guard where Bush II worried out loud that he would be relegated by history to have been the “last Republican President”.

    The implosion has begun. The question of course is: of the GOP or of America?

    The WRP promises to extend the power of government to ruling culture, demographics, religion in America and science, in order to unwind history and return only us to the distant and nostalgic past when God was in the White’s House and all was right with their world though at the expense of all others.

    Selling the dream.

    As a white, male, heterosexual, Christian American why aren’t I greatful for their help?

    One reason is that I think that I can compete only as an equal, I don’t need a head start.

    Another is that as an empathist I accept the reality of humanity as equals as well as the necessity of accepting that in a completely connected overrun with humans planet.

  16. We have dealt often here with the current world’s inequitable wealth distribution. We are dealing this week with the inequitable distribution of empathy.

  17. Not to worry, fellow contributors. Hillary will win big, Democrats will retake the Senate and, depending upon the depth of the landslide, we could even take a gerrymandered House. Next in order – an executive appointment (or two) to the Supreme Court submitted to a Democratic Senate. Yes! As I have written in many blogs, the Republican Party is ready for a descent into Whigdom and will at the least either implode or at best have to undergo radical change if it is to be a force in the future what with millennials and (so far) minorities who are liberal and color blind. What I have watched in the Republican convention so far has to do with yesterday; I hear neither a vision laid out for the future of America and its people nor a means of achieving it. Either the Republican Party awakens to certain demographic realities or it could go the way of the Whigs – their call.

  18. I began to read the Republican Platform just after I listened to Elizabeth Warren’s speech (See Elizabeth Warren–Telling It Like It REALLY Is.) It is clear to me that the Republicans are either ignorant of the effects of Corporate Consolidation (all the ills they list) or choose to ignore them because powerful corporations hold the purse strings. Warren even explains the presence of the overwhelming regulation as the result of government trying to keep ahead of the massive corporations.

    I am saddened by the lack of understanding in our populace of who is actually making our lives miserable. It isn’t immigrants, or the poor, or violent minorities. It is the powerful corporate conglomerates that are now international so they are not only effective lobbyists, but also able to hide profits overseas to avoid taxation.

    If only we could focus on the true enemy. I believe solving those problems would eliminate quite a few of the frustrated gunmen that are terrorizing us, as well.

  19. One of the things that we are witnessing now is the introduction of competition into the market for buying America.

    Eight years ago the Kochs had no competition. They assumed nothing stood in the way of a complete takeover.

    Then the Donald realized the value of owning one’s own country and jumped into the fray. He’s a pauper by Koch standards but has built up an enormous kitty of celebrity credits, like the Kardashians, and, apparently rightly, assumed that they could carry him across the goal line.

    He has succeeded in buying the White Resentment Party and will now march on America.

    I’m of course thinking that we, America, are harder to buy than the White Resentment Party turned out to be.

    We also must assume that the giant egoes which seem to go hand in hand with giant fortunes will prevent any kind of cabal from forming.

    I’m just dreaming of the day when the whole thing fails and we can return to the times when the Constitution prevailed rather than wealth and greed.

  20. Hey y’all; let’s meet at The First Church of Cannabis and seek divine guidance. Don’t know about you but I believe my brain has finally collapsed trying to make sense of just the past few days. Flipped on MSNBC for a possible update but they are still rehashing and passing around blame for Melania’s speech. This country is going to hell, following the Pied Piper of Orange and Melania’s speech continues to be the primary issue. The accusations, denials and confessions regarding blame are beginning to cross each other in the media. I still want to know if the rules the RNC used Monday and Tuesday at the convention are legal? And, will Scott Baio get a new TV series after his enlightened speech and ensuing TV interviews?

    We need to lighten up; we still have the Democratic National Convention to survive; Bernie supporters are still supporting Bernie and accusations against Hillary are fit only for repetition in pornographic movies. This IS still America; isn’t it? We are still a civilized country; aren’t we? I missed the Republican Platform; did Trump & Co. repeal the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and all Amendments yet? I could use some help here; somebody please provide a source of hope.

  21. JoAnn, we’ve had enough speculation here over the last couple of years about what the GOP end times would look like. Violence? Chaos? Just a quiet departure? Terrorism?

    I’m pretty sure that we are seeing it now and it turns out it has a level of, if not dignity, at least order, that befits a democracy.

    But I assume to nobody’s surprise it will take perhaps a decade before it’s over as it is really tied to a generational changing of the guard.

    People under 60 or 50 just don’t care about returning to the 50s or 60s. They are dark history to them. Those leading the return to the past are dying albeit slowly, but surely.

    We all leave here dead.

    I’m not sure how one can be objective about the process but if you can at least some it’s interesting to watch; the desperation of a sub-species going extinct rather than adapting.

  22. Yes I received multiple emails of today’s blog.

    As for the GOP convention, it’s much more anti-Hillary than pro-Trump. Chris Christie and Ben Carson went way over the line of respectability with Christie’s mock trial exhorting what began to sound like an angry lynch mob and Carson likening Hillary to Lucifer. It shows there’s not much “there” there on policy. So the strategy apparently is to stir resentments and hope that carries Trump to the highest office in the land.

  23. And, meanwhile, social media via Facebook is devoting its entire ‘trending’ section to Trump and conservatives, directly or indirectly. Free name recognition all day long, over and over.


    #FreeMilo: Hashtag Used to Protest Twitter’s Permanent Ban of Conservative Pundit Milo Yiannopolous

    Jorge Ramos: Journalist Teases Letter Sent by Donald Trump in Response to Interview Request

    We Are the Champions: Queen Responds After Donald Trump Uses Song at GOP Convention

    Hollywood Walk of Fame: Photo Shows Wall Drawn Around Donald Trump’s Star By Street Artist

    New Bilibid Prison: National Police Deployed to Philippines Correctional Facility After Corruption Claims

    Steve King: Congressman, R-Iowa, Says Europe and US Contributed Most to Civilization

    Third Eye Blind: Band Antagonizes Republican Audience During Charity Concert in Cleveland

    Joy-Ann Reid: Correspondent Comments on Melania Trump’s Alleged Plagiarism in RNC Speech

    Michael Gerson: George W. Bush’s Chief Speechwriter Responds to Melania Trump Plagiarism Accusations

    Chris Matthews: MSNBC Host Says It Was ‘Wrong’ to Have Mother of Benghazi Victim Speak at RNC

  24. Much of the citizenry of the USA from oldest to youngest has been raised in an atmosphere of fighting and warring. We are constantly told we are under threat of being taken over or undermined by some “enemy.” We must “fight the good fight” and “winning” is the only is the only acceptable result. Our national economy is burdened by these false warnings and egocentric attitudes, as is our personal and social conscience.

    My parents were born as WWI raged and grew up during the Great Depression. My sister was born during WWII and I during the Korean “conflict”. We both came of age during the Cold War the Vietnam War and ceaseless fighting and political interventions across our Planet Earth. The Great Society and The War on Poverty coincided with rioting in our streets and protesting injustice both home and abroad. Just as that unrest was cooling down The War on Drugs was invented and exists to this day. incarcerating millions and militarizing law enforcement.

    As former Army General and President Eisenhower stated in his farewell address as US President in 1961;

    “A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

    Then John F Kennedy was elected President over Richard Nixon and tried to usher in peace and prosperity; he was assassinated while in office. There is still debate over how it was carried out and who was responsible, but the killing is regarded in many quarters as a military coup to continue the march of The American Dream, which has turned into a Nightmare.

    We have endured much and many Presidents since then. In this Presidential Election we are witnessing the rise of Donald Trump to demagoguery. He and his fervent supporters criticize and demonize all who oppose their aims and values while constantly repeating in speeches that he is a “winner” and “we are going to win so big.”

    As the great humorist and political cartoonist Walt Kelly famously expressed in the words of his beloved Pogo Possum: ” We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

  25. “Chris Matthews: MSNBC Host Says It Was ‘Wrong’ to Have Mother of Benghazi Victim Speak at RNC”

    BSH; I agree it was in poor taste to have Mrs. Smith speak at the RNC convention and her determination to blame only Hillary for her son’s death was probably pushed by Trump and his minions to the level of understandable grief we saw. That grief plus the enthusiastic reaction of the crowd seemed to spur her hatred to it’s explosive conclusion. But I listened to her; as a mother who has lost two sons, due to entirely different circumstances, I couldn’t disrespect her by not listening. She answered a question I have asked repeatedly and been totally ignored. Her son Sean messaged her to say goodbye, he told her that security had deserted them and he was going to die. I can’t imagine hearing that and then learning how he died and she still doesn’t know the full answer as to why he died.

    I have repeatedly asked many sources how the terrorists so easily got past external security and inside the embassy to kill Americans. It is international law that host countries provide external security for all foreign embassies on their soil; just as we provide the same security for foreign embassies here. Now I know; what I don’t know is why, why did they desert our embassy in Benghazi? And why was this not made public repeatedly as were the accusations against our own government casting full blame? It was mentioned occasionally that Congress had ignored the bill requesting more money for more security inside our embassies abroad. Has that changed since Benghazi?

    If the convoluted, totally screwed up, severely hostile, poorly planned Republican National Convention did nothing else to be remembered for, it made public a vital piece of evidence, heretofore kept under wraps, regarding exactly how the Benghazi attack was allowed to happen. Did anyone else notice this?

  26. The GOP is probably concocting a way to blame Hillary for Milania’s speech theft. Might as well – they are blaming her for everything else.

  27. All–Apologies for the multiple emails recently. The service we use to send out notices when blogs are posted has been having issues. We are working on a fix. Let me know if you receive multiples tomorrow–or if you fail to get a notice (which has happened to some people).

    Sorry for the inconvenience, and for filling up your in-boxes.

  28. JoAnn,

    I’ve not watched any of the live televised Republican convention from Cleveland, and I’ve only watched a couple of video blurbs of the convention as broadcast on the evening news. One of those video news blurbs happened to be one featuring the mother of the deceased Benghazi young man, unsure if he was an active duty military guy, a CIA employee, or a contracted soldier (one of those former special services military men-Rangers or Seals).

    At any rate, I know I’d never have spoken before any political convention if one of my sons had been killed in Benghazi; however, I cannot pretend to speak for Pat Smith or begin to comprehend her level of grief. From the negative comments about Ms Smith’s convention appearance, I’m thinking that grief, raw grief makes a large number of people extremely uncomfortable which is not always a bad thing. Some things are too easily put out of mind.

  29. JoAnn, I don’t know if the following helps in your search of knowledge about Benghazi or not.

    Everybody agrees that the outcome was tragic and, to me what the facts emphasize are the inherent risks that our diplomatic core takes discharging their duties in hostile places.

    The conclusion of the investigation was that it was another unanticipated terrorist attack but like has happened before, once it unfolded it was sure to end in tragedy.

    There was a time when both parties would support making the sacrifice of those involved an honorable loss.

    Now it’s nothing but publicity fodder.

    That just adds to the tragedy.

    It’s not any different than when different agendas blamed soldiers for the war in Vietnam.

  30. BSH; your quote from Chris Matthews is the first comment, pro or con, I have read about Pat Smith. I certainly hope the negative comments are not about HER personally; but about choosing her to speak. I believe Trump used her and her grief and he probably fed her hatred of Hillary to the point she reached, it was heartbreaking to watch her. His campaign platform now, contrary to whatever the RNC platform is supposed to be, is all anti-Hillary. He used Pat Smith, he feeds on people’s weakness; it would be interesting to know exactly how she became a keynote speaker on opening night of the Trump Cavalcade of Anti-Hillary Stars.

    I am not a Hillary supporter but will vote against Trump. I don’t really remember speakers talking about what a wonderful man he is and what he is going to do to make this country “great again”. Sure heard a lot about Hillary Clinton.

  31. One other thing JoAnn. The US Embassy for Libya is as you’d expect in Tripoli. I personally don’t know if the “mission” in Benghazi was expected to be held to the same security standards or not.

    I suspect that the meeting there was a risk that Christopher Stevens considered and concluded was worth taking.

  32. Pete; as with all other reports I read, there was no mention in that web site of the exterior security forces. There was foreknowledge of poor security by our government which is why there was a bill requesting more funds for better security but again reports didn’t specify poor “interior” security which is what this country is responsible for. I assume/hope the bill was better written than the reports we received which only referred to the word “security”. Sean Smith had to have been referring to the exterior security deserting them; our forces would certainly not have run out into possible terrorists in a foreign country.

  33. JoAnn as I understand it there are diplomatic embassies, then consulates, then missions.

    A mission can be any place the diplomats choose to go. Stevens went to Benghazi for a specific meeting. He, of course lived at the US Embassy in Tripoli even though there was not really effective government at the time in Libya to guarantee anyone’s security, not even Libyans.

    There was a CIA annex nearby Benghazi and that’s where some hired security came from but their first duty was to protect CIA assets.

    All terrorist successes are the result of the inability to foresee and secure against an enemy action typically as the result of an asymmetrical war.

    I can’t imagine the day will ever come when we’ll have 100% success in preventing them unless we give up asymmetric warring.

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