Here’s a huge, glaring logic problem for Republicans. Currently, they are arguing that Obama saying “Act of terror” in the Rose Garden on September 12 was not a real reference to terror. At the same time, they are arguing that the phrase — from the Benghazi email John Boehner never read until it was too late — “Islamic extremists” can be read and interpreted as “Islamic terrorists”.
Republicans got themselves into this mess by screaming that President Obama did not use the right word at the right time with the right ending, and thus he should be impeached or at the very least, not reelected. The fact that he said “act of terror” isn’t good enough, because you see, words matter. He had to say “the terrorists!” or else.
But now John Boehner has made a fool of himself by publicly charging that an email said “Islamic terrorists” and that the administration changed the talking points to “Islamic extremists”. In fact, the email actually reads “Islamic extremists” (a fact Boehner would have had a better shot of knowing had he actually attended the briefing during which the emails were shared).
Republican Rep. Gowdy (R-SC) actually suggested that he was quoting the email during Wednesday’s hearing, and he said “Islamic terrorists”. But the email does not say that. The email uses the word “extremists”. For the record, an extremist is defined as “One who advocates or resorts to measures beyond the norm, especially in politics.” No mention of violence necessarily implied with the word extremist. However, “terrorist” is defined as, “One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism.”
While we’re factchecking the definition of words so that we can chase the ever-moving goalposts of the Republican Benghazigasm, terror means “violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes.” Thank you, President Obama.
But now, Republicans are arguing that “Islamic extremists” is the same thing as “Islamic terrorists”.
As the administration has tried to explain to the lost boys, “the distinction is important”. If we have to explain again why it matters, Republicans should be directed to their own Benghazigasm over “act of terror”. Republicans are contorting themselves into the absurd as they attempt to make hay out of words and then claim the very same word can mean exactly what they claimed it did not mean when Obama spoke.
I submit to the free online dictionary this example of “terrorism”: Keeping track of Republicans on their bogus Benghazi claims is a form of mental terrorism.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.