Ben Rhodes cranks up the smear machine
Not worried in the least about his own credibility, Ben Rhodes and his minions are making wild, outrageous, fact-free, lunatic-fringe claims against incoming national security adviser John Bolton, correctly perceiving that the new national security adviser will be a threat to their self-vaunted Iran deal.
According to an aghast Seth Mandel of the New York Post, who wrote an excellent column:
"John Bolton is at the nexus of Russia's interference in our democracy and the NRA's reckless agenda": The sentence is so bonkers, so pristine in its conspiratorial insanity that it should one day grace a Museum of Natural History exhibit on early-21st-century US politics.
Yet it wasn't from an anonymous troll, or some Hollywood figure with tons of followers but little common sense. It was tweeted by National Security Action – an outfit run by former top Obama officials.
Described by the Washington Post as a "political strike force," this NSA is a coterie of veterans from the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton's campaign, acting as a shadow government to weaponize foreign-policy disputes. It's a fever-swamp-in-exile.
And it exemplifies everything that's wrong with top Democrats' partisan madness in the Age of Trump.
The co-chairs are Ben Rhodes and Jake Sullivan. Rhodes, you'll recall, was the reckless novice Barack Obama made a top adviser who proceeded to create what he called an "echo chamber" of lies, distortions and spin about the Iran nuclear deal for pro-Obama reporters and think-tankers to regurgitate.
Not only does the seedy little outfit Rhodes is running to spread fake news and change the "narrative" have all the top Obama national security team officials on it (flushing their own credibility down the toilet as these crazed smear-tweets go out), but it also has smear-artist extraordinaire on its masthead: Ben Wikler of MoveOn.org, whose organization is a leading Washington slime machine. MoveOn.org came up with the famous "General Betrayus" ads to smear Gen. David Petraeus, who at the time was winning victories for the U.S. in Iraq. MoveOn.org specifically led the charge to keep Bolton out of a permanent position at the United Nations during the Bush administration, so the organization has had it in for Bolton for a long time. It speaks well for Bolton that he is so rabidly hated by a group with this record.
I wrote about this Rhodes "shadow government" operation earlier this month, here.
When have we ever seen a president, trying to do his job, so dogged by smear artists from the previous party? What we have here is a group that is unable to accept elections, still thinks it has a divine right to power, and is willing to spread the most outrageous lies to its media allies, who amount to Democratic operatives with bylines, to change the "narrative." This, frankly, is repulsive.
What it highlights and underlines most clearly is that they don't think the Iran deal can withstand Bolton, or President Trump, in part because of its gamy origins. That they are willing to stoop so low so as to smear Bolton with lunatic made-out-of-thin-air lies tells us that maybe this deal should have been killed off yesterday. With this dreck going on, there is absolutely no valid reason to keep adhering to the loathsome Iran deal.