The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky called the Bergdahl story “right-wing crack,” arguing that it contains “every element right-wingers dream of,” including dark suspicions about Obama, and is all another excuse to turn “possible errors in judgment” into charges of high crimes and misdemeanors.
After explaining that he was “amazed but not surprised” to find his Twitter feed blowing up with the Bergdahl story Monday, and claiming that “Bush would have done the same as Obama,” Tomasky explains how this is all perfectly lined up for right-wing conspiracy theorists:
I was not, as I say, surprised. This story has every element right-wingers dream of. Every dark suspicion they harbor about President Obama can be wedged into the narrative conservatives are constructing about how Saturday’s prisoner exchange supposedly went down and what the president’s presumed motivations were. So I knew instantly, when I read Michael Hastings’s 2012 Rolling Stone profile of Bergdahl on Sunday afternoon, that this was going to be the next Benghazi. The story is right-wing crack. And sure enough, Republicans are hitting the pipe big time.
Some of the wilder criticisms of me notwithstanding, my column Monday made two basic points. First, if a Republican president had swapped five Taliban leaders for Bergdahl, all the people howling today would be spinning it positively. And second, while there are legitimate questions here—yes, I wrote that it was “fair to ask whether the price” of Bergdahl’s freedom was “too high”—what we’re about to get is another relentlessly politicized series of investigations that will be aimed not at determining the truth but at trying to turn possible errors of judgment by the White House into high crimes and misdemeanors. That’s the game here. Anyone who denies it is being naively or intentionally delusional.
Or another option: Americans—from the right and the left—are genuinely outraged at a politically calculating president who deliberately breaks the law to release the Taliban’s hand-picked top five terrorist leaders from Gitmo for a man who by most accounts willfully abandoned his post, resulting in the deaths of at least eight fellow soldiers. Meanwhile, leftist analysts like Tomasky, who know that there’s no defense for an incompetent, or worse, administration, repeatedly and disingenuously attempt to find ways to blame the administration’s self-caused woes on “right-wingers” and, if possible (or even if impossible), Bush.