On "Patriot Day
" this year it occurred to me that 9/11 and Benghazi have some interesting parallels. Indeed these parallels, when considered in the context of how completely different the conservative responses to them are, are indicative of how much the conservative right has changed in the past decade-plus.
The fact that the latter event occurred on the anniversary of the former is not lost, although there is no evidence to support that being more than a coincidence.
One of the biggest parallels of the two events is that both were followed by large government investigations. The publication of the findings of one became an instant best seller at bookstores around the country and beyond. The release of the other was preceded by partisan rhetoric from people who were convinced it was a cover-up.
Both events were tried as calls for action by conservative presidents. 9/11 was used as justification for the invasion of two countries - one that was a likely hiding place for the person pegged as the "mastermind" of the attack, and one that had nothing to do with it whatsoever. Quickly as the war drum beat deafeningly loud anyone who dared to question those attacks was labeled as "Un-American" and prepared for tarring and feathering. When the conservative president at 1600 Pennsylvania during the Benghazi attack suggested we change something, he was met with a deafening chorus of "not so fast, we have to try to impeach you first!".
The success of the 9/11 attacks were blamed on "uh, ummm, whatever - we couldn't have possibly known this was going to happen". The success of the Benghazi attacks were blamed squarely on the POTUS and his cabinet.
The 9/11 attacks lead to massive changes - including mandatory anal probes - at airport security for all passengers. The Benghazi attacks lead to more partisan attacks aimed at the White House.