It must’ve seemed like an easy lay-up: Get the last remaining American POW out of Afghanistan. Stand next to his grateful parents in the Rose Garden. Bask in the adoring press. Get people talking about something other than how all those other American servicemen are getting screwed. Win the news cycle. Yay.
Even loyal Obamists like Chris Matthews and Jeffrey Toobin are calling BS. But not to worry. Despite Obama’s characteristically inept and dishonest handling of this latest fiasco, his most faithful minions are diligently attempting to squeeze lemonade out of horsecrap.
Let’s take a look!
Kicking things off, here’s the smartest guy Chris Hayes knows:
Am I correct that the American right-wing has spent the day arguing we should have left an American soldier behind? — Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 2, 2014
You bet, Chris. It’s not important whether or not the guy was a deserter. It doesn’t matter how many of the men he abandoned were killed trying to find him. (I mean, they’re not really “heroes,” are they?)
And who cares about a bunch of old Taliban has-beens anyway? After all:
Of course not. That’s why we’re sending those harmless lil’ fellers to your house, Blake.
the Daily Worker Mother Jones, Kevin Drum rolls his eyes at reality:
Can you believe those teabaggin’ racists, smearing Obama over a few pesky facts?
You can read Drum’s linked post if you want, or I can save you the trouble: He calls this a “tiny prisoner exchange.” Which must be why Obama conducted a surprise Rose Garden press conference, with Bergdahl’s All-American parents flown in from Idaho, on a Saturday. Somehow I don’t think it’d be a “tiny prisoner exchange” if it had made King Barry the First look good.
At the Daily Beast, the dependably ludicrous Michael Tomasky appeals to the basest of the liberal base: Notice that he puts “deserter” in sneer quotes. That’s because all those guys Bergdahl served with are lying. I’m not sure why they’re lying, but the only other explanation is that Obama screwed up. And that can’t be it.
Capping things off, here’s the great Ed Kilgore:
Well, you can already hear conservative licks [sic] smacking over the way the retrieval of Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl is creating a fine media narrative: men needlessly lost their lives trying to find an anti-American deserter, and now Barack Obama has traded five arch-terrorists to bring the anti-American deserter safely home.
Never mind whether these things are provably true. If conservatives are saying it, Ed’s against it.
I know, I know: “These guys are all lefty hacks. What else are they gonna say?” No argument there. I just think it’s instructive to observe how these specimens “think,” and how it steers their behavior. Why do you hate science?
— Robert Bergdahl (@bobbergdahl) June 2, 2014
Update: As Sonny Bunch points out, a lot of the information these lefties are trying to deny — being the Bergdahl deniers they are — is coming from left-leaning sources like Rolling Stone and Time Magazine. The ol’ “Blame the Republicans” game is all they’ve got, though, so let them play.
If you believe no American should be left behind, unless his name was Ambassador Christopher Stevens, #YouMightBeALiberal.
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) June 3, 2014