“In yo face” is a great idiom that according to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms emerged in the 1970’s from basketball culture as a way to defiantly and audaciously assert your will on another man. It began being used literally, to describe conquering another man while millimeters away from his body, proving yourself unstoppable.
Make no mistake, President Obama announcing Susan Rice as the new National Security Adviser is every bit as cold as Jordan dunking on Ewing, especially because it’s worth way more than two points. In this analogy, Ewing is the Republicans or at least those behind the Scandal Industrial Complex who deal in political theater intended to embarrass the administration, eat up the clock, try to make people hate or distrust the president and subvert the democratic process itself.
It doesn’t really matter if the scandal begins in Whitewater or Benghazi, the methodology remains the same: leap on mistakes, call them outrageous scandals, make media noise, launch investigations, never let them end, and sow doubt about the president even if the so-called scandals have nothing to do with the White House.
Eventually the fact of multiple investigations becomes proof of something in and of itself, even if those investigations are fruitless. And each scandal lowers the bar for what else is outrageous and what else the media should focus on because surely it’s a pattern that proves something about the president.
Obama sees all that and he disdains the silly season in politics and he believes Susan Rice is an excellent public servant and someone who was wronged, someone who had nothing to do with what happened in Benghazi and someone who’s been vindicated by the recently released email trail. And yet she was attacked as a way of attacking Obama. He probably felt he had to do something to right the injustice done to her–and also perhaps to rebuke the scandal industrial complex. And why shouldn’t he?
Why shouldn’t he respond to years of GOP intransigence and obstruction and outright subversion of the democratic process with the back of his hand and the people he believes are best for the job? The GOP profits from not working with him, from looking like they’re defying him, so there’s no horse-trading possible. So why shouldn’t he dunk on them? As long as his approval stays high and steady, what does he have to fear? Of course the only thing the Republicans have to fear is overreach itself.