Failed Lt. Governor candidate Ryan Zinke certainly has a knack for demonstrating an almost unparalleled capacity for despicable behavior in the name of self-aggrandizement. For the past year, he has been raising money condemning the Obama Administration for “outing” Navy SEAL Team Six, even though it was Zinke himself who not only named the group publicly but disclosed operational details of the mission.
Now Zinke’s back. In a platitudinous and grammatically-challenged hash of inane right wing talking points about American foreign policy in the Daily Interlake, he falsely claims that American ambassador Chris Stevens was raped and tortured during the Benghazi attack. Zinke writes:
Yet not a single official was fired despite the brutal rape and torture of our ambassador and the death of three American heroes.
Nothing changes the fact that Ambassador Stevens died a horrifying death serving his country, but it’s illustrative that Mr. Zinke would traffic in a demonstrably false claim used by right wing zealots to fuel hatred against Muslims and President Obama. It shows his willingness to disregard the truth and inflict more pain on those who cared about Ambassador Stevens, and it reveals a man whose worldview is so limited by his ideological extremism and opportunism that he will do or say almost anything to win elected office.
His worldview, despite his protestations that he is above partisan politics, is deeply misinformed by the fringe of the far right in this country, a group of people who are willing to believe any conspiracy that paints the President in a negative light.
In the end, of course, Zinke is probably only doing what it will take to win the 2014 Wingnut Olympics, hoping to win whichever race Steve Daines decides against running in. The candidates will have little choice but to pander as deeply and as often as they can to the kooks who run today’s Republican Party, something Ryan Zinke might be uniquely suited to do.