Obama the Phantom Menace, as seen from Bullshit Mountain (Jon Stewart)
For those of you who don't watch Fox News or "The Daily Show," the phrase "not optimal" refers to a pseudo-scandal based on an exchange during Obama's interview with Jon Stewart last Thursday. The two of them were discussing the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi and its aftermath. Stewart suggested that perhaps the series of public statements from the Obama administration following the attack did not add up to "the optimal response." Obama began his reply by noting that, of course, "if four Americans get killed, it's not optimal...." The right-wing propaganda machine went into freakout mode about Obama's use of the phrase "not optimal"—which, as usual, they took completely out of context. As Stewart points out, this absurdly disproportionate and hysterical response fits into a more general pattern. For four years now they have been engaged in non-stop paranoid hyperventilating about an imaginary Obama "that only Republicans can see."