In the life imitating art department, the hilariously funny Amazon series “Alpha House” has right wing Sen. Peg Stanchion (Janel Moloney) proposing a “permanent Benghazi Committee.” She also brings a loaded gun into the Capitol with a group of tea party supporters to brandish her support for the Second Amendment, shutting the Capitol down.
And now we have the speaker-to-be, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, admitting that the charade of eight investigations into Benghazi was keyed to bringing Hillary Clinton down. As they say, the truth comes out, not only that there was no conspiracy or wrongdoing on Benghazi but that the “Alpha House” portrayal of a politically motivated hatchet job was the goal all along.
One thing that the hard-core Republicans know is that there is only one way to go after Hillary Clinton – make it personal. They know that they can not defeat her on the issues: who fights for the middle class; who favors comprehensive immigration reform; who supports expanding college education for working families; who has a plan for family and medical leave; who supports a higher minimum wage; who has a record of standing up for kids, their health and education. Make it about scandal, even if you have to make it up. Go negative early and often.
The Republicans know that the demographics are killing them: fewer and fewer angry white males, more and more diversity. How can they win a national election when they lose Hispanics, blacks and Asians by nearly three to one? How can they be a majority party when they are viewed as intolerant towards the GLBT community, when young people find their ideas old and tired, when women understand what being anti-women’s health and anti-Planned Parenthood really means?
So the Republicans in Congress continue to believe that Benghazi and Clinton’s emails are their ticket and they appropriate more money for investigations and create more committees to request more documents. The Benghazi probe has now lasted even longer than the investigation into Watergate.
The New York Times editorialized that it is time to shut down the Benghazi committee. It even suggested that the House Republicans “should rename their laughable crusade ‘the Inquisition of Hillary Rodham Clinton.'” Benghazi investigations have cost American taxpayers $4.6 million, more than critical committees, including the intelligence and veterans’ committees, according to the Times. All for one reason: to attack Hillary Clinton.
Of course, McCarthy’s statement tells it all: “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today?”
[SEE: Republican Party Cartoons]
The sarcasm and humor of “Alpha House” and the Freedom Caucus imitation had it basically right. A permanent Benghazi committee (or at least one that lasts through the elections) may be what the real House Republicans were thinking!
But the American people are catching on. They get the joke that is suddenly not so funny. They are beginning to see the investigations for what they are: an effort to destroy the integrity, the character and the commitment of a serious and very capable public servant. This is not about issues or helping make our embassies more secure or serving the memories of those killed, it is a tawdry political trick.
The Benghazi investigations are backfiring and one can hope that on Oct. 22 when Hillary Clinton appears before the committee and the big lights and cameras go on, the American people will see what they saw so many year ago during the Army-McCarthy hearings. On June 9, 1954, after 30 days of hearings, the notorious Joseph McCarthy was confronted by the attorney Joseph Welch with these famous words: “Senator, you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency.”