Thursday, May 09, 2013

Tempest in a teapot that doesn't exist: The Republican "outrage" on Benghazi

By Michael J.W. Stickings

So we were told by Fox News and pretty much the entirety of the Republican conspiracy machine that yesterday's testimony before the (Republican-led) House committee "investigating" the Benghazi attack and its aftermath would provide the evidence that would finally expose President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, and anyone and everyone else the Republicans have been targeting as liars, and therefore as worthy of impeachment or whatever other severe punishment the vindicated Republicans wished to mete out.

Alas, it was nothing of the sort. Instead the testimony of the key Republican witnesses only served to crush the various right-wing conspiracy theories -- e.g., fighter jets could have been sent but weren't, a special forces team that could have helped was held back in Tripoli, Ambassador Rice's statements on the Sunday talk-show circuit were evidence of partisan-political interference -- that have become gospel among Republicans, not just with the crazies in the House and throughout conservative media but with media-promoted superstars like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Kevin Drum sums up the whole nonsense:

Was Benghazi mishandled? Maybe. Are there lessons to be learned? Probably. Is there a scandal or a coverup? There's never been any evidence of it, and there still isn't. This is a show that goes on and on without end, but it never delivers a payoff. Issa and his colleagues need to start paying more attention to stuff that actually matters, and give up on the Fox-friendly conspiracy theories that never pan out. Enough's enough.

Yes, but it won't be for Republicans, because it's not really about Benghazi. (If Republicans really gave a shit, maybe they wouldn't have voted against funding for diplomatic missions. As usual, their outrage is completely faux.) Before last November's election, it was about taking down the president. But now, with Obama secure in his second term, it's about taking down the Republicans' worst nightmare for 2016, Hillary Clinton. It's obvious. Steve M. looks ahead:

They're going to let up a little on Obama after 2014, and Hillary's going to become the most evil person in the world again. They may even decide they kind of like Obama, if they can figure out a way to use that against her. It's going to be bizarre. And it's going to be as ugly as the Obama-hate has been.

It's ugly, it's vicious, it's pathetic, and it's pretty much all they've got. So expect much, much more of it.

Winning votes with smears, lies, and ridiculous conspiracy theories. It's the Republican way.


I wrote extensively on the Republican assault on Obama, Clinton, Rice, et al. last year. For example:

-- What the Republican obsession with Benghazi is all about (Nov. 16);
-- On Benghazi, it's desperately partisan Republicans vs. Obama, the CIA, and the facts (Nov. 18);
-- John McCain wants so badly to politicize the Benghazi attack he's willing to paralyze U.S. foreign policy until he gets his way (Nov. 19);

-- Let's call it like it is: Those Republicans attacking Susan Rice over Benghazi are full of shit (Nov. 21); and
-- Rice and Benghazi: Why is this so fucking hard for Republicans to understand? (Nov. 29).

Because, really, Republicans have no shame.

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