Week In Review: Benghazi Boondoggle Goes Bust
After spending more than $4.5 million on yet another Benghazi investigation, and questioning Hillary Clinton for eleven hours, the GOPs latest Benghazi hearing leaves one major question unanswered: Did they forget who they were messing with?
Seriously. Given how long Clinton has been in politics, and survived everything conservatives have thrown at her, what did House Republicans think they were going to get out of this most recent hearing concerning the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Even before Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) let slip that the GOP’s ongoing investigation was a politically driven attempt to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Republicans were at a disadvantage.
Republicans have been investigating the Clintons for decades. The only time they came close to laying a glove on the Clintons, they had to settle for a sex scandal. Their impeachment of Bill Clinton only succeeded in boosting Republicans’ disapproval rating from 52 to 58 percent. None of their other investigations yielded anything.
None of the congressional committees that investigated Benghazi have come up with anything, despite right-wing media politicizing the attacks for three years.
On Thursday, Republicans hauled Hillary Clinton in front of yet another congressional committee on Benghazi. Here’s what we got.
- Hillary Clinton can stand up to 11 hours of mansplaining, and somehow laugh it off.
- Republican committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) let us know that five previous Republican-led Benghazi investigations weren’t “serious.”
- Hillary Clinton spent the night of the Benghazi attacks alone. We know this thanks to Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) who asked the question, but didn’t understand why it got a laugh from Clinton, and everyone else in the hearing room.
- Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) admitted that despite studying the Benghazi attacks for 17 months, “most of us don’t know much about Libya.”
- Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) just loathes the Clinton Doctrine. Because the hearing was not just about attacking Hillary Clinton.
- Ambassador Chris Stevens didn’t have Clinton’s home address and never stopped by, nor did he have her personal email address or fax number — like most State Department employees.
- The Secretary of State does other things besides send emails. Apparently, sending emails isn’t even a top item on the job description.
- Even when she’s not testifying, Clinton’s facial expressions speak volumes.
- Clinton’s ability to endure 11 hours of this nonsense, including a spat between committee members, is due to yoga and water aerobics.
- According to Rep. Gowdy, the “real tragedy” is that previous Benghazi probes didn’t include Hillary Clinton’s emails. The families and friends of the victims probably appreciated that.
When it was over, a noticeably sweating Rep. Gowdy was forced to admit that his hearing turned up no new information. As a former prosecutor, Gowdy should hang his head. It’s difficult to imagine that in his former life he’d proceed to trial with a case so weak and lacking in evidence.
Three years, ten congressional investigations, 32 congressional hearings, 204 witnesses, 11 published reports, and $20 million ($4.5 million for Gowdy’s committee alone) has yielded no findings of wrongdoing, no evidence of an intelligence failure leading up to the attacks, and no evidence of a stand down order.
No wonder congressional Democrats say that Republicans should foot the $4.5 million bill for this waste of time and tax-payer dollars. In the end, it’s an expensive embarrassment for the GOP, and the Clinton campaign’s longest television spot so far.
For Hillary Clinton, the hearing is best summed up by this Vine.
Paul Ryan’s Conditions
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed to run for speaker as long as House Republicans agreed to his list of conditions, which included unconditional support from the right-wing Freedom Caucus, making it harder to oust a sitting speaker, and having more time to spend with his family. (This, from the guy who repeatedly voted against paid family leave for everyone else.) Hardline House Republican’s were less than amused, but Twitter had a lot of fun with #PaulRyanConditions.
— Maverick™ (@spooney35) October 22, 2015
— Christopher Daly (@born2live2die) October 22, 2015
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) October 21, 2015
— Minnehaha Co Dems (@MinnehahaCoDems) October 21, 2015
— The Baxter Bean (@TheBaxterBean) October 21, 2015
— Sam (@FuriousCarterII) October 21, 2015
— k8 (@rolling_2) October 21, 2015
— The Baxter Bean (@TheBaxterBean) October 21, 2015
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) October 21, 2015
— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) October 21, 2015
Here’s the best of the rest of the worst in wingnuttia this week.
- Fox News host Andrea Tantaros said that Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would not run for president was timed to cover up an “administration-wide” scandal, called Benghazi.
- GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says he would close down mosques, until he’s reminded of that whole religious freedom thing. Never mind that whole constitution thing.
- GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson is so dead set against “political correctness” that he wants the government to police speech on college campuses.
- Carson also said on Daystar’s Marcus and Joni“ that those who say he can’t win the presidency ”don’t understand the power of God." Well, Carson is right in a sense. It would probably take a miracle for him to be elected president.
- First it was Bill O’Reilly, now Fox News host Sean Hannity is comparing #BlackLivesMatter to the Ku Klux Klan.
- The National Rifle Association promoted an article suggesting that “radical Democrats” will try to confiscate firearms, and trigger a civil war in which “the survivors of the Democrat rebellion” are ultimately hanged — complete with an image of a gallows.
- Ironically, a new commentary video from the NRA accidentally admits that the odds of needing a gun to defend yourself are incredibly small. Yet, the average gun owner now owns 8 guns — twice as many as 20 years ago.
- But then, the NRA probably doesn’t get irony, just like it doesn’t get how the pro-gun crowd sounds to the rest of us.
- “Fox & Friends” co-host Tucker Carlson and Fox News correspondent Clayton Morris are upset that the new Captain America appears to be “going up against conservatives,” represented by “an American who has misgivings upon unlimited illegal immigration and the costs associated with it.”
- Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) told radio host Matt Murphy that he’s already preparing to impeach Hillary Clinton on “the day she’s sworn in.” Does this mean Brooks has already thrown in the towel on the GOP re-taking the White House in 2016?
- In an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) warned of an imminent dictatorship, and said the only appropriate gun control is “taking the guns away from the bureaucrats, the government and taking the guns or restricting the guns use of the president starting wars.”
- Even Westboro Baptist Church says Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, because “She lies about God and claims that adultery’s alright/And God hates her!”
- Did you know that Texas is now Norwegian slang for “crazy”? As in, “It was totally texas!”