Big News, the Republicans in Congress are going to be holding a SPECIAL Select Committee hearing on Benghazi!! At last!! And this time it will be to find the actual, real, honest, finally-revealed TRUTH about what actually, really, honestly happened -- finally.
I'm not 100% sure what the dozen or so other hearings they've held on Benghazi were supposed to have revealed, mind you, but I feel okay about that because Republicans in Congress, indeed even the chairman of this SPECIAL Select Committee, Trey Gowdy (R-SC), has been unable to explain why this hearing will be special and uncover anything that the others haven't. Sort of the Passover version of "Why is this committee different from all other committees?" The best that they and Rep. Gowdy, a proud member of the far-right Tea Party corporation wing of the GOP, can come up with is that this committee will be out to discover the truth for the American people. Now, I had thought that was the point of the other dozen or so hearings, but apparently not, since this one is a Select Committee and that's very, very different.
The best I can figure is that apparently the dozen or so other hearings were just sort of warm-ups, somewhat like Spring Training before the actual, real, honest season takes place with it's actual, real, honest investigation. Those other dozen investigations don't count in your official batting average, which is a good thing where you're 0-for-12.
But you know that Republicans really do honestly care about the Truth about such tragedies and scandals and deaths, because they were the first ones to call for investigations when no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found in Iraq, and the first to demand investigations when no evidence was found of George Bush's 16-word insistence that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake from Niger. (You remember Iraq, that 12-year war where over 500,000 people were killed.) And the Republican cries of investigations about the 9/11 tragedy for how the Bush Administration could ignore Presidential Daily Briefings and allow America to be attacked and have 3,000 people killed. (Or GOP demands of investigations during the Reagan Administraion when the U.S.S. Stark was attacked and 241 Americans were killed -- and when the U.S. military base in Libya was attacked and 37 serviceman were killed.) Because the Republican Party cares about The Truth, and that's why the four Americans who tragically died in Benghazi is an all-out scandal (!!!) and therefore must be investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and investigated and SPECIALLY select investigated to find out at last what they might have missed those first dozen times they investigated (not very competently, it would seem) when it wasn't special enough to investigate properly.
For starters, perhaps they'll uncover that the Republicans in Congress voted to cut funding on embassy security, though that's already known and on the record, so there's really no need to investigate that. So, who knows, this time, at last, maybe they'll find that President Barack Obama did do something scandalous or that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did do something scandalous, or that President Obama didn't actually use the word "terror" in his first statement despite recorded evidence and Mitt Romney's humiliating insistence to the contrary, or that maybe Hillary Clinton actually called for the attacks herself or...who knows??!! Imagine the possibilities. After all, "imagining" seems to be the rule of the day -- or the past six years -- for the Republican Party. That's why they need a SPECIAL Select Committee to find out.
Hey, if it distracts from the growing success of Obamacare or lowering of the deficit or dropping unemployment, well, that's just the unfortunate breaks of life. Things happen. You can't help the timing. Life doesn't operate on a schedule, like elections do.
Or, perhaps the American public might see this obsessive, political circus for what it is, and be so turned-off by the pathetic waste of millions of dollars and of time and of resources, and have it backfire in the Republican face. Shining a Really Big Klieg Light on yourself and showing the public yourself at your most venal and empty and foolish doesn't generally seem a Good Thing.
I don't know how the Democrats will handle the hearing. It would be fascinating though if they boycotted it and that the only thing the American public saw was a row of Republicans asking questions -- the same questions they've asked a dozen or so times before in hearings -- over and over and over. That picture -- a high dais of Republicans-only with empty Democratic chairs, hounding single witnesses with the same faux-questions we've all heard repeatedly -- would be worth far more than a thousand words, would be visceral. I'm sure the possibility of boycotting has been discussed -- how seriously they are considering it, though, I have no idea. But I don't know what much they have to gain by participating in the latest farce. There would seem no new questions to be asked, and there is not much protective cover to be given to the innocent, since it's already been given and on the record. The only advantage is to guard against bullying, but the entire hearing is about bullying, and so the more clear that obsessive bullying is -- without Democrats there -- the more it stands to backfire.
I have every belief, though, that this SPECIAL Select Committee will uncover the truth behind the deaths of the four Americans. I say that because the dozen or so other hearings have shown that they'd discovered it each time. They will discover that it was a tragedy, that security funding had been cut by Republicans, and that there is no scandal except in the minds of those who need it to be a scandal because a Black man is president and a woman might become the next one.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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