23 October 2015

Hillary, Republicans, and the Benghazi Connundrum

This week, Hillary Clinton sat before a House committee headed by Republicans to account for her role as Secretary of State during the September 11th, 2012 attack in Benghazi.  The tragedy of what befell 4 Americans that day is and should be a shock to the nation.  To watch a US Ambassador’s body being dragged out into the street was an affront to our national dignity.  That it is being investigated by Congress is not in of itself a partisan political act as much as many would like to classify it as such.  Such a stunning failure deserves oversight and accountability.  However, given Hillary Clinton’s obvious Presidential ambitions, trying to say that politics is not a part of this process is like trying to separate oil from water.  But for those capable of reasoned thought on the matter, there are some important questions can and should be debated.

Was Scandal Always the Goal?

You can pursue truth and scandal simultaneously.  I have no doubt that many Republicans simply wanted to discover the truth about a diplomatic and military failure.  I also have no doubt that these are savvy politicians who know the power of a scandal.  As such, while they honestly pursued the truth on Benghazi, is it possible that they tried to have their cake and eat it too?   After all, it’s what Frank Underwood would do, right?


If you believe that scandal was at least partly on their minds, you then have to ask if there was anything wrong with that.  Again, an investigation for such a disaster was completely warranted.  So what if they got to take a few shots at potential Presidential contender.  Are we to believe that the Democrats would have acted any differently if they had the chance to put Dick Cheney on the stand?  This is politics and it is a dog eat dog world.  Did the Republicans seize a moment of opportunity and if they did, so what?

Did the Republicans Screw it up?

That is really next question we need to start asking ourselves.  For Clinton’s testimony has come and gone.  Did the Republicans get anything that would stick?  We know the private email server story could still have legs, but the media narrative over this past week has seemed to put the Republicans on the defensive.  It was a just a short while ago that Clinton’s numbers were slipping and the investigation was taking its toll.   That was until a House Republican leader got a little too chatty and bragged about it.


Primary elections will be approaching full swing soon and Hillary is almost certain to be the nominee.  If they didn’t knock her out now with Benghazi, then we must ask ourselves whether they ever will.  Did the Republicans swing and miss?  Think what you will about political parties, Hillary, or even Benghazi itself.  To say that Benghazi was a diplomatic and military catastrophe in which Hillary played a role is an understatement.  But in the world of politics where it is now and always has been cutthroat, did the Republicans screw it up?  Honest questions worthy of a good hashing out!