Friday, October 23, 2015

Benghazi Hearing: the Abridged Version

For those who somehow missed ten hours of this mess, here goes:

Chair, Congressman Trey Gowdy: Will you confess at long last to being an evil person, Hillary?
Hillary Clinton: Nope.
Gowdy: Dammit.

Ten hours.  It almost got to be ELEVEN hours of pretty much the same attempt again and again by hard-headed, conspiracy-minded Republicans to make Hillary Clinton trip over her statements or even admit like a stupid comic book villain she had an evil scheme.  The committee leaders obsessed more over Clinton's emails during her tenure as Sec of State than about finding out the security failures during an embassy attack in war-torn Libya that left four Americans dead.

There were more questions about serial e-mailer Sidney Blumenthal (sp?) than about Ambassador Chris Stevens, the top man on the ground who died at Benghazi.

Tennis matches don't go this long.  Well, there was this one a few years back at Wimbledon, but at least it captivated the world.  This gowdy gaudy spectacle bored audiences to tears.

Driftglass wrote a more prolonged mockery of a show trial uh enhanced interrogation ah Congressional inquiry that demonstrated in better detail the utter foolishness of about ninety percent of the entire day.  He did it in separate updates to pace himself.  I'm doing this all in just one so you can all get to your breakfasts before the cereal gets soggy:

Gowdy: Admit that you weigh the same as a duck, meaning you're made of wood, and therefore...?
Hillary: I'm not a witch.
Gowdy: NI!

Most of the drama was between Gowdy and Elijah Cummings, the lead Democrat on the Benghazi Committee to Embarrass Hillary And Obama.  Cummings kept trying to point out that if the Republicans wanted to attack Hillary using Blumenthal, they should include Blumenthal's prior testimony into the record (the Republicans on committee refused).

Hillary pretty much spent the time flicking dandruff off her shoulders and sitting with an almost bemused, annoyed expression.

Here are the facts: there's been EIGHT different committee hearings over the last three years over what happened in Benghazi, and the first SEVEN all essentially found the same thing.  Libya had turned into a massive mess after the fall of Quaddafi (sp?), we didn't have enough security in place (which is more the fault of a fund-cutting Congress), and Stevens (and others) died on the ground trying to wade into an unstable situation to do what he could to calm things down.  Benghazi is a genuine sign of the complex and bloody disaster that has been the Middle East for decades, and yet somehow none of these committee hearings seem to want to focus on that.  These committee hearings keep going into "Let's convince everybody else the Democrats were more obsessed with the optics of the disaster" crap.

Gowdy: Is there anything this Republican-led Congress hasn't asked you yet, Mrs. Evildoer, about your evil deeds that you would care to admit to now while you may yet have the chance to earn our mercy?
Hillary: You haven't asked me which fashion designer I'm going to be wearing at my swearing-in ceremony in January 2017.

Yesterday's hearing will not change many people's minds.  Hillary has been a polarizing figure since before Pat Buchanan's Culture War speech at the 1992 GOP Convention.  If you hate her, this hearing was another moment to point out her evilness and reinforce why you hate her.  If you support her, you're still supporting her after this, doubly so.

However, the hearing will convince people what they already know about the committee: A majority of Americans already believes - by 72 percent - that this setup is politically motivated, and this 10-hour endurance march proved it.  What is going to happen is that a lot of people sitting on the fence about her - especially a lot of Democrats worried that she's going to be another target of divisiveness for another four (to eight) years - are going to be impressed with her patience and bearing during an interrogation session that was clearly designed to break her.

A majority of Americans going to accept the proof of what Democrats have been saying all along about all this Benghazi obsession, and understand what never-Speaker Kevin McCarthy meant when he admitted that the investigations were all about hurting Hillary.

Even Bernie supporters - remember, even Bernie himself said during last week's debates "people are sick of hearing about your emails" - are going to have to admit that Hillary handled herself, and can begrudgingly accept her as a Democratic nominee.

Gowdy: Admit it.  You're a witch.
Hillary: Trick or treat, suckers.  And it's pronounced "Wingardium lev-ee-OH-sah".  Khaleesi, out.

Update: someone shared this image from Lawyers Guns & Money on Facebook just now.  Dude, I tweeted something similar last night during the debacle...

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars had an interesting take on the hearing from a woman's perspective:

-Doug in Oakland