Give'em Hell Hillary!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by joepistole, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell. - Harry Truman

    Truman's words are just as appropriate today as they were almost 67 years ago. I watched a bit of Hillary's testimony before the 8th Republican inquisition into Benghazi, and it reminded me of Truman's words. Hillary withstood 10 hours of relentless Republican nonsense. Good for Hillary. But at the same time, it reflects the very bad state of affairs of American politics and more specifically of the Republican Party. It was a Republican witch hunt. It's very apparent Republicans are counting on this 9th investigation of the matter to hurt Hillary's presidential run. Instead, they walked away with egg all over their faces, and Hillary walked away looking like a competent stateswoman.

    But, Hillary did a great job. Republicans must be desperate. First, they hoped Biden would run. Well, Biden announced he will not run. Then they hoped to smear her in the inquisition today. Well that hasn't worked either. Not only did they fail to hurt Hillary, I think they helped her. Republicans were left looking silly, petty and mean. Hillary walked away undamaged and looking like the real stateswoman she is. Give'em hell Hillary!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    You know it's bad for Republicans when after promising full live coverage of the event, Fox cut away early and didn't deliver complete live coverage.

    Fox was the only cable "news" to not broadcast the event live. Fox replaced live coverage with its pundits who told Fox "News" viewers what Fox wanted them to hear rather than what actually occurred.

    Obviously, this isn't how Republicans envisioned it would turn out for them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    ¡Benghazi! ¡Benghazi! ¡Benghazi!

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    It arises sometimes, perhaps with disdainful regularity, that we find ourselves engaging the question of who and what really, really sucks. I've made the sports analogy before about politics; it really does seem strange how one can be so unprepared, unskilled, and insensate, and expect to compete in the highest tiers.

    A quick summary of this principle in motion might be found in Steve Benen's↱ offering today, which noted that while, "So much of American politics is a Rorschach test", the end result of yesterday's eleven-hour hearing before the House Select Committee on Benghazi can be reasonably argued as, "Nearly everyone who saw this ignominious display – left, right, and center – agreed that congressional Republicans had an opportunity to advance their cause, but they blew it".

    Five paragraphs to sum up:

    At one point, during Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-Kan.) attempt to badger Clinton, John Podhoretz, a prominent conservative writer and former Republican speechwriter, said on Twitter, “Why doesn’t Pompeo just go over and swear her in for president now – if he goes on like this he’ll practically get her elected.”

    It was that kind of day for Republicans.

    Podhoretz’s concerns were surprisingly common among conservatives. Erick Erickson lamented the fact that the hearing proved to be a “waste of time.” The Washington Examiner’s Byron York characterized the hearing as “very, very good news for Hillary Clinton.”

    The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis wrote midday, “Unless something happens, it’s starting to look like Hillary Clinton won’t merely survive this hearing – she will have come out on top.” Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw said, “This hearing is turning into a disaster on wheels,” adding, “Jesus, I spend half my day criticizing Hillary Clinton and even I find this set of questions embarrassing.”

    Even Fox News abandoned coverage of the hearing in the afternoon – about three-and-a-half hours before it was actually finished – and started covering unrelated topics, despite the network’s near-obsession with the deadly 2012 attack for years.

    This really was supposed to be a big deal for Republicans. Yet the buildup narrativew does not entirely make sense; at what point could anyone reasonably have expected this hearing to actually accomplish anything useful? Yesterday, Mr. Benen reminded of the history:

    Which strategic genius in Republican Party thought it’d be a good idea to pit Hillary Clinton against obscure, unprepared, far-right members of Congress? Why on earth would the GOP go out of its way to make the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination look like the adult in the room?

    Clinton has often been blessed by incompetent opponents, but this is ridiculous.

    What’s more, it’s too common. In early August, congressional Republicans scheduled hearings on the international nuclear agreement with Iran, and despite having months to prepare their best arguments and sharpest questions, they had nothing. Slate’s William Saletan attended all three hearings and came away flabbergasted: “Over the past several days, congressional hearings on the deal have become a spectacle of dishonesty, incomprehension, and inability to cope with the challenges of a multilateral world…. I came away from the hearings dismayed by what the GOP has become in the Obama era. It seems utterly unprepared to govern.”

    A month later, congressional Republicans scheduled hearings on Planned Parenthood, and once again, they had months to prepare, organize their thoughts, coordinate their lines of attack, read their own charts, etc. And yet, they again seemed hopelessly lost.

    As we discussed in September, conservative partisans should see congressional Republicans as poor allies, in large part because they don’t seem to do their homework especially well. They create opportunities to advance their interests, but then let those opportunities pass as a result of negligence and incompetence.

    And, you know, when we consider it that way, yeah, it does occur to wonder just what pathway House Republicans thought they had.

    Which, in turn, brings us to Kurt Eichenwald↱, whose mammoth article for Newsweek bears the apt title, "Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages".

    The historical significance of this moment can hardly be overstated, and it seems many Republicans, Democrats and members of the media don’t fully understand the magnitude of what is taking place. The awesome power of government—one that allows officials to pore through almost anything they demand and compel anyone to talk or suffer the shame of taking the Fifth Amendment—has been unleashed for purely political purposes. It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president. Comparisons from America’s past are rare. Richard Nixon’s attempts to use the IRS to investigate his perceived enemies come to mind. So does Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting during the 1950s, with reckless accusations of treason leveled at members of the State Department, military generals and even the secretary of the Army. But the modern McCarthys of the Benghazi committee cannot perform this political theater on their own—they depend on reporters to aid in the attempts to use government for the purpose of destroying others with bogus “scoops” ladled out by members of Congress and their staffs. These journalists will almost certainly join the legions of shamed reporters of the McCarthy era as it becomes increasingly clear they are enablers of an obscene attempt to undermine the electoral process.

    (Boldface accent added)

    ―End Part I―
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Part the Second

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    Okay, the thing about the Newsweek article would be that it is mammoth, an attempt to encapsulate the whole of the Benghazi scandal. And while we might say a thing or two about unanswered questions, to what standard are we comparing that proposition? After all, government is government and imperfect, yet for all the hearings and investigations into Benghazi, the idea of extraordinary unanswered questions―i.e., those that rise above typical government vagary―is such that, tragically, the banner scandal here is the House Special Committee on Benghazi.

    The consequences, however, are worse than the manipulation of the electoral process. By using Benghazi for political advantage, the Republicans have communicated to global militants that, through even limited attacks involving relatively few casualties, they can potentially influence the direction of American elections. The Republicans sent that same message after the Boston Marathon bombing, where they condemned Obama for failing to—illegally—send the American perpetrators to Guantánamo, among other things. They slammed the president because federal law enforcement agents read the failed underwear bomber his rights after they arrested him in 2009. Never mind that federal agents did the exact same thing under President George W. Bush when they arrested the failed shoe bomber years earlier. Republicans even lambasted Obama when he spoke about ISIS decapitating journalists, saying the president did not sound angry enough.

    But there is an enormous difference between politicizing tragedy and using the levers of government to achieve that goal. Put simply, the transformation of the Benghazi attacks into a political drama now serves as one of the most dangerous precedents in American history, one whose absurdity and irrationality can be seen just by reviewing the past. This single Benghazi committee has been “investigating” the attack for longer than Congress conducted inquiries into Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Iran-Contra, Watergate and intelligence failures in Iraq.

    Worse still, Congress convened 22 hearings about the 9/11 attack that killed almost 3,000 citizens working in the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan; this week, Congress will be holding its 21st hearing about an attack that killed four people working in Libya, with many more sessions left to come. Do Republicans actually think that terrorists killing four agents of the government who willingly assumed the risks of residing in one of the most dangerous places in the world is more important than terrorists murdering 3,000 unsuspecting civilians who were working at their offices in New York City?

    In fact, no previous assault on a diplomatic outpost has received this kind of relentless expression of congressional outrage. There weren’t investigations that were anything on this scale about the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 (63 killed), on the U.S. Embassy annex northeast of Beirut in 1984 (24 killed) or on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, in 2008 (18 killed). Republicans didn’t believe these exact same scenarios that took place under Republican presidents merited similar zeal to dig down to some unexposed, imaginary “truth.”

    And it goes on.

    Often we pretend there is some manner of equivocation to be had about describing partisan conduct, yet Republicans seem so hostile even to such blessings that they have laid themselves bare; for all they complain about how government doesn't work or is tyranny against the People, they have done nothing more than demonstrate how entrusting conservatives with governance is the quickest way to prove the thesis.

    If you ever wondered why someone who believes a job cannot and should not be done would actually want that job, the House Select Committe on Benghazi offers a detailed illustration.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Benen, Steve. "The left and right can agree: Benghazi Comm. Republicans blew it". msnbc. 23 October 2015. msnbc.com. 23 October 2015. http://on.msnbc.com/1LKpJBP

    —————. "GOP’s Benghazi Committee comes unglued". msnbc. 22 October 2015. msnbc.com. 23 October 2015. http://on.msnbc.com/1LIAjJz

    Eichenwald, Kurt. "Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages". Newsweek. 21 October 2015. Newsweek.com. 23 October 2015. http://bit.ly/1jDibdn


    ―Fin―
     
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  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, most of the proceedings were in a different language, but I found a translation service; excerpt:

     
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  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    You know the Republican inquisition was going bad for Republicans when halfway through it, Fox ended live coverage. That alone speaks volumes. Fox had been pushing this inquisition as the demise of Hillary...oops.

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    I imagine there was a lot of soiled Republican underwear last evening. As the day wore on, one could visibly see the desperation in the faces of the Republican inquisitors. There for a while, I thought it could go on into the the early morning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
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