Live from the Kansas Union: Let me say that we should all pause, and express our sympathy for the sorrow of the family and friends of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, and Glen Doherty, murdered in a cowardly fashion in Libya on September 11, 2012.
And let me also say that it is appropriate for us to express, for Boehner, McCarthy, Ryan, Gowdy, and the clown show that is the rest of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives, our scorn, contempt, and slight regard:
Why Republicans Turned Benghazi Hearing into Blumenthal Hearing: "This was supposed to be the eighth congressional hearing...:
...on the Benghazi attack. But halfway through, it mysteriously transformed itself into the Blumenthal hearings, with Representative Trey Gowdy treating the audience to excerpts from Sidney Blumenthal's missives to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton... [leaving] many Americans... wondering, who the heck is Sidney Blumenthal?... Blumenthal worked as an adviser to Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001... in effect serving as a public relations officer.... There’s nothing to connect Blumenthal to what happened in Benghazi. Most of the emails Blumenthal sent to Hillary Clinton were journalistic reports about various political events, intermixed with gossip and flattery.
The Republicans tried to suggest that it was unfair that Blumenthal had access to Clinton’s email, while Ambassador Christopher Stevens did not. But this line of questioning makes no sense: Ambassadors have many ways of connecting with the secretary of state that are much more secure than a personal email. A tweet by former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul makes this point acutely:
Blumenthal was a hot topic at the Benghazi hearings not because he had anything to do with the attacks but because he’s a convenient villain.
In the Republican imagination, Blumenthal exists more as a mythological figure than a real person.... Republicans... aimed only at hardcore partisans, who already know the elaborate mythology the right-wing media has constructed.... As such, the hearings may be excellent for fundraising. The Republicans will get some good soundbites that they can exploit for their re-election campaigns...
It's Getting Embarrassing: "Listening to the questions from Republicans questioning Hillary Clinton...:
...it's hard not to step back and ask what it is they're even trying to prove or what their point is. The lines of questions are disjointed and they're pressing points she either freely concedes... or the point of which isn't even clear.... It's not going well for the committee at all.... They definitely get that: they know it's going badly for them. And that's led to a rather churlish and defensive tone... that's further deflated any sense that this is more than a clown show where the clowns are struggling. As I've now said several times, it's a world of difference that this happening post-McCarthy and not pre-McCarthy.... Now the assumption from the press is that Hillary is on the upswing (both in her poll numbers and on the 'Benghazi' question) and the committee members are on the defensive.... There's a very different sense of who's winning and losing and that sense has taken root with Hillary and the committee Republicans themselves, which just magnifies the effect. Because of all this, Republican committee members just seemed pissed because this was supposed to be awesome--after all, a committee designed to bring down Hillary and circulate all those numskull conspiracy theories about Chris Stevens wearing a chest cam and how President Obama was watching everything happening live on his iPhone.... It all doesn't help that Chairman Gowdy is such a comical figure. But the real thing is that... she's making them regret this is even happening.
Quote of the Day: Peter Roskam Explains Just How Much He Loathes Hillary Clinton: "It's time for a break to cast votes...:
...but before that let's hear some final words from Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam:
Let me tell you what I think the Clinton Doctrine is. [Reads from prepared card.] I think it's where an opportunity is seized to turn progress in Libya into a political win for Hillary Rodham Clinton. And at the precise moment when things look good, take a victory lap, like on all the Sunday shows three times that year before Qaddafi was killed, and then turn your attention to other things.
See? This hearing is nothing more than a disinterested investigation into the events surrounding the Benghazi attacks of 9/11/2012. You partisan naysayers who think it's just about attacking Hillary Clinton on national TV should be ashamed of yourselves.