I’ve already had a fairly long and very fortunate life, so when my time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil I will have few regrets or at least few valid complaints. But on that day, don’t be surprised if I rise up near the end and say: “Could I just have back those 13 hours I spent in October of 2015 watching the House Select Committee question Hillary Clinton about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, so I can put that time to better use?”
I did it for you, dear readers, so I could write this stupid piece for those among you who did indeed find better use to make of those hours but who are mildly curious about what they missed Thursday. I’ll keep it brief.
You missed a new low in the descent of Congress into the brain-dead politics of red and blue. Some will surely see it otherwise, and surely someone will find a bad Clinton moment in the videotape that they can use against her in an ad if, as seems increasingly likely, she becomes the Democratic presidential nominee.
I heard former Judge Andrew Napolitano over on Fox (where he holds the title of “senior judicial analyst”) suggest that Clinton could be indicted for perjury for what she said under oath. I doubt it. But the descent into partisan bloodsport is so extreme that I can’t rule it out.
The mainstream reaction was that Clinton made no damaging admissions, but that only proves that the mainstream is liberal-biased.
Speaking of biased, the questions by majority Republican members of the committee could not have been any more biased in favor of believing that Clinton is morally, if not criminally, responsible for the deaths of four U.S. officials under an Al-Qaida-linked assault on Benghazi that day, 9/11/12.
When Clinton declined to confess to any crimes, they unveiled highly selective half-truths, and then acted outraged that Clinton seemed unwilling to confess to criminality (although she did say, in her opening statement, that she takes “responsibility” for the deaths).
The Democratic members of the select committee followed an equally partisan strategy. They clearly decided not to even pretend, for the most part, that they were interested in asking her about the Benghazi events. So they used their time to directly accuse their Republican colleagues of dishonest partisan motives and to apologize to Clinton for what she has suffered.
I don’t mean to resort to false equivalence here. The day was driven by the Obama/Clinton Derangement Syndrome afflicting the Republicans on the committee. But, as my own expectations were shaped by select committees from the old days, it hadn’t occurred to me that the Dems would basically use their time to console Clinton and denounce the Republicans.
Speaking of olden days, my mind kept going back to the greatest select committee ever, the one that investigated the Watergate affair. While there were Democrats on that committee who were out for President Richard Nixon’s head and Republicans who used their time to defend him, there were several major figures, back in the days when there were such things as conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans, who seemed interested in getting to the truth and following the evidence where it led. That committee actually brought a lot of new facts into the picture. (It was the committee’s staff who discovered that Nixon had been taping his Oval Office and the tapes led to many major breaks in the case.)
I am not recommending you do this, but if you would like to read the transcript of the Thursday’s hearing, the Washington Post produced one astonishingly quickly after adjournment.