Saturday, October 24, 2015


Clinton--Right After The Hearings--And Who Can Blame Her
The word is in from the Benghazi hearings and it is virtually uniform: Hillary "won them." Yes, the GOP did make the point that Hillary knew that the attack was terrorism from the get-go--but, as has been pointed out--there were differing assessments (including from the guy who launched the raid) so it's really not that clear-cut.

The analysis is that the GOP-faction of the committee got stuck on Sidney Blumenthal to no great effect and just looked like they were, well, witch-hunting (Gowdy's refusal to release the full Blumenthal transcripts also made it look like he was hiding something: The Omnivore can't imagine that if whatever they say is in there didn't damage their case, they'd just release them).

The recurring theme here has been that Benghazi, for the Republicans, has only been a little worse than the four victims of the attack.

What Difference Does It Make?

Generally, that which goes down in October before an election year doesn't have much impact--but in this case it may. Firstly, Hillary raised enormous amounts of cash off the hearing. Putting her on 11 hours of free TV was probably a really bad idea (Fox News cut away from the hearings. MSNBC did not.). Insomuch as momentum can really "be built" in campaigns, the democratic debate, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb dropping out, and Biden deciding not to run would be a remarkable week--even if Hillary had not shown her ability to look crisp and possessed for 11 hours under often-pointed cross-examination.

If Hillary wins the 2016 election this week will probably seen as the turning point where events served to show everyone that Hillary isn't just a contender but is really the most seasoned politician in the race--and it shows.

There's another problem: despite the fact that the GOP has consistently fumbled Benghazi (Romney blew it several different ways--but most notably in the second debate where he might have "put Obama away"--but picked a weak line of attack and then got sand-bagged by the moderator) but the base isn't close to through with it.

Like "The Alamo," the emotions behind Benghazi are long and deep. The right is hungering for a victory that seems forever just out of reach.

The Truth About Benghazi

The truth is that there was a legitimate battle-space around Benghazi--but in the race to capitalize on it, Team Romney allowed the case to become diluted. Was it terrorism on Obama's watch? Or incompetence by the Secretary of State? Is this about an ordered military stand-down that might have saved the four? Or is it about an email server that, who knows, could have been compromised?

In the end, it turns out it was largely about Sidney Blumenthal and that isn't going to help a whole lot next year. The Omnivore thinks that the GOP has been looking for a "silver bullet" that would put Obama--and now Hillary--away in "one shot."

In pursuit of this goal, they are squandering opportunities to build a game against her that would beat her the old fashioned way.

1 comment:

  1. At what point does the Right just hang their heads in shame and embarrassment?