Will Republicans Seize The Political Opportunity That Benghazi Provides?

5-17-2013 5-45-26 PMIt’s a vulgar question, I know. But as I’ve often said, sometimes good politics and good policy intersect. This is one of those times. Good policy in the case of Benghazi would be to impeach the President.

Remember, when Bill Clinton was impeached, the Left protested that it was preposterous because it was “all about sex.” The ex-President’s perjury didn’t bother his party, and, perhaps more importantly, it didn’t bother the press, who adored Clinton in a familial sort of way. He was a charmer who advanced their agenda with a wink and a smile, beating the Republicans every time he and they went head to head.

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Benghazi has nothing to do with sex, of course. It’s about national security, transparency, a cover-up (not unlike the one which properly did Nixon in), and, most importantly, the death of four Americans. The question of whether or not their lives could have been saved is an impossible question to answer, but the salient point is that the Obama administration didn’t even try; they were too busy figuring out a way to minimize the political impact that Benghazi would have on their re-election effort.

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Some Republicans (Darrell Issa comes to mind) are pressing for answers—not because they are pre-emptively launching a campaign against Hillary’s 2016 ambitions, but because they want to fill in the blanks in what we already know is an untruthful narrative being promulgated by the administration.

Others in the Republican Party, when directly asked whether or not they’re accusing Team Obama of a cover up, are reluctant to answer the question with an unambiguous “yes,” choosing instead to enumerate the details of the Big Lie, ranging from the two orders that the military not respond to the attacks to the twelve changes in Susan Rice’s talking points.

If I were asked whether or not I was accusing the administration of a cover up, my answer would be short and sweet: “I’m connecting the dots. Anyone who doesn’t see a cover up here isn’t.”

That’s not a political answer; it’s the responsible one. Republicans in Congress need to be responsible—even, Heaven forbid, if it benefits them politically.

Will the press do their job and cover the cover up? A week or two ago, that would have been a debatable question. And then the revelation about the administration seizing the phone records of the Associated Press came to light. That was a game changer. The fondness for and blind trust in President Obama that helped him through two election victories (the second of which was most unlikely, given the economy’s frail state) is gone. The media monolithically had his back, as they had Clinton’s, and he has paid them back by demonstrating that he has no regard for the 1st Amendment.

Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, insisted on Tuesday that national security concerns mandated that the leak be investigated. Suspending judgment on how focused this administration has been on foreign policy, Holder’s words—and the administration’s actions—have evinced that as long as Obama is in charge (and he is, despite Jay Carney’s insistence to the contrary), it will be risky for the press to do its job. And as ideological as they are, journalists are journalists first.

Which means that the Republicans have the opportunity to do the right thing on Benghazi, with reasonable assuredness that the press, having broken up with the President, will be on their side.
By: Will Anderson

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