ICYMI, Republican House Majority Leader and presumptive incoming Speaker Kevin McCarthy admitted to Sean Hannity what everybody already knew: the Benghazi committee is nothing but a witch hunt.
Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.
In other words, they could not care less what happened to J. Christopher Stevens and his staff. All they care about is getting Hillary and tanking her numbers. (And before that, the focus was getting Obama, but they switched targets as the 2016 campaign season started ramping up.)
This is nothing new for the party of the aptly-named McCarthy. As Kevin Drum points out, the Whitewater committee of the 1990s that eventually led to the Ken Starr drumhead trials and the impeachment, was a witch hunt against the Clintons from day 1. Republicans turn politics into personal vendetta to an extent that simply bewilders Democrats — Dems have never hated Republicans as much as we hated Cheney and his cronies such as Rumsfeld and Bush 43, but we never started these sorts of congressional Star Chambers, even after we got our majority in 2007. They are strictly a GOP phenomenon.
Anyway, “Jazz Shaw” over at Hotair offers this tepid defense: (emphasis mine)
Let’s be clear… this wasn’t a “stunning concession” in any way shape or form… Yes, it’s no doubt both accurate and obvious to note that nobody in the Republican Party is exactly sad over the fact that such revelations have resulted in the erosion of Hillary Clinton’s popularity and trustworthiness in the eyes of the voting public, but that was collateral damage from the main thrust of the investigation. Unfortunately for McCarthy, in an ill considered moment he chose to mention the side effect before the root cause and the Democrats have pounced on it along with their media allies.
Sorry, son, but no sale. Not even Republicans consider the damage to Hillary as “collateral” here. Not the voters, not the committee members, and not even the incoming Speaker of the House. They hate her (and Obama) so much that there is literally no option, no strategy off the table if it means “getting” them. And typical conservative voters are glad that this committee is prejudiced, unfair and uninterested in its stated goals. I’m sure Shaw too prefers a committee out to “get” Hillary to one objectively pursuing the facts.
Now as readers may know, I hold as much contempt for Hillary as I do for Jeb, and generally for the same reasons. And even I am in awe by the cynicism on display here.
Let’s hear it from the right-wingers in Shaw’s comments section, guys who routinely bash Hotair writers for not being conservative enough:
“He said exactly what Cummings and the left already knew and some of us on the right figured out. It’s been outrage theatre, nothing more…” “Hell, I’m almost relieved McCarthy said that. It sounds like he’s admitting the Benghazi committee was put together to take out Hillary which would imply the GOP is interested in actually destroying her. Imagine that. A Republican Party that wants to fight the Democrats.” “It was always political theater. If it wasn’t it wouldn’t have been an accomplishment so far seeing as how there are no charges filed.”
No, the only thing conservatives should be upset about is McCarthy being too honest. What conservative writers really should be talking about is whether McCarthy is too gaffe-prone to be Speaker, whether he lets slip secrets he should not have, whether he is the Republican Joe Biden. Because this is a party where deceit is considered among the greatest of virtues to have.
Consider this revealing quote from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.): “I think [McCarthy] should restore this institution, and stating that committee hearings are being held for political gain does not restore this institution, it’s part of what’s wrong with this institution.”
Note the careful wording. Massie doesn’t think committees set up for base partisan gain are part of “what’s wrong with this institution.” He thinks McCarthy’s “stating” of the true nature of the committee is what’s wrong with Congress!
Whether this tanks McCarthy’s Speakership remains to be seen. He’ll be on all the talking-head shows to furiously backpedal soon enough, no doubt. But with a base famously intolerant of any error or any perceived aiding of the enemy, the conservative movement will only grow louder in its opposition to him. McCarthy better pray his opponents do not coalesce around a single alternative who’s far more conservative and far less honest than himself.