The term “political circus” could very well have been coined with the events of this past week in mind.
On Thursday Hilary Clinton was called before Congress’s Special Committee on Benghazi to – once again – answer questions concerning the events of September 11, 2012.
The hearing was presented by the Republican members of the committee as a further investigation into the Benghazi attacks. Democrats, however, dismissed the event as a desperate political move by a GOP that is nearing supernova levels of internal destruction.
The Democrat's version of events seems to be the more accurate of the two. The antics of the Republican members was simply too laughable to ignore.
Here are the three most cringe-worthy displays from the hearing featuring all of your favorite GOP windbags.
1. “They missed something here”
Quick! What’s the first rule of succeeding in United States’ politics?
Correct! It is: do not ever, for any reason, make any comment that disparages the American military. (We would have also accepted: always be sure to deny any extramarital affairs until sufficient evidence is discovered).
Apparently someone forgot to clue Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland in on that little tip.
As he interviewed Former Secretary Clinton he seemed frustrated by her insistence that the diplomatic security teams in Benghazi were consummate professionals in every circumstance.
“In my opinion those security professionals were not very professional when it came to protecting people,” Westmoreland finally said.
DC crowds are used to hearing outlandish statements, but even in Thursday’s crowd of seasoned political animals there was a noticeable murmur following this statement.
Westmoreland’s failure was Clinton’s success. This misstep cued her up perfectly to come rushing to the defense of the security forces.
“Those diplomatic security forces are the best in the world, and I cannot allow any comment to pass that disparages them,” Clinton responded.
2. “That is factually untrue”
Perhaps feeling that Westmoreland needed backup to sufficiently embarrass the Republican Party, Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo decided to step in and lend him a hand.
Pompeo drew a micro-cringe for bringing out charts and graphs to question Clinton (charts in politics are always worth a cringe), but he took things to the next level with one very big miscalculation.
Pompeo doggedly pursued Clinton over her hacked personal email account. He also specifically accused her of using a non State Department employee – Sydney Blumenthal – as her primary advisor on the situation in Benghazi.
Pompeo bandied this accusation around as if it were the mighty blade that would slay the evil Clinton dragon. However, in the end he ended up being impaled upon that very sword.
When it came time for one of Clinton’s political allies - California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez – to question her, Sanchez made it very clear that her goal was to “debunk” many of the accusations that her Republican colleagues had leveled towards Clinton. And debunk them she did.
Sanchez played a clip of Pompeo in a news interview where he is making the same claims about Blumenthal to an experienced political reporter. The reporter calls him on the inaccuracy by saying, “That is factually incorrect…it’s just factually incorrect.”
This once again cued Clinton up for a nice fat rebuttal against her GOP pursuers.
All she had to do was agree with the political reporter from Sanchez’s clip and watch Pompeo’s face redden.
3. Gowdy, Gowdy, Gowdy
Everything about the South Carolina congressman, and committee chairman, was cringe worthy this week.
His hair looked odd, his chair made him look small, and his deep southern voice quickly began to sound petty as the hearing wore on.
Gowdy seemingly had no ability to hide his inner feelings as he watched his little witch hunt spiral out of control.
Gowdy frequently used his time to call out the Democratic members of the panel. He also asked questions that were quite obviously political in their motivations.
An example of this is when Gowdy questioned Clinton about (what else?) her emails.
"Do you know how long it took you to answer that email?" Gowdy blustered referring to an email from Libya.
"Well, I responded very quickly," Clinton replied.
"Yeah, four minutes," Gowdy said smugly. "My question, and I think it's a fair one, is the Libyan people had their needs responded to in four minutes. And there's no record of our security folks ever making it to your inbox."
This is not a question. That is a statement.
What's more that is not a statement that an investigator makes to determine what happened in the face of a national tragedy. This is a statement that a political rival asks to a presidential candidate from the opposing party in order to make her seem un-electable.
That question, like the hearing in general, was a cringe-inducing cavalcade of political grandstanding and an overall waste of both time and money.
Continue Reading: 5 Reasons Republicans Need To Change Or Implode In 2015
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