"What difference does it make?" Hillary Clinton spat at Ron Johnson, the Tea Party-backed Republican Senator from Wisconsin. That's the question behind this entire testimony. Since the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Republicans have zeroed in on a political target: the State Department's response in the days following the attack. After the Benghazi attack, the initial assessment of the attacks was that it emerged spontaneously from a protest over an inflammatory video. This was repeated multiple times by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and the noise Republicans made over this likely cost Susan Rice the job of replacing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
Now Republicans finally get their opportunity to go after Hillary herself, and they are once again pressing this point: that the State Department initially gave the wrong reasons for the attack.
This is, of course, not at all about improving the safety of our embassies or the functioning of the State Department. It's about the fact that voters now trust Democrats more than Republicans on foreign policy, and that Hillary Clinton would be a powerhouse candidate for President, should she choose to run. If Republicans can make the Benghazi attacks stick to Clinton in the minds of American voters, it will weaken both her and her party.
So yes, it's at least possible that the Benghazi hearings will determine the future of our country, but not for any of what's being discussed at the actual hearings. Furthermore, the attacks could backfire: if the most enduring image from the Benghazi hearings is Hillary Clinton backing down Ron Johnson, she may emerge stronger than ever.