Yesterday (Thursday, October 22nd, 2015), we probably finally reached "Peak Benghazi" in a sort of French farce version of a Stalinist show trial on Capitol Hill in the form of an 11-hour "hearing" (with breaks) orchestrated by the Benghazi Select Committee arm of the Republican National Committee -- and fanned on by its tail-leading-the-dog conservative entertainment complex of Fox News and AM rightwing radio -- featuring former Secretary of State, former Senator, former First Lady, and leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about this since the whole Benghazi farce is just that -- a political farce intended to destroy Hillary, although of late, the whole operation has blown up in the face of the House Republicans, in particular the weird, glazed-faced little Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the GOP Witch Hunt Committee.
If you want an actual review of what "Benghazi" is about, this Vox.com article from Oct. 12, 2015 is a good primer.
This committee has now spent over $4.5 million and 17 months "investigating" something that the 8 other bodies (the State Department and 7 Congressional inquiries, some Republican-led) looked into, but much like Ken Starr's Independent Counsel travesty-to-farce nearly a generation ago, this one will not be ending anytime soon.
Instead, the ever-metastasizing fishing expedition will just keep going on indefinitely. The Jacobin House GOP'ers simply cannot help themselves.
As this excellent summary article notes, to put this in perspective:
In total, Congress has held 21 hearings on the Benghazi attacks in which four Americans died, across the various investigations. In contrast, it held 22 hearings looking into what happened on 9/11, where 3,000 people died.
Then-President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney testified for just three hours during a private session to the 9/11 commission in 2004.
From any rational standpoint, the hearing was anywhere from a bust to a rout for the Republicans has Hillary held firm, controlled, and in command of the facts of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012 in Benghazi that killed four Americans including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya -- facts that totally exonerate her, but Republicans live in a post-factual, post-policy, post-governance bubble, and because they hold disproportionate power because of the flaws of our governmental system, this afflicts all of us.
In short, nothing that wasn't already long since known was uncovered, no minds were remotely changed, and Hillary came out on top.
I'll say it again, Hillary easily came out on top compared to (as I read somewhere today but cannot find the link now) a bunch of clueless Republican backbenchers from deeply non-competitive districts where they live in a Fox News-enforced epistemic bubble.
Updated 7:59PM 10/23/2015: Here is a better piece by William Saletan on the details of why the hearings were a sham.
Even a number of rightwing pundits were unimpressed with their side. (Ignore the Dracula-faced Byron York. He's the Beltway punditry's general idea of a "sensible conservative," which tells you a lot.
Updated 7:59PM 10/23/2015: OK, even Byron York said the hearings were a bust.
My only wish is that the Committee Dems under Rep. Elijah Cummings -- I'm really beginning to like him -- would just resign from it. There very presence unintentionally lends a fig leaf of credibility to this sham and travesty.
Now the Ron Fournier "Views Differ on the Shape of Earth" reporter types will literally faint -- like one of those fainting goats when threatened -- but that's just an added bonus.
Oh, and the "Washington Consensus" Beltway Professional Centrists including Fred Hiatt's WaHoPo editorial board will continue to spew bullsh!t about how "serious questions have yet to be answered by Mrs. Clinton," but no one actually cares what they think anymore.
This isn't 1998.
Even then, I now realize in retrospect, the perceived power of the Cokie Roberts and the Sunday talk show set was far greater than it actually was.
Now I'm sure that Benji Wittes -- at one time a Ken Starr groupie and now a strange little apologist for the "Deep State" -- will want "more hearings to uncover the facts," as will his former WaHoPo cohort Sebastian Mallaby, but this thing is over.
Regarding Dems resigning from the Benghazi farce committee, the New York Times editorial board agrees with me:
Now that the hearing, which was intended to be the climactic point of the Benghazi committee inquiry, is over, the Democrats who reluctantly agreed to join the panel when it was established in May 2014 should walk away. The Republicans are expected to issue a report. May it be the final chapter of a wasteful and counterproductive exercise that accomplished nothing.
Anyway, you did AWESOME today, Hillary!
Oh, and you were totally right to crack up at that STUPID question about whether you were "alone all night" the night of the attacks. By way of explanation, Congress Clown-Woman from Alabama's pointless question basically involved reading the District of Columbia phonebook on who was at the State Department that night.
It's the kind of question that only Fred Hiatt could love. To be clear, the Congress Clown-Woman was too dumb to get the double entendre and sheer nonsensical silliness of her question.
We love you, Hillary and, dare we say, future Madam President Clinton!