Paul Waldman highlights what I think is a key idea with “Benghazi!”:
What matters isn’t whether something is “politicized,” what matters is the way it’s politicized. If Republicans send out fundraising emails saying, “Donate today so we can elect more Republicans and have our 51st futile vote to repeal Obamacare!”, there’s nothing wrong with that. If they say, “Donate today so we can stop Obamacare’s socialist death panels,” the problem isn’t that they’re politicizing an important issue, it’s that they’re lying about it.
By the same token, I don’t have any problem with the NRCC trying to use Benghazi to raise money. You might get a little squeamish over the fundamental con involved, which is that if you give them fifty bucks you’re really helping get to the bottom of this whole thing, but that’s a rather more ordinary kind of dishonesty. And if the rubes on their email list want to believe that as they fork over their cash, well, they have only themselves to blame.
The crazy making part of the whole Benghazi nonsense is the way in which the Republican base has accepted the idea that the lack of evidence of a cover-up has become proof of a cover-up. There have been – four? five? – investigations into what happened. They keep coming up with the same things. What happened was tragic, chaotic, the CIA had bad inforamtion, and the White House used that bad information. Every question Republicans claim they want answered has already been answered.
Benghazi! is all about Republican desire to impeach Barack Obama (which some Republicans were talking about before he was actually sworn into office). Republicans are hoping they can go digging and find something, anything, that they can use to start impeachment proceedings. They figure they got lucky with Monica Lewinsky maybe they’ll find something comparable about President Obama. To put it more accurately, it seems Republicans are convinced the Clinton impeachment was a winner they just mishandled it; they just need to fine tune their approach this time and it will be an even bigger winner.
We’ve entered into a period in which the danger to America’s republic is real and scary.