Balloon Juice nails it:
Here’s the one thing I don’t get about the whole Benghazi Snark hunt: fucking up a government job, and trying to paper it over, is not now and has never been the basis of a scandal. The formula for a scandal is simple: crime + cover-up = scandal:
- Watergate was a scandal because Nixon authorized a break-in (crime) to make sure he was re-elected, and then covered it up.
- Iran-Contra was a scandal because it was arming contras was illegal, and Ollie North destroyed documents to cover it up. Eleven people were convicted of crimes – even though some were pardoned, it was a real scandal.
- Whitewater was at least a candidate for a scandal because the Clintons were alleged to have gotten a sweetheart loan as a form of bribe (crime) and then Bernie Nussbaum supposedly removed documents from Vince Foster’s office after his suicide (cover-up). No convictions (of Executive Branch employees), but it had the raw materials for a scandal, even though it didn’t grow into a full-blown one.
Fucking up, which is all that is alleged in Benghazi, is not against the law (sadly). Covering up a fuck up is what DC insiders call “spinning” or “another day at the office”. I haven’t been paying close attention, but has there ever been a hint of a crime worthy of an alleged cover up here?
Obviously, the Benghazi witchhunt isn’t about a crime, or cover-up. It’s trying to taint Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee of 2016.
Steve Benen weighs in:
So what was the point of yesterday’s theatrics, beyond giving far-right activists a morale boost and giving Fox News a ratings boost? What do we know now that we didn’t know 24 hours ago? Eight months after the attack itself, I know Republicans think there’s been a cover-up, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is they think has been covered up. For all the talk of a political “scandal,” no one seems capable of pointing to anything specific that’s scandalous. For all the conspiracy theories, there’s no underlying conspiracy to be found.
Was Benghazi mishandled? Maybe. Are there lessons to be learned? Probably. Is there a scandal or a coverup? There’s never been any evidence of it, and there still isn’t. This is a show that goes on and on without end, but it never delivers a payoff. Issa and his colleagues need to start paying more attention to stuff that actually matters, and give up on the Fox-friendly conspiracy theories that never pan out. Enough’s enough.