Benghazi, Planned Parenthood and the point of diminishing returns

Benghazi, Planned Parenthood and the point of diminishing returns

Much has happened in America this past week in spite of the fact that inside the Beltway our government, specifically the GOP-led House of Representatives, is languishing in indecision.  For a political party to have such overwhelming success during a midterm election a year ago, they sure have had a disproportionate degree of difficulty getting their leadership organized especially in the wake of the announcement that House Speaker John Boehner is stepping down next month.  To call the House GOP a train wreck in progress would be an understatement.


The entire body is at an impasse as to who should take the reigns of leadership as Speaker of the House, the third office in line to the Presidency.  The frontrunner for the position,  Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of the California 23rd CD, suddenly withdrew himself from consideration when he received a threat via email from a GOP activist threatening to expose an extra-marital affair.  As it turns out that kerfuffle may be the least of the man’s worries.  Earlier in the week Florida Congressman Alan Grayson filed an ethics complaint against Mr. McCarthy and Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina for using taxpayer funds to carry out a political smear job on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Late last month Mr. McCarthy committed a tactical error in revealing the true nature of the Congressional Benghazi investigation during an interview by Sean Hannity on Fox News.  In his letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics, Congressman Grayson stated,

“The Benghazi Committee has been a political dog-and-pony show for its entire 17-month history.  It has been clear to even casual observers that the purpose of the committee was never to investigate the tragic death of four Americans in a terrorist attack; it was to attack Hillary Clinton.  I am asking OCE to investigate how Reps. McCarthy and Gowdy misused $4.5 million of taxpayer money in an unscrupulous attempt to torpedo Secretary Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president.”

This complaint has been substantiated by a former Benghazi investigator.  Congress has been investigating Benghazi longer than it did Watergate, Iran-Contra and the assassination of President Kennedy.

It appears that the Benghazi tragedy is no longer the liability the GOP leadership sought to make for Candidate Clinton.  It has instead become a millstone around their own neck.  This is the downside to having no new ideas.  If you are perpetually campaigning on what you are against instead of what you are for it eventually comes to define your brand.  Benghazi is the well that McCarthy, Gowdy et al went to a few too many times.  Their efforts have indeed backfired in epic fashion.  They are now fodder for the Clinton for President Campaign.

The Republicans finally admit it

Benghazi is not the only debacle that has outlasted its shelf life for the GOP.  In spite of the Planned Parenthood videos having been thoroughly debunked, they insist on playing the issue like a one string banjo.  Facts do not matter when it comes to stoking the anti-choice base of the party.  Indeed, Candidate Carly Fiorina has doubled down on the tall tale of the late term abortion she so graphically described in a GOP Presidential debate, the video evidence of which is non-existent.  Having to depart from reality may help her gain popularity in the short run through primary season but it will be a tough sell in a general election.  I don’t see Mrs. Fiorina’s ability to passionately describe a falsehood as being part of a winning strategy for her or her party.  Until I see them let go of this they may as well just rearrange the deck chairs on the USS Republican.


Righteous indignation and outrage, the stock in trade of conservative media and messaging, will only carry them so far.  This has been demonstrated this past week in the House committee investigating Planned Parenthood.  Congressman Luis Gutierrez laid it on the line to the committee chairman about opening a Pandora’s box by demanding of the minority members by the majority members as to who their campaign donors are.  To this I say be careful what you ask for.  The President will veto any legislation coming out of that committee.  In a Presidential election still over a year away that should be the GOP’s for the taking, try to not to sabotage your chances.

Telling Republicans the truth about Planned Parenthood, TO THEIR FACES



  1. Route66Kid
    Oct 13, 2015

    Nicely stated, Carl. That false premise to which you refer, that someone’s ignorance is just as good or better than someone else’s knowledge… what is destroying this government.

  2. Carl Alexander
    Oct 12, 2015

    This whole Republican debacle is hilarious… I happened to be watching FOX (1st Commandment: Know Thine Enemies) when that idiot Hannity goaded McCarthy into publicly announcing that the Benghazi investigation has been a sham all along. My first thought was – did they really just say that out loud!?!

    That big foo-pah was long over due… the Republican right-wing and the Conservative Media all have one thing in common: they are completely brain-dead, and therefore too stupid to keep their big mouths shut.

    The pen may be mightier than the sword, but you don’t have to worry about keeping boats afloat around any of these geniuses… they invariably sink every ship, because none of them have ever heard of mouth-control.

    If Murdoch had a lick of sense, Hannity would have been fired immediately. He is not and never has been a journalist… more like an agent provocateur, who repeatedly crosses the line from reporting the news to instigating political chicanery. Which is why he repeatedly uses the term “we” whenever he speaks with his Conservative fellow-travelers… he is a blatant partisan, and proud of it.

    And that will be (and is) the downfall of all True Believers –
    over time they self-destruct from the sheer weight of their own hubris.

    For the Hannitys and McCarthys and Cruzes and Huckabees and Fiorinas and Trumps and Carsons and Rubios of this world are doomed by their own ideology – which is based on a false premise: that wishes are horses, and even imbeciles can ride.