Charles Krauthammer Tells The Right They’ve Lost On Behghazi
Remember Karl Rove wandering around the Fox News set on election night 2012, trying to convince his colleagues that Mitt Romney, and not Barack Obama, had won the state of Ohio?
It’s a useful visual metaphor for the right’s obsession with Benghazi. Multiple investigations conducted by Senate committees as well as the media have turned up noconspiracy, political scandal or cover-up. But pundits and lawmakers in the Fox orbit keep thinking that the next rock they turn over will surely reveal the muck they need to tarnish the president. He may have won Ohio, but there’s hope yet for impeachment!
Evidence has done nothing to cool their enthusiasm. Could advice from one of their own have a better effect? Yesterday on Fox’s “Special Report,” Charles Krauthammer urged Republicans to let up.
Politically speaking the administration has won,” he said. “They ran out the clock. If we had a select committee from the beginning, really had coherent hearings unlike what we’ve had which were disjointed hearings that let all things sort of slip away, we really would have been somewhere. We would have gotten to the bottom of this.”
The “Special Report” anchor, Bret Baier, tried to turn the conversation back to familiar terrain—why Susan Rice mentioned an American-made video in describing the attack—but Mr. Krauthammer shrugged him off:
“I’m as outraged as everybody about this. I just think that as a political issue the country is now tired of it, and to rev it up with a special committee is simply not going to work. I wish it had happened. And I do think the Republicans in the hearings that they had, which were completely disorganized, let this thing slip away. Sometimes you blow it.”
Here’s the video:
Krauthammer is right, of course. There remain legitimate questions regarding embassy security and exactly what it was the CIA was doing in Benghazi in the months before September 2012, but the idea that the attack on the diplomatic outpost there would end up being any kind of “scandal” that would harm the President can be easily dismissed by that. You can see at least some confirmation of that in the fact that House Republicans have basically abandoned their investigations of the matter. If there was any more “there” there, they would quite obviously pursue it. It’s unlikely that conservatives will listen to Krauthammer, though. Many on the right seem convinced that Benghazi will be a potent issue against Hillary Clinton in 2016, for example, even though there’s little evidence that this is the case.
Benghazi isn’t the only “scandal” that’s politically dead, of course. Much the same can be said about the “Fast & Furious” story, which hasn’t really generated any news in nearly two years at this point. All that remains is the IRS targeting story, which does seem to have some legs although there’s absolutely no evidence that anything that happened had links to the White House or the Obama campaign. That won’t stop the investigations, of course. Especially if the GOP retakes the Senate this year.