Taibbi on Benghazi hearings

I had a recent email conversation on Matt Taibbi.  He’s not always the most analytical or insightful writer, but when it comes to writing about the bad things conservatives, corporations, etc., do, there’s nobody more entertaining to read.  And in his analysis of the Benghazi hearings, I really like the way he gets to the subtext to point out how utterly absurd the Republican case is.  Good stuff:

With Thursday’s interminable, pointless, haranguing, disorganized, utterly amateurish attempt at a smear job, the Republicans and their tenth-rate congressional attack schnauzer, South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy, got people feeling sorry for Hillary Clinton. Over the course of 11 long hours, they made the most eloquent argument for a Hillary Clinton presidency yet offered by anyone, including Clinton herself…

The overriding implication of the Benghazi hearing seemed to be that Hillary Clinton was so crass, unfeeling and politically self-involved as to not care if members of her State Department were massacred. Again, Hillary has a lot of flaws, but we’re supposed to believe that she doesn’t have a problem with dead Americans? Seriously? …

Gowdy went to places like this over and over again Thursday. At one point, he was giving Hillary a hard time for responding too quickly to an email from Huma Abedin pointing out that the Libyan people “needed medicine, gasoline, diesel and milk.”

“Do you know how long it took you to answer that email?” Gowdy ranted.

“Well, I responded very quickly,” Hillary replied.

“Yeah, four minutes,” Gowdy chirped. “My question, and I think it’s a fair one, is the Libyan people had their needs responded to in four minutes. And there’s no record of our security folks ever making it to your inbox.”

The look on Gowdy’s face at this moment was priceless. He was proud, like a 3-year-old who went potty all by himself. But what was he even talking about? That Hillary Clinton cares more about the lives of Libyan strangers than she does her own employees? Was that seriously the idea?

And plenty more good stuff like this on the other questioners.  In conclusion, Taibbi broadens back out:

The Republicans at the Benghazi hearing made Hillary a proxy for an aspect of this phenomenon that virtually every blue-state American has seethed at in the last decade or so: being accused of treason.

We’ve been told that we hate veterans, that we sympathize with terrorists, that we long for a UN takeover or Soviet rule. It’s said all the time that it makes us happy to see cops shot or soldiers killed in battle. Not only do we hear this on right-wing TV, we see the amazing spectacle of millions of conservatives believing it. To believe this stuff, you’d have to believe we aren’t even people.

Hillary was forced into that same narrative Thursday. In this hearing she wasn’t really being accused of mismanaging just the latest of thousands of logistical screw-ups by the U.S. government over the years.

On a deeper level the Republican committee members were accusing her of not caring about martyred American lives, because, well, “liberals” only care about the victims of torture or police brutality or other special interest groups they can exploit for political gain. In conservative legend, they don’t care about “regular” Americans.

Yep.  Good stuff.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: