Saturday, July 9, 2016

The GOP's Clinton Derangement Syndrome

Paul Waldman and Brian Beutler have pieces on how the GOP has returned to CDS. Here is Beutler's piece.

I want to look at what Waldman says, though.

"Just as Obama-era Republicans have made George W. Bush look like a much more reasonable figure than he seemed when he was president, the rapid redeployment of the anti-Clinton scandal machine might cause one to reevaluate the relationship between Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress. While it's true that they've been relentlessly attacking the president since he first took office in 2009, it's now clear that while Republicans were waging an ideological, personal, and at times legal battle, what they didn't do — not to the extent they might have, anyway — is use their institutional tools to create a never-ending aura of scandal around the Obama administration. We can realize that now because, with four months to go until the election, we've just time traveled back to the 1990s."

"It's not that Republicans haven't held hearings on potential Obama administration scandals. But one after another, they came to nothing. Solyndra, Fast and Furious, the IRS — they all played out pretty much the same way. Republicans thought they had unearthed something big, an event that would prove the true wickedness of Obama and his underlings. But then upon investigation, there just wasn't much there — a regrettable series of events, some bad bureaucratic decisions, but no criminality and nothing that got anywhere near the Oval Office. So the non-scandals faded away, to live on only in fundraising appeals for obscure conservative groups and those breathless email chains your crazy uncle gets."

"There was one exception, though: Benghazi. Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, spoken like a mantra and invoked to represent all that is dark and twisted and heartless about... well, not about President Obama, actually. About Hillary Clinton. It's no accident that the one pseudo-scandal that truly spurred congressional Republicans to action — and eight separate investigations — was the one where they could focus all their attention on her. If the attack on Benghazi had happened six months or a year later — when John Kerry was secretary of state — would there have been eight separate congressional investigations into it? Not on your life."

Actually that depends. Would they have investigated John Kerry? Yes-if he were the Dem frontrunner for 2016, you better believe they would have. 

As for Benghazi, if it focused more on Hillary it was again: she was the favorite for 2016. 

Now we hear how flawed a candidate she is. We hear that if only the GOP nominee were Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, or even Ted Cruz, she'd be toast. 

I'm much less convinced. Why would such hapless candidates who were defeated so decisively by Trump have been so tough against Hillary who's leading Trump in all the polls-save a few by Rasmussen?

But in 2012, the GOP sounded worried that she'd prove pretty formidable as she has. She has had some tough opponents. I would never agree that the Bernie challenge was easy. 

Now she has not just Trump but the GOP House with their vow for hearings about emails. 

Plus she had the Beltway press who has been another opponent. 

Yet she is still standing and in fact soaring. 

So the GOP focused Benghazi on Hillary as she was the likely 2016 nominee-was she has in fact turned out to be. 

Benghazi did not have to be about her. It could have been about Obama as it was during the six weeks between the tragedy and the 2012 election in November. 

Romney tried to nail him on it but ended up nailing himself when he claimed that Obama never used the word 'terrorism.'

1. If John Kerry were the 2016 Democratic nominee then Benghazi would have been about him. After Swift Boat, it's clear the GOP doesn't somehow like him better. 

2. If Obama could run again in 2016 then Benghazi would have been about him. 

3. If Susan Rice were the 2016 Dem nominee it would have been about her. Remember she was the real victim of Benghazi as it sunk her chance to succeed Hillary as Secretary of State. 

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