It is vital, I think, when trying to decant whether or not the “Benghazi scandal” is a political witch hunt or not (it is), to remember a little history, to remember exactly how and when the tragic turn of events regarding the attack on a diplomatic outpost (note: NOT THE EMBASSY, WHICH IS IN TRIPOLI, AND YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE THAT DISTINCTION IS IMPORTANT) became such an issue of public concern in the first place.
Remember, when this happened, there was a preznintial campaign going on. And both campaigns had at least implicitly agreed to remain in their respective corners out of respect for the September Eleventh remembrance. But when word spread of these attacks and these horrible deaths?
The Romney camp was like a 13-year-old boy called to write on the chalkboard, awkwardly clutching its Trapper Keeper to its lap. It released a statement by 10 p.m., initially embargoed until midnight, “…but then, 15 minutes later, the campaign appeared to change its mind, and Saul told reporters the embargo was lifted and the statement could be published immediately.”
The Romney campaign was so convinced they had a winning issue here and so eager to unbox it for all of America to see that they couldn’t wait. They just threw that Trapper Keeper to the floor, unzipped, and wagged it around for the whole class to see. Romney even doubled down the following day, following derision and ridicule by is own party for the ham-handedness of the move (even his running mate Paul Ryan was trying to pour cold water on the thing), so convinced was he that the Benghazi attacks was a powerful political issue, and not only that, they flouted the whole “at the water’s edge” thing they used so freely a few years before to drum the Dixie Chicks out of their industry.
Benghzi was born as a political cudgel, and it will so forever be, thanks to Mittens Willard Romney III.
Good thing, too! In case you hadn’t noticed, this thing is a political loser! Keep it up! Benghazi!