Well, it finally happened. After years of Republican assurances that they were definitely, totally just about to uncover a Benghazi bombshell that would derail Hillary Clinton’s career, the $7 million inquisition was forced to acknowledge that all of that time, money and energy was an absolute nothingburger. But for those who had staked their entire political ideologies on the belief that Clinton was an ambassador murderer, the damning final report only strengthened their resolve. Where facts had failed, diving headlong into insane conspiratorial delusions would have to do.
This week, Republicans on the Benghazi investigation committee led by chairman Trey Gowdy concluded that there was quite literally nothing Hillary Clinton could have done to save the lives of the Americans lost in Benghazi. It confirmed what the State Department, Ambassador Stevens’ family, and many other prior Benghazi investigations had already pointed out in painful detail. If Republicans were going to stop Clinton from becoming president, Benghazi was not going to be the way to do it.
Consequently, the report has been greeted with something bordering on utter despondency from Republicans. Like survivors stumbling out of the gnarly wreckage of a car crash, conservatives had that dazed, disbelieving look on their faces all day. Seven million dollars and two years is a lot of time and money to be spent running down a fantasy. Some retreated into their happy place – the fantasy world painstakingly constructed by Fox News and Republican press releases where nary a fact can bother them.
So, like clockwork, conservatives began explaining the failure to produce results as clearly the signs of a gigantic cover-up. Clinton, having already murdered Vince Foster and Ambassador Stevens, must have gotten to the Republican committee investigating her. Conspiracies abound.
A woman in the crowd floated a new Benghazi conspiracy. “Has someone in the GOP leadership gotten their fingers involved in watering down some of this to benefit Secretary Clinton?” she asked. Nobody rebutted this idea.Herein lies a lesson for Republicans who are perpetually trying to appease the far right: It’s a fool’s errand. They went to the tea party – and now they’re taking Donald Trump to the prom. Likewise, then-House Speaker John Boehner named the Benghazi committee because activists were dissatisfied that seven previous congressional investigations had failed to uncover major scandal material. Now an eighth has produced more of the same – and the agitators are as agitated as ever.
Another conspiracy nut (who happened to be a former Ted Cruz adviser) explained that the fix was in because Gowdy “did not draw a connection between the dots.” Dots, surely, that once properly interpreted could produce a wonderful constellation of Hillary Clinton, the murderer.
To summarize, conservatives are now suggesting that the GOP is involved in exonerating Hillary Clinton because they are secretly shills for her campaign. The same GOP that started these witch hunts in the first place. The same GOP that now fervently endorses conspiracy nut job Donald Trump as their presidential nominee. The same GOP that has routinely blocked even mundane bills if they thought it might hurt President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or the Democrats.
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