The moment I heard the Democrats were “torn” about appointing House members to the “select committee” on Benghazi!, I knew they would end up going along with it.
Charlie Pierce thinks its a good thing.
Nancy Pelosi did a smart thing and appointed her full allotment of Democrats to the upcoming Fox News special and general kangaroo festivities regarding Benghazi, Benghazi, BENGHAZI! I am sorry that all the Alan Grayson fans out there may be disappointed, but it’s not like Elijah Cummings hasn’t been fighting the good fight on this issue for a while now. The idea of a Democratic boycott of the committee was politically maladroit and pragmatically stupid. It is going to be of paramount importance to have someone in there, the way Barney Frank and Robert Wexler were there on the Judiciary Committee when it was considering the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and the way Richard Ben-Veniste was there to demolish the entire premise of the phony Whitewater scandal a few years earlier. Without participating, the Democrats would have been conceding the development of the narrative to the Kangaroo Kaucus not only among the Beltway opinion elite, but out in the country as well. As it happens, that’s where the case for impeaching Bill Clinton truly fell apart. The Democrats who participated in that particular series of charades from 1992-1998 did a lot to hijack the issue in the dim frontierland beyond Washington. In a situation like this, the Democrats have one advantage — they can illustrate the essential absurdity of the exercise until the country gets heartily sick of it.
There was a strong movement to get Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) on the committee as well. He’s outspoken and not afraid to call bullshit on the GOP. While it would be fun to have him there for clickbait and entertainment, he would give the Republicans the completely ironic excuse to claim that the Democrats were politicizing the hearings. Gee, we can’t have that, can we?