Remember back in the old days when Congressional Republicans used to claim the seemingly endless Benghazi hearings were about finding ‘the truth’ or ‘getting to the bottom of it’ and were NOT just a political witch-hunt on the taxpayers’ dime to tarnish Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Then, remember when potential Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) slipped and spilled the beans? He said, “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable.” Sure, that sound like a fair and impartial investigation and not a witch hunt.
Much like the Whitewater ‘investigation’ led to no charges ever being filed against President Bill Clinton (though it forced him to spend years defending himself on issue after issue and left his reputation tarnished even before Monica Lewinski and impeachment), how many crimes has Secretary Clinton been charged with? None. Does it seem likely she will ever be formally charged on Benghazi, or that any evidence will ever surface to prove she acted improperly that night? Not at all. How many damning pieces of evidence has the select committee even found? None. What of this ‘stand-down’ order that keeps being mentioned yet not a single person has ever proven was given, and if it were, it came from either the military or the CIA and NOT from anyone at the State Department. It most certainly NEVER came from Clinton.
But just as the endless Whitewater hearings led to Monica Lewinski and her blue dress, which led to President Clinton vowing under oath, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”, which led to his impeachment…the endless Benghazi hearings led to the private server, which led to questions of whether certain documents were classified or not, which will lead to…? Why do you think police interrogators ask suspects the same question 20 different times in 20 slightly different ways? They likely could not care less about the answers. They care about consistency. They care about how you address a discrepancy. They hope the suspect, when forced to explain something that peaked the investigator’s interest, gives an answer that leads them in a new search direction.
But hearing after hearing, innuendo after innuendo, accusation after accusation, innocent or guilty it still takes a toll. Anyone left out there still believing Bill Cosby is innocent? Slowly Hillary Clinton’s credibility was worn down until her ‘trustability’ ratings are somewhere lower than a used car salesman. Typically, only Congress has lower ‘trustability’ ratings than used car salesman.
So now today, comes Congress Jim Jordan (R-OH). During a heated hearing on the I.R.S. (the 23rd such hearing by the way, still way short of the 32 Republicans held on Benghazi, but they keep plugging away), Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) accused the Committee (specifically the Republicans on the Committee) of only holding these hearing for political reasons. As the accusations flew back and forth, finally a frustrated Jordan blurted out, “We’re not trying to get the IRS. The IRS was trying to get conservative Americans who were exercising their First Amendment, free speech right. Twenty-three hearings is a pretty small price to pay when you’re trying to protect fundamental liberties in the Constitution, for goodness sake.”
So there you have it, from the mouth of one of their own. Much like with the Benghazi hearings, Congressional Republicans finally admit the never-ending I.R.S. hearings are not about improving the agency, or about finding out if some violation was committed, it is entirely about politics. Tea Party groups felt they got treated improperly. No proof was ever found to substantiate that claim. Careers and reputations were ruined. Millions of dollars and hundreds of hours were wasted. In the end, the groups did not even suffer for the inadvertent delays, and were NOT targeted for political reasons, just as the I.R.S. assured people from the beginning was the case. But like the now proven-fake Planned Parenthood video (and like Benghazi), once Congressional Republicans get an idea that something can both damage Democrats AND raise money for Republicans, they will not stop until either the donations stop flowing in or they get embarrassed.
They do not care about the truth. They are not even looking for the truth. They are looking to raise their standing by dragging the opposition down. They are looking to sully, to tarnish to embarrass. Hopefully, the truth finally being told makes House Republicans take stock of their actions. But then again, it is hard to embarrass a group that seemingly has no shame.