I’m writing this before Hillary Clinton testifies before House Select Committee on Benghazi. I don’t expect anything to come from it. None of the Republicans actually want to hear what Clinton has to say, because they aren’t trying to figure out what happened in Benghazi in 2012. We already know this. They are, as usual, just trying to create a lot of smoke. And I’m with Brian Beutler that they will probably be pretty nice to her. At this point, they are more in damage control mode. But it hardly matters. The conservatives of this country are fanatical about this.
Last Wednesday, Crooks & Liars published, Fox News‘ Andrea Tantaros Has Conspiracy Laden Meltdown After Joe Biden Speech. It doesn’t have anything to do with Joe Biden, of course. It is just that it is always a good time to talk about Benghazi! Tantaros went on about a grand conspiracy in the White House and even in the Democratic presidential race (Bernie Sanders is in on it too!) to stop the truth about Clinton’s evil doings from getting out. She said, “They’re all singing on the same song sheet because they’re all in on it!” This is the thinking of the conspiracy mind. Never mind the facts or even any internal consistency.
Think about this. Why would the Democratic Party want to protect Hillary Clinton if she had some deep dark secret? The reason that Democrats love Hillary Clinton is actually not personal, except in the sense that she is a woman and we would all like to elect a woman president — all else being equal. But the main reason Democrats like Clinton is because we think she’s a strong candidate. If there was any indication that there were anything behind these allegations, she would lose almost all of her support. Most Democrats can find other candidates that they agree more with.
So what does Tantaros think is going on? That Hillary Clinton is a political time bomb? That the entire Democratic Party — including the people running against her — are willing to cover for her so she can get the nomination and then lose the general election to Donald Trump? That’s madness. What’s more, wouldn’t Joe Biden have already leaked information to sink Hillary Clinton’s campaign? And more important: wouldn’t he have been right to do so?! I have a lot of problems with the modern Democratic Party, but it is well managed. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have become the star of the party if she had any of the baggage that the Republicans claim.
On the other hand, in terms of a political machine, the Republicans are a mess. This is why they allow this kind of stuff. Every time they take a wild swing at Clinton that misses, they look that much more ridiculous. And it makes their claims that much more difficult to accept. In the case of Tantaros, it is crystal clear: her problem is not with anything that Hillary Clinton ever did; her problem is with Hillary Clinton as a formidable presidential candidate. When you make Chris Wallace seem like a sage, you know you’ve gone on tilt.