Hit Me With Your Best Shot
If you’re rooting for the Republican Party to survive until 2016, you probably believe that Benghazi-Gate is a game-changing strategy of diabolical brilliance. In fact, it’s really pathetic and graphically demonstrates how utterly out of juice the GOP has become.
For the first few months after the Reality of 2012 set in, some Republicans actually toyed with the idea of substantive changes to their antiquated policy platform by convincing themselves that Latinos were natural-born, big-C conservatives. The RNC did it’s little soul-search and discovered that some “serious Republicans” could stomach reaching out to black, Hispanic and Asian voters because they just knew that, if only they could articulate what’s in their little conservative hearts, minorities would drop everything and register Republican.
The GOP beat the bushes and found themselves some folks of the “right persuasion” to head up their outreach programs in the states and to sign up “more of their own kind.” Slight miscalculation. Yesterday, in Florida, one of the most important outreach outposts, the newly appointed RNC State Director Of Outreach, Pablo Pantoja, had to regretfully resign his post and switch his political affiliation from Republican to Democrat.
Here’s how he put it:
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.
Who could’ve seen that coming? Meanwhile, while one faction of the GOP is strategizing about how to come up with enough voters to win a national election, again, ever . . . Hillary Clinton emerges as the Democrats secret weapon for 2016 already raining on the parades of the GOP’s Earnest Young Men potential candidates. Hillary could beat any, or all, of them tomorrow, if necessary.
So, while the outreach effort was unraveling on one front, the GOP dons, in the smoky backrooms, issued a hit on Hillary. At the same Republican retreat that spawned the minority outreach brainstorm, others were already fretting about Hillary:
. . . more than two dozen operatives and officials expressed worry that none of their party’s potential 2016 candidates can take her down.
One early primary state RNC member put it simply: “If she gets in, we’re toast. We’re hoping she doesn’t run, because if she does, she’ll win.”
Jorge Landivar, a Ron Paul-backing delegate to the 2012 Republican convention from Texas, chimed in: “All the polls say she will destroy anyone that we put up — it’s [f—-ng] terrifying.”
National polling from Quinnipiac University finds that Clinton, the most popular national political figure, would defeat New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 45 – 37 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 50 – 34 percent and Rep. Paul Ryan 50 – 38 percent.
And one former Romney aide here warned that grassroots activists pushing for an even more conservative GOP identity could seal the party’s fate: “If we listen to some of the people here and come back with a hardline conservative in 2016, she’ll wipe the floor with us.”
Right now, today, Hillary Clinton is popular—very popular. According to Gallup, she’s more popular than both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Bad news for the GOP because if Obama destroyed them, just imagine what Hillary could do.
The early Republican attempts to take Clinton down were characteristically #GOPfail e.g., Mitch McConnell’s “Golden Girls” comment and the odd Bill Clinton-hater warning that Bill would be back in the Oval Office if Hillary were elected.
Benghazi is all they’ve got so they’ve decided to pump it up, repaint it, put it on a float flying a flag and salute it. And even though the GOP has apparently decided to do this Bengazi-Gate thing, they’re still having to herd cats. Darrel Issa sat down with David Gregory, on Sunday, and (with a straight face said)
Hillary Clinton’s not a target. President Obama is not a target.
Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, appeared on Fox News Sunday and called the attacks on Hillary Clinton “ridiculous” saying:
I wish the Republicans would just be quiet for a while . . . and find out what really happened.
Meanwhile Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) who bravely voted to cut embassy security funding feels that
President Barack Obama’s handling of the government’s response to the Benghazi terrorist attack could be an impeachable offense and vows to continue digging at the “lies of highest magnitude” from the White House.
Sen James Inhofe, of course, seconds that emotion, calling Benghazi-Gate the “most egregious cover-up in American history.”
Inhofe also feels that:
People may be starting to use the I-word before too long.
[In his dreams.]
Karl Rove who has recently assigned himself to purge the “stupid” from Republican campaigning, has created a really stupid attack ad based on the GOP version of Clinton’s performance during the Benghazi attack. That should really reassure the “deep pockets donors” that he’ll spend their 2016 donations wisely this time around.
Rand Paul, one of the serious young GOP
water standard bearers looking forward to 2016, who just happened to find himself in Iowa on Friday for the annual Lincoln Dinner, cut right to the Clinton chase with this:
First question to Hillary Clinton: Where in the hell were the Marines? It was inexcusable, it was a dereliction of duty, and it should preclude her from holding higher office.
Which is the perfect lead in to my own personal favorite comment on Benghazi-Gate, this weekend, which came from [get ready for this] Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appearing on Face the Nation. That’s right, that lovable old George W. Bush administration cabinet member didn’t mince words in characterizing the “cartoonish” fever dreams of his fellow Republicans on the topic.
Frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were.
[. . . ] We don’t have a ready force standing by in the Middle East, and so getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible.
Suggestions that we could have flown a fighter jet over the attackers to “scare them with the noise or something ignored the “number of surface to air missiles that have disappeared from [former Libyan leader] Qaddafi’s arsenals.”
Gates debunked another of the GOP’s talking points suggesting that we:
“. . . send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, would have been very dangerous.”
It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces. The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm’s way, and there just wasn’t time to do that.
Well, Mr Gates, it’s kind of a cartoonish outfit, today’s GOP, n’est-ce pas? Sort of makes me wonder why Issa’s House Committee hasn’t asked one of their own party’s experts,[ like Robert Gates, perhaps], to testify so they could all go home.
Whatever. One might now ask “Is Hillary doomed? Have Republicans effectively ended her political careeer?”
Well, you be the judge:
According to a new Public Policy Polling poll released Monday, voters trust Hillary Clinton over congressional Republicans on the Benghazi attack that killed four American diplomats, 49% to 39%.
Hillary Clinton also holds a 52% approval rating, surpassing congressional Republicans’ rating of 36%. More than half of voters–57%–view GOP lawmakers unfavorably.
While Republicans continue to harp the administration’s response to the issue of Benghazi with with House Speaker John Boehner calling on the White House to release internal emails from the days following the attacks, it appears that voters are not convinced of the gravity of the scandal. Of those polled, 65% said they did not believe the issue on Benghazi was the biggest political scandal in American history. Less than half of Republicans, 41%, and 23% of the general public said it was the biggest political scandal in American history.
Furthermore, 39% of those who believed Benghazi was the biggest scandal could not actually locate where Benghazi is–10% believe the second largest city in Libya is in Egypt, 9% in Iran, and 6% in Cuba.
The People rest, your honor . . .