Here are five words I’m reluctant to write: I disagree with Max Boot.
In this case, however, I do. My views are much more in line with what Jonathan wrote here.
To be sure, I don’t disagree with Max on everything. I don’t disagree with his list of Obama foreign-policy blunders. I agree with him that (a) Republicans may not profit politically from investigating the events surrounding the deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and (b) the public has been mostly indifferent to the story so far. I’m also confident that this story won’t help a GOP nominee defeat Hillary Clinton (assuming she’s the Democratic nominee). But the politics of this isn’t really the point, is it? The point is that a public trust has been violated; and laws may have been, too. On the latter, we need to wait and see. But what we know right now goes well beyond what Max calls “the same old Washington spinning that every administration engages in.”
What has occurred is not spinning; it is at minimum lying about the central role the White House played in misleading the American people in a terrorist attack that killed four Americans. And it now looks like there was an effort to cover up the White House’s role by intentionally hiding incriminating evidence from Congress by ignoring a subpoena.
Is that really just “the same old Washington spinning”?
An offense doesn’t have to be impeachable to be serious. And it’s impossible to say just how serious this matter is at this point without further investigation. Which is what Republicans are calling for.
If those in the White House, including the president, repeatedly lied about what they knew weeks and months after they knew it, and if the administration covered up what they knew by ignoring a congressional subpoena, those actions actually do qualify as “real issues.”
Republicans shouldn’t obsess about attacks that occurred in Benghazi or prejudge things. But at this point, based on the revelations of this week, it strikes me as odd to argue how insignificant and what a distraction this story is. There are a lot of scandals, including even a two-bit burglary, that seemed inconsequential before they were fully investigated.
Max is right. We’re not talking about Watergate. But we’re not talking about nothing, either.