Let’s be clear: It is the job, nay the obligation of the Congress, to investigate what might be cases of treason, misconduct, malfeasance and/or dereliction of duty by other members of our government. Starting in 2010 when Republicans took control of the House, they have turned that obligation into a noxious mix of a three-ring circus and farcical theater. Bits of potentially incriminating evidence were cherry-picked and leaked to the media while larger amounts of exculpatory evident were withheld. Judgments of guilt and the concoction of conspiracy theories were rendered well before investigations were anywhere near completion.
Integral parts of the foregoing history involved House hearings on so-called scandals like “Fast and Furious”, the “attack” on the Associated Press, the IRS treatment of social welfare groups, and Benghazi. And out of these hundreds if not thousands of hours of hearings, and who knows how much taxpayer money, what we have in the way of the assignment of illegality is not a single indictment and/or arrest which is to say ZERO, ZIP, NADA, and ZILCH. (1)
Now, fast-forward to the present: Increasingly desperate to find something, anything they can use to tar Hillary Clinton, House Republicans are demanding that the former Secretary of State deliver to them, the serve that she used from her home to generate several thousand e-mails that she claims involved nothing but personal matters. Surely within all this electronic correspondence there is the proverbial “smoking gun” that can be used to bring down the Democrats’ all-but-certain 2016 presidential nominee.
The problem for the House Select Committee is that the culpability they are looking for seems increasingly LESS likely to exist. It has already been established that Clinton is no different from other former Secretaries of State in using a private server. Nor did she break the law in doing so. If you want a contemporaneous account of what has been established and mitigated thus far, check our Michael Tomasky’s article that has been footnoted (2) below.
If the examination of Clinton’s behavior as Secretary of State DEvolves into much ado about nothing, will Republicans step forward and admit “There is no ‘there’ there”? Don’t wait on one foot and then the other for that to happen because that is not how they roll. Rather than concluding all the aforementioned investigations with a public admission of no guilt found and no Obama administration conspiracy, the GOP inquisitors simply let their activities die a quiet death. What is just as bad is the willingness of the media to allow this interment to take place without notice, a matter that was covered in a previous blog posted at this site. (3)
But, maybe, just maybe, the general public has started to catch on; begun to grasp that it’s the GOP and conservatives more generally, who are the biggest players in the game of “gotchha” politics. If that proves to be the case, then expect average Americans to start treating Republican investigations as just so much noise that ought to be tuned out, and as evidence that the noise is a clear sign that those same elected representatives would prefer to scandal-monger rather than govern.
Like the shepherd boy who cried “wolf”, if you do that too many times, you lose your audience.
1. See “Three Scandals: A Trilogy” published here on May 29, 2013.
2. Michael Tomasky; “The Plot Thins on the Clinton Scandal, accessed at
3. See “Epilogue to a Trilogy: How the News Media Misleads Us” published here on July 13, 2013.