Whenever the GOP gains a majority of seats in the House, you can pretty well bet that they will start investigations that, on their face, are suppose to find the Truth and get to the bottom of things, whether that involves the behavior of a sitting president, a presidential aspirant or some organization. And, as will be shown, there is a highly predictable pattern that becomes obvious as the following history details.

The Impeachment of President Bill Clinton:  This GOP-inspired movement began with an investigation into a failed land deal that went by the name “Whitewater”. Both of the Clintons were alleged to have engaged in some illegal activity from which they gained financially. A GOP-dominated committee was formed and an independent Special Prosecutor, Robert Fisk was named.

As the committee’s investigative work proceeded, it became increasingly clear that the two accused principals had done nothing wrong. Indeed, this matter should have been concluded when Fisk resigned believing that no further inquiry was necessary or warranted. Then, the committee’s Chair, Henry Hyde (R-Il) could have stepped forward and made a public statement to that very effect.

But, the reality is that no such thing happened. Instead the committee shifted its attention completely away from “Whitewater” and morphed their work into a probe of President Clinton’s sexual behavior outside the bounds of his marriage. At first, that involved a woman named Paula Jones who complained that the president had sexually harassed her. That line of inquiry then expanded to include the scandal with Monica Lewinsky, and the impeachment process that ultimately failed to remove Clinton from office.

Benghazi:  As is now well known, four Americans died in that Libyan city as a result of a terrorist attack on our consulate there. Over the course of more than two years, eight separate Congressional committees delved into how this could have happened and was Hillary Rodham Clinton, then-Secretary of State, in some way at fault? Each one of those bodies came to the independent conclusion that Ms. Clinton did nothing criminally negligent that made this tragedy possible. There was no dereliction of duty, no order to have potentially available military assistance  “stand down”.

In spite of all these exonerating conclusions, Speaker Boehner established a select committee with the charge that it get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. The general public was then to be presented with as full a set of facts as possible.

That was over two years ago and the public has heard what? Certainly not a word about the broad finding of an absence of criminality on the part of Secretary Clinton even though that was what the committee was to determine and then air, publicly. Instead, the committee’s focus has veered off into the question of the legality of the Secretary’s use of a private server and any possible breaches in national security that might have evolved from that. To date, this matter remains open and with what is now an exclusively political reason:  The ongoing investigation is being used to damage Ms. Clinton ahead of her probable nomination as the Democrat’s presidential candidate. (1)

Planned Parenthood:   What has been very much in the news during the past month is a lengthy video-tape that shows staff of the Planned Parenthood (PP) organization being interviewed by someone representing the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and purportedly speaking callously about the harvesting of aborted fetal tissue and body parts for sale. The video also contained some now-infamous footage of a still-born baby, its heart still beating, its legs still kicking, being the subject of a discussion of how to keep it alive long enough for its tissue and brain to be saved for sale. (2) This demanded an investigation and the government defunding of PP, never mind that the latter was to occur before all the facts were in.

Before the appropriate House committee could begin its investigative work, several key bits of evidence surfaced:  (1) The CMP is a “front” for an anti-abortion group; (2) the video-tape, on forensic examination, was found to be heavily and deceitfully edited to put PP in the worst possible light, all the better to justify the defunding (3,4)

Once the committee convened and began talking testimony, reference to the video-tape steadily diminished to the point where hardly any mention of it occurred. Rather, attention was turned towards Cecile Richards, the Head of PP, her salary and travel expenses, all of which were portrayed as exorbitant. (5)

Analysis:    As one reads through the foregoing bold-titled sections, a pattern becomes glaringly obvious. Specifically, when a Republican-led investigative committee cannot find wrongdoing in matter “A”, do not admit that publicly. Leave doubts and uncertainty “out there” where they can continue to fester in voters’ minds. Move on to matter “B” in the hope that it will provide something worthy of  serious exploration and disclosure. If not, then move on to “C”, but make no mention of the “dry hole” vis a vis “B”. And always, leave the doubts and uncertainty “out there”.

What we see here is the worst kind of partisan politics. It has justly been given the label “smear-fishing” and there is no end to it in sight.

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  1. In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) openly admitted that all along, the intent of the Benghazi committee was not to find the truth, but to undermine HRC and her candidacy. McCarthy even bragged about how this ploy was working as evidenced by polls showing that the public viewed HRC as “untrustworthy”.
  2. In the second GOP debate, Carly Fiorina made pointed reference to this specific footage as evidence of PP’s immorality. Now that it has been proven that the part of the video in question had nothing to do with PP, it remains to be seen if Ms. Fiorina backs away from her belligerent moralizing. That hasn’t happened yet.
  3. See “Report for Planned Parenthood videos manipulated”; 8-25-15. Published at http://www.politico.com.
  4. The mainstream media have done an appallingly sparse reporting of these findings.
  5. Taking aim at a woman’s salary with the implication that it is exorbitant is borderline if not outright sexist.

 

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