Will Power

If I were a Republican politician, particularly one complicit in any way in support for George W. Bush or the War In Iraq, I’d probably be a little careful about suggesting that executive-branch errors or even cover-ups that led to the loss of American life are by definition impeachable offenses.

Yet here’s Mike Huckabee just yesterday:

Mike Huckabee on Monday predicted that President Barack Obama won’t finish out his second term in light of the “cover-up” of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the former Arkansas governor called the affair “more serious than Watergate.”

“I believe that before it’s all over, this president will not fill out his full term. I know that puts me on a limb,” the former Arkansas governor said on “The Mike Huckabee Show.” “But this is not minor. It wasn’t minor when Richard Nixon lied to the American people and worked with those in his administration to cover-up what really happened in Watergate. But, I remind you — as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die.”

The Watergate comparisons that keep coming up in Republican efforts to convince a largely uninterested American public to join them in obsessing about Benghazi! Benghazi! are interesting in themselves; you can hear a hint of anger and vengefulness, all these years later, for Tricky Dick’s forced resignation over a “third-rate burglary.” Indeed, revenge for Watergate was probably a minor factor in all the GOP scandal-mongering of the Clinton and Obama administration.

But at this point, claims like Huckabee’s just seem delusional.

Perhaps something of interest will emerge from tomorrow’s hearings in the House of Benghazi! whistleblowers, but probably not. And so the bizarre pattern will continue of a “scandal” that’s of insanely disproportionate interest to one group of people in American politics, and only of interest at all to that one group of people (just Google “Benghazi” or “Benghazi whistleblowers” and see what I mean). I understand that the same case congressional Republicans have been making all along has to be re-presented to make Hillary Clinton the villain along with the President of the United States. But still, is there a point where Republicans finally realize they are only talking to themselves about this subject? Do they think they can make this issue “stick” by sheer, insane repetition, proving their iron willpower? Or am I missing the point: is the lack of broader interest in Benghazi! the actual proof of the vast conspiracy to hide the unfathomable crimes committed by those who wrote the talking points. Beats me.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.