Another swing, another miss

ANOTHER SWING, ANOTHER MISS…. Republicans really want to force John Brennan, President Obama’s senior counterterrorism adviser, to resign. They just haven’t been able to find a reason yet.

In the latest dust-up, Brennan compared detainee recidivism to the American penal system, and concluded that “one out of five detainees” released from U.S. custody “returned to some type of extremist activity,” which “isn’t that bad.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) used the comments to call for Brennan’s ouster, telling Fox News this morning that any official who compares the two recidivism rates has necessarily “lost touch with reality.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) have also seized on Brennan’s comparison as evidence that the senior counterterrorism adviser needs to go.

These guys really should use Google more before attacking White House officials.

[A]las, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a very similar argument during an AP interview in 2005. And she, like, Brennan likened the rates of recidivism among enemy combatants to that of American criminals.

“[B]y the way, recidivism isn’t just a problem at Guantanamo; it is a problem with criminal justice as well,” she said.

We checked the clips: None of the three Brennan critics so much as peeped when Rice made her comments.

Imagine that.

Keep trying, Republicans. I’m sure you’re bound to think of something credible eventually.

And while the complaining at the kids’ table keeps getting louder, grown-ups like Brennan can keep working on national security issues. By all appearances, the White House couldn’t care less about the GOP campaign against Brennan, which is as it should be.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.