There is an anniversary haunting the debate in Washington over potential military action against the Assad regime in Syria. No, it’s not the twelfth anniversary of the September 11, 2011 attacks on the United States, but instead the first anniversary of Benghazi!

This morning Brother Benen has a brisk roundup of Republican efforts to change the subject from Syria to Benghazi!, or even to suggest that Obama has ginned up a Syria crisis to distract attention from questions about Benghazi!, which will apparently be asked as long as either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is still active in U.S. politics.

Remember the elderly protestors who have figuratively or literally said over the years: “Keep the government out of my Medicare!”? We’re seeing a very similar foreign policy obsession as Republicans effectively say: “Keep your foreign policy crisis out of my Benghazi!” It’s entirely irrational, but as good a reflection as any of the conservative tendency to impose a conspiracy theory of top-level treason on any interaction between the Obama administration and the Middle East.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.