Here are two news items that just have to be read together. One is from Julian Hattem of The Hill:

The House’s committee investigating the 2012 terror attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, has been running longer than any other special congressional inquiry in the nation’s history.

As of Monday, the committee has been in existence for a total of 72 weeks, surpassing the 1970s effort to investigate the Watergate scandal — the previous longest special investigatory committee, which ran for just less than one year and five months.

How long can this go on? Well, that leads us to the other item, from Bloomberg Politics‘ Jennifer Epstein:

Hillary Clinton and her fiercest defenders couldn’t have said it better themselves.

Instead, the Republican leading the race to replace John Boehner as House speaker said it for them, boasting Tuesday that his party has spent nearly three years dragging her through investigations of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi in hopes of doing serious damage to her presidential campaign.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy boasted on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.” “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would’ve known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen.”

Here’s the thing: there’s actually almost no evidence that the whole Benghazi! witch hunt has had much of anything to do with HRC’s declining “numbers,” other than among Republicans who weren’t going to vote for her anyway. It tells you a lot that McCarthy thinks the circus should stay in town indefinitely just in case somebody’s watching the clowns.

Ed Kilgore

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.