The tone of some of the Republicans questioning Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Seante on Benghazi today unofficially gave the hearing the title: “Bitter Partisan Questioning on Parade.” The highlight came when Clinton squelched Republican Sen. Ron Johnson when he attacked the Obama administration over its truthfulness on Benghazi, a favorite issue that Fox News, conservative talkers and conservative talk show hosts have been using in a way that goes way beyond trying to find out what occurred and how to fix it and into the area of crystal-clear partisan attack politics and posturing. Here’s the piece of video you’ll see over and over from the Senate hearing this morning:

Two other observations:

1. Once again those of us who were supporters of the 2000 version of John McCain saw a seemingly bitter, unadulterated partisan who was unrecognizable from the McCain once considered a maverick and an independent thinker. He is now as predictable on many issues as when you turn on Rush Limbaugh. McCain seems bitter not just about losing in 2008, but about life.
2. Sen. Rand Paul matched McCain in his partisan tone. In fact, Paul seemed to be clamoring to get a sound bite on Fox News (he will) and praise from Rush, Sean and Mark (he will) and praise from conservative bloggers. It seemed to be an announcement of a 2016 future Presidential run. Why? It was political name calling and sloganeering. Republicans will love it. Independents, centrists and moderates watching it will likely see Paul one more, ambitious partisan hack not using a hearing to seek solutions but to advance his name and support among the Republican base.

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • sheknows

    She handled herself with dignity and authority.
    It looks as though there are many questions that cannot be answered, mainly those of a psychic nature.

    Rand and McCain would have everyone believe that she personally, should have known every move, every decision, everything that goes on everywhere in detail, and to do otherwise is being remiss and shows the Obama adm to be lackidaisical at best and negligent at worst in it’s concern for our citizens abroad.

  • brcarthey

    Based on this latest show of hyper-partisanship, does anyone really believe that the Republicans will, as they have said, be more open to compromise during this legislative session?

  • sheknows

    As you watch these hearings, it is more than apparent that the Republicans keep hammering her over and over with the same questions, which she has already answered!
    There was at several points an almost hostile presentation to their questions and a decidedly unreceptive demeanor. Without even looking at the tv, I could tell which party was asking the question. They PERSIST in their attacks that She and the administration failed to provide security, and that they are “hiding” that. Duncan especially is a jerk!! RUDE and dismissive and typical of the GOP in this hearing.
    Hey guys…you LOST the election. Now get a life!!

  • dduck

    SK, without knowing the party affiliation, one can tell from the remarks on TMV which side said jerks and such and which side loved the soft balls for HC to cream out of the park.
    BTW, and this is a compliment limited to the WAY HC handled herself: terrifically well.

  • sheknows

    dd..that picture Joe chose for the article says it all.
    This was a hearing…not the Spanish Inquisition!
    If you honestly believe that some of these R’s conducted themselves with respect and that there was no political motive behind their attacks, then you may have been watching a different program.
    Many Republicans were able to address their concerns without beating a drum…or a dead horse… or saying they would have fired her AND insinuating she left the position in “shame”. I define those people as jerks..but I am probably being too kind.

  • dduck

    SK, there was political motivation from almost all of these politicians, that’s a given. I watched the “program” as you put it, and I gave HC credit for a great performance. BTW, the opposite party always has some folks that play the bad cops, perhaps they were frustrated by still not knowing the truth weeks after the tragedy.
    I thought many of the Reps were fairly fair and respectful; I especially liked the young ex-Air Force pilot congressman in the House hearing.
    All in all, a lot of mini-speeches and little else.

  • sheknows

    I will agree with you on that point. I liked the Air Force congressman as well. But I had hoped and thought the timbre of this would have been far more respectful. If there were mistakes all the way down the line regarding security issues ( which there may have been)it is entirely within the realm of possibility that she personally would not have known every detail. The constant grilling was deplorable. I cannot remember a congressional witch hunt of such magnitude during any previous administrations “failure” to provide security IE: GWB, or a party hell bent on this type of unrelenting cross examination.

  • dduck

    SK, Yes It happened and will always happen. Nail the other guys.

    Doesn’t it bother anyone that the people that denied the extra security and didn’t bump the requests upstairs are home free?

  • sheknows

    We don’t know that yet.

  • KP

    Clinton’s testimony was elegant; both her answers and her manner; but I think her written testimony will shape long term opinion.

  • petew

    The fact that somebody screwed up when reporting the first accounts of what happened at Benghazi is obvious, and its also obvious that Sen Johnson, who has been a tea party supported Senator, was more interested in scoring Republican points rather than genuinely considering Clinton’s information.

    In almost every initial account of a violent or traumatic event, at first much of the information is mistaken due to the emotional firecracker that has just gone off in everyone’s ears. Only later do more sober accounts reveal more of the real information involved. This famously happened with the JFK and Bobby Kennedy assassinations, 911, and the recent shootings at Newtown. I think Clinton spoke correctly that the Administration was pivoting on the balls of its feet during the beginning days and had a million other pressing things in addition to take care of. So, it is entirely possible that an initial, faulty report was put out by the CIA which later proved to be inaccurate.

    Its unclear why the incident was at first deemed as a demonstration sparked by the release of a bizarre film about the profit Muhammad. However, you could consider that the actual attack by an Al-quada affiliated group was spontaneous in the sense that, it was launched on short notice in order to seize an opportune moment in which to spread propaganda—that moment being soon after a volatile protest on the US embassy in Egypt (which WAS related to the anti-Muslim video) as well as the significance of the 911 anniversary time slot, as an optimal moment to spread anti-American propaganda. In any case, what happened is most likely, not nearly as heinous as Johnson and McCain tried to imply.

    This sort of political PR efforts made in order to discredit the other party are a commonplace occurrence in almost any Administration. One of the most bizarre (was it the Alberto Gonzales, Bush, Attorney General scandal)in which Gonzales was accused of firing federal judges for purely political reasons. As in most cases he was eventually acquitted after heavy use of Executive Privilege in order to avoid questions asked by a Congressional committee, as well as using heavily redacted documents to conceal important records. I particularly remember the Bush Administration trying to qualify the conditions under which his questioning would take place. These included, no live cameras or recordings, no legally binding oaths, No written records, and the stipulation that his answers be kept completely unknown—all obviously ridiculous terms required supposedly, so that Gonzales should not have to reveal classified information.

    Although both parties use various legal maneuvers to avoid questioning, and although all politicians are experts at deftly evading honest answers, this sort of thing usually is more political theater more than anything else. In any case, Clinton’s answers were given in an atmosphere and spirit, much more free than Gonzalez’s were. And personally, I think the Benghazi scandal is way less serious than Ron Johnson and McCain would like us to believe. It’s usually all in the name, of the political blame game!

  • dduck

    SK, said” “We don’t know that yet.”
    They are on paid leave and it is 6 months after they denied extra security, we know that.