Meme of the Day: The Republican Benghazis

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 6 2014 12:18 PM

Meme of the Day: The Republican Benghazis

186316471-sen-john-mccain-rep-jim-jordan-rep-jason-chaffetz-sen
And the circus continues...

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Every progressive in your Facebook circle is now sharing this gripping Jane Mayer piece about the differences between a Democratic House's reaction to the 1983 Beirut bombing, and the Republican House's reaction to Benghazi. My favorite find is the quote from Ronald Reagan that followed another embassy attack: "Anyone who’s ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would." Yes: In Obama's mouth that would warrant five or six special Fox News reports, and so many BREAKING NEWS tags that your TV screen would stain red.

Mayer is late to the party, though. For at least a year, progressives and skeptical reporters have reacted to the Benghazi freak-out by asking where this anger was when embassies were attacked in the Bush years.

Advertisement

Actually, maybe everyone is late. The Republican outrage has already moved on from the attacks themselves to the theory of a cover-up.

"I have evidence that not only are they hiding it but there's an intent to hide it," Rep. Trey Gowdy told Greta Van Susteren last week. "I can't disclose that evidence yet, but I have evidence that there was a systematic intentional decision to with hold certain documents from Congress, and we're just sick of it. So we're going to get him to come explain why we're getting documents 20 months late."

That was a telling statement, because the search for administration officials ducking requests is a sort of Watergate pivot—it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. Analysts can talk all they want about how prior Congresses did not "politicize" embassy attacks. The new scandal is that the Obama administration might have responded to questions from Republicans they have utter contempt for by saying, basically, screw these guys.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.