Thursday, October 01, 2015

Learning What Should Be Quiet and What Should Be Loud

House Republicans are not pleased with their Speaker-apparent, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA), who went on Hannity the other day and bragged about how the Benghazi investigation had "succeeded" by tarnishing the reputation of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Since, for obvious reasons, Republicans do not like publicly admitting the partisan nature of the record-setting Benghazi investigation, this was a major faux-pas. Which raises the question: How could an experienced operator like Rep. McCarthy make such an obvious blunder?

Some folks are chalking it up to inexperience at being under the microscope of the Speakership (or near-Speakership). But I doubt that -- while it is true that the scrutiny level has been turned up, McCarthy is not some obscure back-bencher unused to political realities. Rather, I think this was a failed attempt to positively signal the Tea Party sorts who were Boehner's bane. McCarthy, like Boehner, is more of an establishment sort of GOPer, and he's had a front row seat as the hard right savaged his boss straight into an early retirement. And what does the Tea Party like to do? It likes to attack! It doesn't cower before the lamestream media or pretend that politics is beanbag or seek to reason with the current socialist regime. They hated Boehner because they saw him as seeking to appease the Democrats rather than fight for conservative values. And so note how McCarthy's statement about Hillary's Benghazi-inspired poll drop concludes: "No one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought."

Poor McCarthy. He thought he was saying something the right had yearned to hear out loud for once, but it turned out that even the Tea Party knows to keep overt partisan political investigations on the quiet side of the ledger. Well, this is a learning process for all of us.

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