Benghazi: All the Ugh You Can Handle and More

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Yesterday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for nearly eleven hours before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The entire thing was a farce, with Republican members of the Committee waging a partisan attack that didn't even play well with many conservatives.

Following the hashtag on Twitter for part of the day, I saw a number of self-identified Republicans noting they were sympathetic toward Clinton, with a few even saying her unflappable, eminently competent, and downright presidential comportment had won their votes.

To say that the hearing backfired on Republicans is truly an understatement.

Their questioning ranged from pointlessly repetitive, when the questions could be remotely classified as legitimate inquiries into what happened in Benghazi, to straight-up ludicrous, when the questions were clearly nothing more than naked partisan attempts at trying to discredit Clinton, in any way possible.

Here is but one example of the shitshow that was the hearing yesterday, when, in about the ninth hour of questioning, Republican Representative Martha Roby asked Clinton about her nighttime companionship, or lack thereof, prompting Clinton (and the rest of the room) to laugh uproariously:

Roby: —2012, but you also stated that, um, you left your office on the night of the attacks and went to your home in northwest Washington, because you said you knew the next few days were going to be taxing, and the department was going to be looking to you. Um, I want to talk about, um, a few things. Do you have a SCIF in your home?

Clinton: Yes, I did.

Roby: Okay. And who else was at your home? Were you alone?

Clinton: I was alone, yes.

Roby: The whole night?

Clinton: Well, yes, the whole night.

[Clinton breaks into a huge belly laugh, and there is laughter throughout the room.]

Roby: I don't know why that's funny. I mean, did you have any in-person briefings? I don't find it funny at all.

Clinton: I'm sorry—a little note of levity at 7:15, noted for the record.

Roby: Well, I mean, the reason I say it's not funny is because, um, it well into the night, uh, when our, uh, folks on the ground were still in danger. So I don't think it's funny to ask you if you were alone the whole night.

Clinton: Well, Congresswoman—Congresswoman, you asked if I had a SCIF. I had secure phones. I had other, ah, equipment that kept me in touch with the State Department at all times. I did not sleep all night. Um. I was very much focused on what we were doing.
Good grief.

But if there is one clip that will certainly become the iconic image of this debacle, it is this one of Hillary Clinton brushing off her shoulder as the terrific Rep. Elijah Cummings read Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy to filth for being a partisan hack:

Honest to Maude, if the Republicans had tried to conceive of a way to help Clinton's campaign, they couldn't have done any better than giving her an extended platform on which to present herself as one of nation's best politicians and statespeople, while they hammered away at her in a petty, partisan attack.

Basically, the 11-hour hearing was an encapsulation of her entire public career, and Clinton demonstrated why it is that she survives and thrives, despite the Republicans' best efforts, over decades, to destroy her.

On a related note: Vice-President Biden, Senator Sanders—any inclination after watching that debacle to roll back your shitty, passive-aggressive comments about whether Republicans are Clinton's enemies, or nah? Assholes.

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