In her heroic effort to justify yet another GOP-led House Benghazi investigation, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who seemed a bit off her game today, started off on CNN’s State of the Union claiming to be speaking for all Americans.
In response to moderator Candy Crowley’s question about whether Republicans are risking looking off key, Bachmann claimed that Republicans are only wasting more taxpayer dollars on yet another investigation because it’s what the people want.
Yet, when the people actually tell Republicans what they want — e.g. jobs — Republicans ignore them. And for once, your mainstream media did not ignore this fact but instead, Crowley slammed Bachmann with it.
Bachmann had the nerve to say that security threats are a big deal. No mention of the GOP-led House defunding security in Libya prior to Benghazi, even after Clinton warned them that the cuts would be detrimental to security:
House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012….Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.
Bachmann claimed there are questions about why the military didn’t do anything, as if she were unaware that this accusation has already been answered many times. She said, “And then when the event occurred, there was no military rescue that was ordered.” She’s implying here that Obama and Clinton were eating bonbons and said hey, let’s not order a rescue, just ‘cuz we hate America. This charge is so obviously ridiculous and steeped in tin foil that it’s tough to understand why it’s being taken seriously by anyone other than hard core right wingers.
The appropriate questions of what happened and how can we improve, what can we learn, have already been answered by those with actual knowledge. Yes, even Bachmann’s “question” has been asked and answered by Republicans own committee (Republican-led House Armed Services Committee), which concluded that the military did all it could do on that tragic night.
Additionally, last week in yet another Darrell Issa “hearing” on Benghazi, the man in charge of the military intelligence operation in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, retired Brig. General Robert Lovell, agreed with the Republicans earlier committee that the military had done all it could.
Why Michele Bachmann and indeed all other Republicans can’t seem to grasp the facts that are being very expensively spoon fed to them is a matter worthy of a House investigation. Facts do not penetrate tin foil, especially when said tin foil is attached to campaign donations.
Furthermore, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates – first appointed by Bush so probably not part of the global Benghazi conspiracy theory Republicans pray to each evening – said on Face the Nation last March (plenty of time for someone to translate for Republicans and thus save us all a lot of money) that he would have made the same decisions as those who were in charge did.
Bachmann should have listened when Gates said that some people seem to have a “cartoonish” view of military capabilities.
According to Republicans’ own dictates, Bachmann referring to the attack as an “event” is worthy of a witch hunt. You see, each word spoken on video must match up with the facts exactly or else Darrell Issa and the House Republicans must investigate. So why won’t Michele Bachmann call it what it was? A terrorist attack in an area that her own party defunded security to even after they were warned that doing so could be dangerous.
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) exploded at Republicans last year:
(you have) “the audacity to come here” when the administration requested, for worldwide security, “$440 million more than you guys wanted to provide. And the answer is that you damn didn’t provide it! You REDUCED what the administration asked for to protect these people. Ask not who the guilty party is, it’s you!
Interestingly enough, Republicans have not addressed this issue in their “investigations”. Perhaps to do so would demonstrate that the government often spends money in ways people appreciate, thus defunding it and shutting it down are not actually in the people’s best interest.
Bachmann ended her less than enthusiastic repetition of Republican talking points by accusing President Obama and former SOS Hillary Clinton of “blaming a video”, which is surely a fair point coming from a party that cannot manage, a year and a half later and many, many investigations later, to recall one single, salient fact about the actual events and instead relies upon their fantasies of what could have been. Republicans have been repeating incorrect information about Benghazi on TV for a year and a half now, so if that’s the basis for their investigations, they really, really need a mirror.
After all of this, Candy Crowley informed a blinking and bewildered Michele Bachmann that actually, according to a USA Today poll, people want Republicans to address jobs (27%), healthcare (21%), federal budget deficit (19%), education (15%), and security and terrorism was at a low 7%.
“Is there a possibility that Republicans can look off key with this?” Crowley posited again, since Bachmann didn’t answer her the first time.
Bachmann replied that people can “walk and chew gum” at the same time, which implies that the House is doing jobs and healthcare whilst investigating Benghazi. But of course, they are not doing anything but trying to repeal healthcare and inaccurately labeling the Keystone Pipeline a jobs bill, so perhaps House Republicans cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.
It is definitely worth celebrating when a mainstream outlet stands up for what the people actually want and tries to get elected officials to be accountable to them for it, as this is an all too rare occurrence.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.