800 days — That’s how long the 8th Republican congressional investigation into Benghazi lasted. About 200 days longer than the 9/11 investigation.
$7,000,000 — That’s how much taxpayer money was spent by the committee led by Republican Trey Goudy.
Tens of Thousands of pages of testimony and evidence — That’s how much paperwork was generated.
800 pages — That’s the approximate length of the report.
$8750 — That’s how much we paid for each page of the report.
Immeasurable is the amount of work that could have been accomplished by these Congressional leaders had they not been occupied instead by this witch hunt.
Monday morning quarterbacking is a hallowed American tradition. And it is important. Just think, for example, how different that Super Bowl Sunday would have been if the Seattle coach had listened to what I said the next day about his play-calling in the last moments of the game. Oh, maybe you’re right . . .I guess Monday morning wisdom doesn’t help much on a Sunday afternoon.
So now Goudy’s committee can say is perfectly obvious — and could have been said without any cost to the taxpayer: More could have been done to prevent the situation in Benghazi. Any Monday morning quarterback knows that. The remarkable thing about the report is that it produced nothing. Eight different committees, countless hours and dollars, and no substantial blame can be found.
Goudy’s incredibly desperate political extravaganza is now fully exposed. it was exactly what most of us knew it to be all along: a politically motivated sham, which — like almost everything that happens these days in the fantasy world of the Republicans — has produced nothing but shame for the Republicans.
The problem for the Republicans is that they have lost their sensitivity to their own shame, so they continue on shaming themselves and learning nothing in the process.
An appropriate apology, I believe, would be for the RNC to donate $7,000,000 to the US Treasury.
Fiascos like this are not only stupidly wasteful, they are a real block to the transformation that Washington so badly needs. I thoroughly agree with the Republicans about that but I differ from them in my analysis of the problem in three ways.
First, it is the Republicans themselves who account for the vast majority of the problems in the Senate and the House. They tolerated the rise of the Tea Party in their midst and now are paying a terrific price for it.
Second, the effectiveness of Congress will always be limited by the level of integrity and wisdom in its members. Nothing in our current understanding of political campaigns makes it likely that any such person can be elected. And there is certainly nothing to suggest that Republican leadership values either. I actually had some degree of hope for Paul Ryan. It seemed to me he was beginning to grow up. But he got caught between a rock and a hard place and made the weakest choice, surrendering his integrity for the sake of the party. There are a few exceptions, of course, (I like Amy Klobuhar!) but they are a tiny minority at the moment.
Third and most difficult is the fact that our rapidly changing world has outgrown the bounds of the political thinking that served us so well for two centuries. Washington is trying to function by paradigms that no longer make much sense. The Enlightenment is finished and done. It would be wonderful if Washington could have the wisdom to lead us in the formation of new ways of understanding the world. That could only happen, of course, if the men and women we elected were chosen for their integrity and wisdom. So Congress offers very little hope.
The Republicans are dominated by people who want to turn the clock back to the pre-Civil War era and the Democrats are still trying to create the Great Society dreamed about in the 1960s. Who will lead us in creating a whole new paradigm?