Democrats still delaying decision on Benghazi panel

posted at 12:01 pm on May 12, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe they’re not actually delaying the decision, but suffering from smoke inhalation after putting up a screen of attacks on Republicans for consolidating the Congressional investigations into a single select committee. Despite a fairly straightforward issue of whether it’s better to boycott the unified investigation into Benghazi as simply partisan nonsense or to participate in order to shape the outcome, Democratic leadership still can’t make up their minds about it:

It remains to be seen whether the House select committee to investigate the Benghazi will turn up any new information about the 2012 attacks that left four Americans dead. But with every day that passes it looks less and less likely the panel’s conclusions will be regarded as nonpartisan as Democrats and Republicans have spent the past week engaging in a fierce battle over which party is responsible for politicizing the tragedy.

Although the House formally approved the creation of the panel in a virtual party-line vote last Thursday (7 Democrats joined the entire Republican conference in voting for it), Democrats have yet to decide whether they will participate. On Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said her members were divided: some feared participating in a “kangaroo court,” while others think it is important to have at least one Democrat on the committee to monitor what the Republicans are doing.

Pelosi’s office is negotiating with staff to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to determine the conditions under which Democrats will participate. They are seeking Democratic input and concurrence on issuing subpoenas, decisions to depose witnesses, the release of any reports, documents or information by the committee, which was not guaranteed in a proposal offered by Boehner’s office Friday, they said.

“We’ve participated in all the other seven investigations. If it’s a fair, open and balanced process, absolutely [we will participate],” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But we don’t want to see reckless, irresponsible handling of an affair that took the lives of four brave Americans.”

Well, that’s one way to put it. Most Democrats, though, have scoffed at the need to investigate the attack and its root causes at all. The latest talking point, that there have been seven investigations, is designed to make it sound like another investigation will do nothing but duplicate the others. That leaves unspoken the fact that the White House has repeatedly lied about releasing all of the documentation to Congressional committees, and that they still haven’t answered basic questions about what happened, why the US wasn’t prepared for a terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11, and why that facility was allowed to operate with substandard security while every other Western agency left town.

Committee chair Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) pledged to keep partisan considerations out of the investigation:

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the newly appointed Benghazi Select Committee chairman, vowed Sunday to keep politics and political fundraising out of his group’s fact-finding mission.

“The facts are neither Republican nor Democrat,” the South Carolina lawmaker told “Fox News Sunday.” “They’re facts.”

Gowdy, a former prosecutor, also dismissed the notion that he wants Democrats to boycott joining the committee.

“How does it benefit me when from Day One they’re excluded?” he asked. “I want this to transcend politics.”

CNN offered a quick take on the politics of boycotting the committee, and the consensus is that boycotting is “not even a serious option”:

“You can’t win the game if you’re not on the field,” said one commentator, and she’s right. A boycott in this instance would be self-satisfying for all of one or two news cycles. If Democrats want to compete for media attention past that on Benghazi, they have to participate. This is so stunningly obvious that it’s unclear why Democratic leadership hasn’t figured it out yet, and perhaps indicates why a leadership change should have been made after their loss in the previous midterm election of 2010.

Update: Salena Zito takes a walk through the history of the select committee in Congress, and finds that there has never been an even split between parties:

Until Congress established standing committees — the House in 1793, the Senate in 1816 — it largely worked through special and select committees.

The first session of Congress appointed more than 200 such panels. Since then, “tons” more have been impaneled, according to one Senate historian.

In the 20th century, select committees veered toward specific matters. Not all dealt with scandals or impeachments; subjects ranged from the seemingly mundane to the highly pressing: from a 10-year examination of the “production, transportation and marketing of wool,” initiated in 1935, to investigations of unemployment in the 1960s and the impact of technology in 2000.

Each time, the party controlling the House or Senate determined a committee’s partisan makeup.

“The idea that has been floated of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats is not going to happen” in the case of Benghazi, said Smock. Only “a few entities — minor commissions, etc.,” have had equal representation over two centuries, he noted.

The Senate’s select committee on Watergate in 1973 had four Democrats and three Republicans. A year later, the standing House Judiciary Committee, which voted articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal, had 21 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

Committees probing the Iran-Contra affair in 1987 were equally partisan: The House panel had nine Democrats and six Republicans; the Senate’s had six Democrats and five Republicans.

 

 


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Raise your hand if you are shocked that the Democrats are Delaying yet again? Yes, me neither… Maybe if we sent them a sternly worded hashtag

oscarwilde on May 12, 2014 at 12:06 PM

There should have already been a firm timeline for this set at the beginning of the announcement to prevent this nonsense.

START

WITHOUT

THEM

TX-96 on May 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM

There is no better indicator of the mendacity, malfeasance, and ethical bankruptcy of the Obama Administration, particularly regarding Benghazi, than the Democrat Congressional Leadership’s efforts to assist in the obfuscation and cover-up of the truth.

They are simply confirming that political expediency trumps not only the truth, but the death of 4 Americans, including the Ambassador of the US to Libya.

How callous and arrogant are these progressive fascists in their efforts to protect the Chicago Messiah and his failed policies?

Athos on May 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

I sure hope a start date has been set in stone, and that Gowdy will not delay while waiting for the Dems to make a decision.

esr1951 on May 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

but suffering from smoke inhalation after putting up a screen of attacks on Republicans for consolidating the Congressional investigations into a single select committee.

heh
nice Ed :)

cmsinaz on May 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

esr1951 on May 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

ditto
get crackin’ on it…

cmsinaz on May 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Agree. Seems nothing more than a delay tactic to benefit those who are actively trying to hide or destroy evidence.

The Commentator on May 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM

OT: Is Ace down for anyone else?

NotCoach on May 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

This is so stunningly obvious that it’s unclear why Democratic leadership hasn’t figured it out yet, and perhaps indicates why a leadership change should have been made after their loss in the previous midterm election of 2010.

No one said they were smart.

WisRich on May 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

#getterdun

pambi on May 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

How sad is it that this is being discussed in terms of a “game” and that there will be winners and losers?

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM

NotCoach on May 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

I can’t get it either.

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Pelozi tells the truth

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

If Democrats want to compete for media attention past that on Benghazi, they have to participate. This is so stunningly obvious that it’s unclear why Democratic leadership hasn’t figured it out yet

Because they’ll still get the attention.

They’re going to use Limbaugh’s tactic.

Rush comments from afar, without having to actually engage anyone, and still makes himself apart of the story.

It’s a candyass way to get out, but hey, it’ll work.

budfox on May 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I can’t get it either.

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Thanks. I can’t get Narcissistbook or Tweeter at work to see if they have any updates on problems at the site.

NotCoach on May 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Somehow I think Trey Gowdy sees right through tactics like this and has little patience for it. Can’t wait for him to go full SC “southern nasty” on them. I’m sure my fellow native Sandlappers know what I’m talking about.

Harbingeing on May 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Boehner can throw them a bone a few of their demands but in no case should he give them veto powers on subpoenas or bar release of information from the committee.

They want to drag this investigation out until after the 2016 election. Don’t let them.

WisRich on May 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Ace is out for me too…

sandee on May 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM

esr1951 on May 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

I don’t think they will wait. They are in recess this week and the GOP committee members are supposed to get to work on it when they return.

That’s what I heard last Friday.

ladyingray on May 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Hopefully he will start soon, with or without the Dems… Somehow I can’t see the Dems passing up an opportunity to bloviate and spew their talking points…

sandee on May 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Killery insists there is nothing to investigate….
Obamma insists there was “not even a smidgen of corruption”….

What if every prosecutor just said, “Ok, I’ll drop the charge” because the perps said, ‘There is nothing to investigate’ and ‘They are innocent’ ???

What if every prosecutor dropped the charges because a perp called him racist?

RedManBlueState on May 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Is there some arcane House rule that puts no time limit for the minority leader to name members to the Select Committee? If so they will stall forever. After all this is the party that flees their responsibilities when the vote isn’t going their way.

meci on May 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

“Democrat’ and “facts”are two words that become non-existant when used together.

SweetSensationalist on May 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

ladyingray on May 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Thanks!

esr1951 on May 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

budfox on May 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I think they’ll cave.

Gowdy isn’t much of a game player. When he said this will drag out to the extent that those in opposition to the committee hearings drag it out, that is what he meant.

Closer we get to 2016, more D will be pushing to get this done and over with to protect Hilary’s chances.

lineholder on May 12, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I WANT MY ACE OF SPADES HQ!

JohnBrown on May 12, 2014 at 12:27 PM

They are giving the groupie media something to report on besides the facts of the damning case.

It’s working.

It’s easy to distract a groupie media that wants to be distracted.

forest on May 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Howdy should tell the dems they have 24 hrs to get crap together or I start without you.

jaywemm on May 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM

“How does it benefit me when from Day One they’re excluded?” he asked. “I want this to transcend politics.”

…Why?…to Democrats power and politics …transcends EVERYTHING!

KOOLAID2 on May 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM

OT: Is Ace down for anyone else?

NotCoach on May 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Gone all morning.

rhombus on May 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Gone all morning.

rhombus on May 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

#BringBackOurAce

WisRich on May 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Howdy should tell the dems they have 24 hrs to get crap together or I start without you.

jaywemm on May 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Damn iPad auto spell. Should be Gowdy..apologies to the congressmen

jaywemm on May 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

OT – picture of the devil

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2014 at 12:40 PM

#ApproveThePipeline. Oops – wrong thread.

TarheelBen on May 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

The Senate’s select committee on Watergate in 1973 had four Democrats and three Republicans. A year later, the standing House Judiciary Committee, which voted articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal, had 21 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

Committees probing the Iran-Contra affair in 1987 were equally partisan: The House panel had nine Democrats and six Republicans; the Senate’s had six Democrats and five Republicans.

B-b-but it’s unfair if there are more Republicans than Democrats on the committee if the Republicans control the House!

/Pelosi off

Steve Z on May 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Let the number of seats they may occupy decline by one every day until they accept, or the number reaches zero.

Thus negotiates Midas.

Midas on May 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

This all reeks of Democrat fear… what a wonderful odor it is.

SteveInRTP on May 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Don’t give them anything. F*ck em!

ToddPA on May 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

But Pelosi doesn’t “want GOP members having a field day with Democratic witnesses on TV with no Dems on the committee to push back…”
So…all of the “witnesses” are Dems?

There’s a simple solution for that, Nasty Nan–PARTICIPATE!

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

esr1951 on May 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

That doesn’t mean the hearings will start next week. They’ll start planning the time frame, witnesses they want, etc.

ladyingray on May 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Gowdy needs to set up a committee hearing room with 12 seats behind the table, and announce that the committee will convene at 9 AM next Monday, with all 7 Republicans in their seats. If Democrats send somebody, give them their speaking time, otherwise Gowdy can do a Clint Eastwood/RNC impression with empty chairs on C-Span.

Steve Z on May 12, 2014 at 12:50 PM

King_Ghidorah@AceofSpadesHQ

okay the back-up site has a glitch.

Forget I said anything.

It’s the NSA again… <—-Insert suspicious look here

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM

“But we don’t want to see reckless, irresponsible handling of an affair that took the lives of four brave Americans.”

Now that is some weapons grade rich right there.

Buck Farky on May 12, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Although the House formally approved the creation of the panel in a virtual party-line vote last Thursday (7 Democrats joined the entire Republican conference in voting for it), Democrats have yet to decide whether they will participate.

Classic CBS news. It’s either a party-line vote or it’s not. From the source who published fake but accurate.

Noonan on May 12, 2014 at 1:15 PM

If Democrats want to compete for media attention past that on Benghazi, they have to participate. This is so stunningly obvious that it’s unclear why Democratic leadership hasn’t figured it out yet…

It’s a dog and pony show, used to drive home the Democrats’ claim that the process is a political witch hunt. The boycott BS will be abandoned at the last moment when it has outlived its usefulness.

Boehner should offer to seat any five of the seven Democrats who voted for the Select Committee. Attack Pelosi’s transparently empty threat. Drive a wedge.

But that is much too aggressive a response to expect from The Weeper.

novaculus on May 12, 2014 at 1:15 PM

OT – picture of the devil

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2014 at 12:40 PM

That reminds me of a turtle I found in the yard Saturday.

slickwillie2001 on May 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

O/T

The Server’s Fried and It’s All Your Fault
Posted on May 12th, by Ace

Well no it isn’t. I just find that it’s helpful to put people on the defensive and start throwing blame around indiscriminately.

The server actually is fried, though. All the hardware apparently burned out. The database is okay, but all hardware has to be reinstalled. This may take some time.

Pixy is working on it.

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

CNN offered a quick take on the politics of boycotting the committee, and the consensus is that boycotting is “not even a serious option”:

You can’t protect Killary’s decidedly large rear end if you don’t have anybody on the committee and the Dems, clearly, have picked her birth canal to be the next President.

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

ladyingray on May 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

If I remember correctly, when John Boehner was interviewed by Fox he said they had to set up working space and get extra staff to help with the committee. I don’t think they will waste time to get it going.

Barred on May 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

That was meant to be an AceofSpadesHQ update…

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

“You can’t win the game if you’re not on the field,” said one commentator, and she’s right.

It’s not a game. People are being killed today because Obama chose to downplay the murder of a US Ambassador.

What does it matter? It matters to our enemies that the US doesn’t care about it’s interests and it’s values.A US AMBASSADOR is the USA.

This attack was just as bad as the original 9/11 – it emboldens and encourages all enemies of freedom and the US.

kcewa on May 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

…Gowdy can do a Clint Eastwood/RNC impression with empty chairs on C-Span.

Steve Z on May 12, 2014 at 12:50 PM

So that explains the hair.

Barnestormer on May 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Slow walking the committee selections to avoid the perception of…

Slow walking the subpoenas of witnesses to avoid the perception of…

Slow walking the disclosure of unclassified emails redacted and reclassified Feb 2014 to avoid the perception of…

Slow walking the testimonies of people who can actually provide facts…

This “rush to judgment” will soon give Obama’s efforts to capture the terrorists a severe case of whiplash.

jedifinance on May 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

O/T: Anyone else having posts going straight to 404Error either while composing them or after hitting “Submit Comment”?

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Can they start without the Dems?

neyney on May 12, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Time limit, then proceed forward without them if necessary.

rjoco1 on May 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM

“But we don’t want to see reckless, irresponsible handling of an affair that took the lives of four brave Americans.”

It wasn’t “four brave Americans”. It was a planned attack on a US Ambassador – an act of war. And downplaying it for political purposes is an act of treason.

Not an Impeachable Offense – an Act Of Treason.

kcewa on May 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM

O/T: Anyone else having posts going straight to 404Error either while composing them or after hitting “Submit Comment”?

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Yes, several times on this thread. I was trying to use various forms of the F word though.

kcewa on May 12, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Democrats are terrified at what their savior might have done….. or not done…..

ultracon on May 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

If I remember correctly, when John Boehner was interviewed by Fox he said they had to set up working space and get extra staff to help with the committee. I don’t think they will waste time to get it going.

Barred on May 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

That is a wasting time tactic. They can’t find a room and they can’t get enough staff but oh we’re going to do this.

crankyoldlady on May 12, 2014 at 1:38 PM

kcewa on May 12, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I also got it trying to log in… <—Insert suspicious look here…

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The dems have already won this, but delaying it until most people are saying “wasn’t that two years ago?” and making it seem like a witch hunt. Employing delaying tactics while pretending you aren’t STILL WORKS when you have the media lying for you on your side.

Tard on May 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Whenever I hear a democrat demand bi-partisanship on any issue, it means they demand it their way.

Gothguy on May 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM

The dems have already won this,

won what?

gracie on May 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

O/T: Anyone else having posts going straight to 404Error either while composing them or after hitting “Submit Comment”?

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Yep, was for about an hour or so. Seems to have been fixed now.

slickwillie2001 on May 12, 2014 at 1:53 PM

The dems have already won this…

Tard on May 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

What? The Ostrich of the Year awards for 2013 and 2014?

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 1:56 PM

The dems have already won this…

Tard

You have a very fitting moniker.

Gothguy on May 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

The dems have already won this…

Tard…Re…?

KOOLAID2 on May 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

The dems have already won this

Tard on May 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Define “this”.

Del Dolemonte on May 12, 2014 at 3:07 PM

OT: So Ace really is down? The whole internet is weird today.

ON Topic,

I wonder how much of the information will get out before 2016 anyway. Investigations take a long time. Especially which some of the guilty on the team of investigators… IRS/Cummings for example.

If only we had an Attorney General who was interested in truth and justice.

But that is too much to ask in 2014.

petunia on May 12, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Every democrat that voted for the committee should be included, after all, we don’t want to turn this into a circus, letting people onto the panel that don’t want it to exist.

gonnjos on May 12, 2014 at 3:27 PM

How sad is it that this is being discussed in terms of a “game” and that there will be winners and losers?

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM

+1

bigbeachbird on May 12, 2014 at 3:36 PM

The game is the delay itself. The solution, of course, is a deadline, with consequences. Declare that you have 12 positions on the committee, and you’re prepared to allow Democrats to appoint 5 of them — if they meet the deadline.

Otherwise, those five seats will be filled with Republicans.

Make the offer repeatedly, so they won’t be able to claim they were blindsided if they only wind up with two or three Democrats — or none at all — on the committee.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

I see you guys get it: TARD. OK? Thanks.

Tard on May 13, 2014 at 2:18 PM