Via Mediaite, this isn’t what you think. Or, actually, maybe it is, given how predictable Maher’s become. My favorite part is how smug he gets in scolding the GOP for forever blaming the president for all the world’s sins, alternately treating him as an evil genius or a slackjawed imbecile as the day’s narrative requires. If you ever read a lefty blog or two back during the Bush years, you’ll appreciate the irony.
The public also thinks that the GOP’s acting out of political reasons in forming the committee rather than to get at the truth (63/30), but clearly they also believe there’s more truth to be gotten. Even Hillary looks shady: When people are asked whether they think she was honest with the public about State’s role in Benghazi or deceptive, they split 40/50.
Lay all of that aside, though, and tell me this: What would you say is the GOP’s “message” or “strategy” headed into the midterms this year? I thought about that after I saw Greg Sargent say this morning that the Democrats are “running against plutocracy.” What are Republicans running for or against at this point as an overarching theme for 2014? The obvious answer until about a month ago was “ObamaCare,” but they’ve gone quiet on that lately. And not without reason:
Harry Reid’s now openly taunting them over it on the Senate floor. Granted, the GOP will surely return to O-Care this fall as new plan cancellations hit and premium hikes are announced, but the issue might not bite quite as hard as they expected. (If it did, would Mark Pryor be competitive in Arkansas right now?) So if, for the moment at least, the party’s message isn’t all about O-Care, what is it about? Immigration reform(!)? “Where are the jobs”? Something else? A Twitter buddy suggested earlier today that maybe the Benghazi committee is their “message” as a way to remind voters throughout the summer of Obama’s incompetence and/or corruption. Although, in fairness, a party in the GOP’s position doesn’t really need a message; as the out-group in a climate of deep dissatisfaction with the status quo in Washington, they’re going to gain purely from voter antipathy to the party in power. What they really need is to make sure that their own party’s unified in November, as Republicans split on different issues much more sharply than Democrats do. The Benghazi committee helps in that regard, whereas a summer amnesty push would hurt — a lot. So, count on “the stupid party” to try it sometime in July or August.