In my estimation, one big factor, in terms of appropriateness, has much to do with timing. In the immediate wake of a tragedy, your first thought shouldn’t be about politics, but about the victims. What is more, for a time, the victims and the public are in a state of shock, and are thus vulnerable to emotional manipulation. So trying to pass an anti-gun law five minutes after a tragic shooting is problematic not only because it immediately turns to politics, but also because it’s exploitive. The goal is to pass a law based on the emotional zeitgeist — which might not have passed in a more sober, less emotional, moment.
That, of course, is not the case with Benghazi. We are going on two years, and it now belongs to the ages. If the GOP decides that it wants to make uncovering what went on there — as well as the potential cover-up — a primary objective, is that not a legitimate project? Barack Obama arguably became president based on his opposition to the Iraq War. Was he exploiting the people who died for the liberation of Iraq, or was he taking a legitimate political stance on one of the defining questions of our time? Possibly, the answer is both.
What if Obama legitimately wanted to make sure Americans never again entered into such a quagmire? What if Republicans want to ensure another American ambassador is never again dragged through the streets — and that the American public gets to learn what really happened? Is that wrong?