If the Republicans on the committee are going to look like they’re on a partisan witch hunt that exploits the deaths of four Americans for political gain, then it will almost surely backfire on them. But if this is true, isn’t it also true that those attempting to bury an investigation surrounding the very same tragedy in hopes of insulating a preordained presidential candidate are equally distasteful and partisan?

Rarely is this debate framed in that way. Writers at left-wing and mainstream publications often operate under the misconception that their interpretations are apolitical. So we can forgive them for periodically forgetting, even as evidence mounts (sometimes in their own publications) that Clinton was involved in shady activities, that partisanship originates from both sides.

Every reporter covering this story knows well that the indignation over McCarthy’s remarks is nothing more than dissembling. It reminds me of the Planned Parenthood video kerfuffle that’s going on with Carly Fiorina. The best way to evade an interrogation —whether we’re talking about videos or servers—is to divert attention and blow a piddling inconsistency out of proportion, or nitpick and parse a supposed gaffe enough to discredit the entire case. Question the motivation and honesty of your accusers and you might never have to answer a real question.