Mccarthy Links His Gaffes Together
Kevin McCarthy has done it again. And he added a new gaffe to the growing list.
On Tuesday, the Republican House Majority Leader and likely next Speaker, Kevin McCarthy admitted that the Benghazi Committee was a “strategy” to make Hillary Clinton less popular. He has been attacked relentlessly by Democrats, and Republicans have rushed to downplay his comment.
But McCarthy told CNN’s Jake Tapper virtually the same thing, in an interview, which also aired Tuesday. Tapper asked McCarthy how he would get legislation to defund Planned Parenthood passed that President Obama is guaranteed to veto, and McCarthy explained how he would use taxpayer-funded select committees as political witch hunts.
“What you first have to do is lay out a plan. I’m willing to fight, but I want to fight to win. So, it’s not just a policy, it’s also a media [sic]. And people have to join that. So, that’s why, within a select committee… Think of this. When you look at the poll numbers of Hillary Clinton, they’ve dropped. Unfavorables pretty high. Because people say they don’t trust her. They don’t trust her because of what they found out about the server and everything else. Would you have ever found that out if you had not gathered the information from the Benghazi Select Committee?
“So, if we really want to be able to show what this Planned Parenthood has done, you see a few videos, so there’s real question. Have the select committee get all the information, all the hearings, so the public can see that. So that’s what you win the argument to win the vote.”
In this interview, he is more careful about how he words his statement about the Benghazi Committee. But his conclusion is the same. The Committee hearings caused Hillary Clinton’s popularity to drop, and that was his “plan.” In light of his previous statement on Fox ‘News’ it’s clear that he meant to say it. Advertising the fact that he abused his power and misused public time and money on an epic scale, is all part of his bid to become the next Speaker of the House. Shoring up the votes of the baying Tea Party horde may require that he throws scruple out the window in order to get the promotion. The fact that he has to admit what he’s been up to in order to get the job is just collateral.
What is even more striking in this interview, is the fact that he not only admits that the Benghazi investigation was a political inquisition, but he then uses it as an example of how Republicans should approach Planned Parenthood. It has been clear from the beginning that the Planned Parenthood hearings were not about finding the truth of something. The videos that began the whole brouhaha were heavily edited hoaxes produced by shadowy conservative groups. Republican politicians immediately began using them on the campaign trail and in Congress, to grind old axes.
The hearings, if they can be called that, featured Republicans rudely haranguing the president of one of the nation’s most vital women’s healthcare and family planning providers, for six hours, about non-issues. Perhaps the highlight of the hearings was a chart that, mathematically, made no sense. Yet, House Oversight Committee Chairman, Jason Chaffetz presented it proudly, demonstrating that he doesn’t understand how charts work.
It is obvious to any observer who isn’t a die-hard conservative that both of these investigations were political stunts, and not a serious use of Congressional hearings. But Republicans are not supposed to admit that. And they’re certainly not supposed to admit it twice, on two different national cable shows, and then link the admissions together as self-congratulations for having a grand strategy. The admissions make McCarthy sound petty, easily confused, and unready to lead. If McCarthy manages to become House Speaker after this series of revealing gaffes, he is likely to help the Democrats as much as his Republican comrades.