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Hillary Clinton receives a helmet as a gift from her staff on January 7, 2013 upon her return to the State Department.
Uh oh. Better scratch all that stuff you've heard about how Hillary Clinton is a heavy favorite in 2016, because Republicans have finally figured out the secret on how to take her down—and they're dishing out the secret to none other than Fox News:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Monday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put politics above security during the Sept. 11 attack last year on the U.S. post in Benghazi, Libya — this as lawmakers gear up for another hearing on Wednesday.

“I think it was political rather than security. But what boggles my mind is 4½ months after the fact, Secretary Clinton still had the gall to come here and perpetuate things that we know is common knowledge are simply not true,” said Chaffetz, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Fox News.

Ouch! She had the gall to be political, unlike Republicans such as Chaffetz who have been single-mindedly focused on getting to the bottom of what really happened in Benghazi and why it proves Democrats hate America and want to cover up the actions of the terrorists with whom they obviously sympathize. Yeah, it's a dumb attack—just ask Osama bin Laden what he thinks about it. And part of what makes it so dumb is that it's not just transparently political, it's also patently ineffective.

The crime, allegedly, is that the administration didn't immediately denounce the attacks as acts of terrorism. You know, just like Mitt Romney famously did in his second debate with President Barack Obama. Setting aside for a moment the fact that these guys are way too obsessed with what amounts to a semantic exercise, the fact was that President Obama did call it a terrorist act.

I mean, there's a reason Obama said "please proceed" when Romney began his ill-considered attack, and it wasn't that he was afraid of what Romney was going to say. As we all now know, Romney face-planted. Republicans thought Benghazi was Christmas in September, but as we saw on election day, they were wrong.

Of course, the fact that they nonetheless believe Benghazi will be the end of Hillary Clinton shows that they still haven't figured out why Obama encouraged Romney to proceed. And when four years from now it turns out that Benghazi didn't deliver 2016 to the GOP on a silver platter, odds are history will repeat itself. Instead of coming to grips with the fact that they've been on a misguided political witch hunt all along, they'll convince themselves that they've retroactively stumbled on the key to victory in 2020.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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