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Gotta make sure this crowd votes!
With the GOP's Repeal Obamacare All the Time approach to the 2014 elections flopping, GOP has to pivot to something new, so why not Benghazi?

As we've detailed over the past several weeks, public polling on repeal is brutal—in the 20s in most polling—and while the law isn't beloved by any stretch, support is on the upswing. So it's no surprise that Republicans are less and less willing to talk repeal. It's just not an electoral winner. We've also seen Republicans start trying to make Harry Reid an issue, but that one is doomed from the start.

So having bet 2014 on Obamacare, Republicans are clearly flailing as they search for an alternative. But is Benghazi really it? Do they really think the American people are going to buy their conspiracy theories, especially since they're based on such flimsy premises as "a talking point was edited?" You think this kind of talk wins broad support? It fails the laugh test.

I suspect this is a 2014 ploy, but not one designed to win over the American people. It's one designed to appease the party's core base—both at the grassroots level and in the House.

There's been lots of talk of leadership coups in the House, as the House Speaker John Boehner's teabagger members get frustrated at the insufficient (to them) amount of crazy. And believe it or not (and you probably do if you read my Saturday nutpicks), that frustration is reflected in the party's broader teabagger base.

That frustration has only increased lately as they sense their party backing away from Obamacare repeal, not to mention anger at his (half-hearted) efforts to pass some sort of immigration reform package. Democrats have a built-in voter intensity problem as a result of the youth and socio-economic status of our base. Republicans don't have such a problem unless that base starts feeling abandoned. And right now, there is grousing to that effect among that base.

Note that no such intensity problem on the Right has actually shown up in any polling. The grousing comes from the hard-core base. But that is clearly enough to worry the Republican leadership. Hence, why not talk about the hard Right's biggest obsession? #BENGHAZI!

By conducting Benghazi kabuki, Republicans deflect some of that base frustration, while giving Boehner some breathing room. It's a win-win! Well, it's a win-win if you live inside the Fox News bubble of death. For anyone else watching, they just see an even crazier GOP. And when your numbers are already this woeful...

... perhaps "crazy" isn't what you should communicate.

Originally posted to kos on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  bring it on, GOP (27+ / 0-)

    (h/t Jeff Y)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:25:20 AM PDT

  •  Yawn. GOP, I need a new scandal to get excited. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MyMy, shoeless

    Benghazi is so old it's making me remember stuff that happened more recently, like Bridgegate.

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:27:54 AM PDT

    •  Precisely. But they got nothin' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My revised headline: BENGHAZI IT ISN'T

      Four Americans died, and that is very sad.

      3000 died under Bush's 'watchful eye' and yet it took a long, long time for there even to be a congressional level investigation, and then it was not permitted to see all the information.

      The American people can see through this CR*P!

  •  Supposing Benghazi was an actual thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, shoeless, Matt Z

    wouldn't be "ineffectiveness" rather than "tyranny"?  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:30:59 AM PDT

  •  Didn't GOP try & lose in 2012 for focusing on (8+ / 0-)

    Benghazi, Obamacare and tax cuts for the top 1%?

    I'm almost sure they did.

  •  At CNN, Wolf is taking Benghazi very seriously... (6+ / 0-) Which is why I don't take CNN seriously.

  •  Well, yeah... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "I suspect this is a 2014 ploy, but not one designed to win over the American people. It's one designed to appease the party's core base—both at the grassroots level and in the House."

    If the GOP gets its base motivated enough to get to the polls for the 2014 midterms, they win larger. They don't have to worry about how it all comes across to anyone outside the wingut-o-sphere because they're probably not going to vote in the midterms.

    "Democrats have a built-in voter intensity problem as a result of the youth and socio-economic status of our base. Republicans don't have such a problem unless that base starts feeling abandoned. "


    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

    by grape crush on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:37:58 AM PDT

    •  I look at these GOP efforts to get their base (4+ / 0-)

      excited and usually say, "where can I get me some of that?"

      I do appreciate recent moves by Dems to pound GOPers with raising the minimum wage, but frankly, Dems could (and should) do nothing but whip up the base non-stop until November, but they've already lapped us with getting their base to show up. They play long ball, which is why their perpetual scream machine works.  

  •  I don't see any misspellings on that sign. (4+ / 0-)

    I wonder who painted it for them.

    Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

    by shoeless on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:38:26 AM PDT

  •  so Republicans are obsessed with Benghazi, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noamjunior, grape crush

    and we have four front page posts in a row on that.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:39:37 AM PDT

  •  I tend to think this is aimed at 2016... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, skepticalcitizen

    not 2014.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:40:48 AM PDT

  •  A Republican I work with made a great point... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, implicate order

    ...about Benghazi.

    He said, "And that whole Benghazi thing??? Come on!!!"

    It's really kind of hard to argue with that. We're screwed.

  •  "Benghazi"- the mating call of the gullible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VPofKarma, implicate order

    There is absolutely no way a person with any critical thinking skills can believe a thing the GOPers say, but that is especially true with Benghazi. Carrying out this pony show will only serve thew GOP to shed their remaining supporters able to rub two brain cells together

  •  Try the IRS when Benghazi goes nowhere! (0+ / 0-)

    They sure want to make the election about trying Lois Lerner.

  •  An angry Fox News just cut away from the (0+ / 0-)

    President's presser because no one was asking questions about Benghazi, and an angry National Geographic just cut away, because no one was asking questions about the  woolly mammoth.

  •  8 Years Of Bush's 2 F'upped & No bin Laden (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Left the GOP with the loss of national security as an issue they could differentiate themselves from the Democrats on. There was the little noted part of the 47% series of recorded tapes where Romney talked about trying to take advantage of a foreign policy crisis to make Obama look bad. They thought they had it with Benghazi. Now they are left with an issue that fuels their rabid base but is lost on the rest of the country which after Bush, doesn't care about foreign policy. Fascinating how the public has 2 different views of Hillary's "What difference does it make..." testimony during the Benghazi hearings. Think most of the public looks at it as a tough woman who doesn't suffer bullshit.  The right wing base thinks it was treason. I think it would make a great ad for Democrats to say that we are tired of the GOP's spaghetti against the wall obstruction.

  •  "Benghazi kabuki" reminds me of an unsavory (0+ / 0-)

    Japanese word that is NSFW, but it's somehow appropriate, given the people involved.

  •  The Lynch Mob (0+ / 0-)

    They keep trying to pick fights, but that can never hurt them until the Democrats oblige by counter-attacking.  

    GO AFTER these clowns as people who have no suggestions for dealing with the country's problems other than to rant about irrelevancies!

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:57:25 AM PDT

  •  Hocus Pocus. (0+ / 0-)

    With slight of hand and brilliant misdirection, the Kochs and their fellow Oligarchs have snookered the "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." crowd into believing tyranny is hiding in the left hand when it is actually in the right hand.

    Some days it just makes more sense to climb out of the window when I leave my house.

    by glb3 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:58:29 AM PDT

  •  Only Crazy if they lose... (0+ / 0-)

    If they win and the polls seem to indicate they will, then it is a brilliant strategy.

  •  New Benghazi Attacks Kills Eight !!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Eight soldiers and police were killed when a militia stormed a local police stations.

    No Americans involved.

    Apparently in Benghazi this is just sort of what they do, it's kind of their thing.

    But read the comments in TheBlaze! Probably none of them know where Benghazi is (Minnesota?  Mexico?).  But most of them are convinced this is Obama's fault. And the usual stupid t** are saying this is just more proof that it is time to "lock and load."  Because Benghazi!

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:00:13 AM PDT

  •  Interesting chart. (0+ / 0-)

    I assigned numeric values to each column, to see where the net opinion stands on the different people or groups;  +2 for very positive, +1 for somewhat positive, -1 for somewhat negative, -2 for very negative, and zero for neutral.  When I multiply the numbers out, I get

    Obama: negative 1
    Democrats: negative 6
    Republicans: negative 35
    Tea Party: negative 38
    Hilary Clinton: positive 18

    What does this tell you?  That, in the mushed-together "general opinion", Democratic politicians get a "meh", while the GOTP really sucks.

    As for Clinton, I suspect her negatives will shoot up as soon as she announces.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:01:16 AM PDT

  •  This has legs (0+ / 0-)

    It ain't going away.  Jay Carney obfuscating to the Press doesn't help.  Subpoena to be issued to Kerry.  Boner "considering" a Select Committee with Trey Gowdy as its Chair?  No matter your protestations, we haven't seen the end of this yet.

    IMHO, this will affect 2014 and 2016.

    Just say'in.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:05:47 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for getting all wee-weed up.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Dog Chains, Mike Kahlow

      Benghazi story is on-going because the GOP controls the House and so they can keep it going.

      Just look at how brazenly political GOP has been and how crazy conspiracy theories on the fringes have become the main points of GOP members doing the investigation.

      1. Talking points: Last year, staffers of Darrell Issa and other GOP Congresscritters started leaking selected portions of CIA talking points for Susan Rice to make the administration look bad. The press like Jonathan Karl ABC ran with the false story. The White House then released full unredacted talking points to show how dishonest GOP has been. That is how that skirmish ended.. with egg on the GOP and its tools in the media.

      2. The second big conspiracy they have been trying to prove is that the State Department gave stand down orders on that night of attack in Benghazi and that the military deliberately did not do anything. Admiral Mullen testified to this saying this absolutely false. Bob Gates, said the same thing and in fact mocked the arm chair Generals saying that they don't understand that there just not enough time to mobilize any military response.

      3. Darrell Issa held another monkey court hearing on Benghazi yesterday. Even his party's chariman of Armed Services Committee is criticizing the witness Issa brought to testify..

      Buck McKeon disses Darrell Issa over Benghazi witness

      By LAUREN FRENCH | 5/1/14 4:38 PM EDT Updated: 5/2/14 7:56 AM EDT
      Republican Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon is slamming the testimony of a key Benghazi witness before the committee of Republican Oversight Chair Darrell Issa.

      It’s a rare rebuke of Issa from a member of his own party and exposes a rift, even if small, over conservatives’ prosecution of Benghazi, the alleged cover-up of which they believe is a winning issue for them in the 2014 elections.

      McKeon (R-Calif.) called Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell an unreliable witness and criticized Lovell’s assertion that the State Department was not quick to deploy troops to respond to the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya. Lovell testified Thursday before Issa’s (R-Calif.) oversight panel.

      Read more:

    •  Of course it has legs (0+ / 0-)

      Because our media is made up of morons. But I am still wondering why Republicans got away with allowing 9-11 to happen, must be some reason the same standards do not apply.

  •  The WMDs are in Benghazi (0+ / 0-)

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:10:28 AM PDT

  •  Benghazi vs. Minimum Wage (0+ / 0-)

    Guess which one will drive their base to the polls in November.

    Until Dems pull their heads out of their ass and offer up something more than $10.10, the enthusiasm gap will remain.

    You have to admire how the GOP can turn four tragic deaths into political theatre and a guaranteed GOTV, and yet for 8 years Dems like Gephardt, Pelosi, Daschle and Reid refused to investigate the Bush criminals on anything.

    •  Btw, minimum wage and pay equality is fine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but Keystone, Net Neutrality, expanding Social Security, is what fires up (or demoralizes, depending on the trial balloon the White House/Dem leadership releases) progressives. It's not Obamacare, which has more or less been neutralized, or voting on bills that have zero chance of passing.

      Also, a Supreme Court vacancy would also re-engage liberals, with Obama nominating a fitting replacement for Ginsburg, who some are saying should step down in the summer. She can't afford to wait till 2017.

  •  The GOP might have better luck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    making this faux issue a faux scandal if there was a single coherent theory or accusation in the whole embarrassing tirade. The Right should be gleeful. The same hacks who gave us Travelgate and Troopergate can't make Benghazi work. But it's not from lack of desire to. You can't get two sentences past "Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!" before you sound like you are just making shit up as you talk. It has still gotten lot of oxygen.

    Somebody saying Obama was an evil robot or an alien has about the same right to the airtime Benghazi has been getting with what has offered up.

    The Right's greed is breathtaking. 100% or its a bust or a defeat. In 2014, after Iraq, the economic collapse, and even the unskewed polling election eve debacle, you can still get the Village to chase next to nothing because the Right says to do it. They will even chase nothing but a slogan. It's just that nothing but incoherent batshit after the slogan is a hard thing to sell.

    The details and theories offered up after the Benghazi-Benghazi-Benghazi chant make the most bogus post-'Vince Foster was Murdered" and "Clinton was a drugdealer" declaration seem rational and well-reasoned and documented.

    "It's Obama's fault".

    Got it, wingnut welfare outfit.
    You said that, wingnut welfare pundit.
    We heard you, minor-league wannabe Limbaugh.

    That is the only stable and consistent brick of wet sand they have to build a mountain of scandal out of.

    Once you get past that, and the Benghazi chant, you get a blizzard of what the fuck are you talking about?

    Even low-information voters have nothing to fake grasp and be suckered into.

    As CNN has proudly demonstrated, if the Right could come up with a Benghazi attack meme that was flimsy but mildly coherent and intellectually consistent, they would run with that. They have wanted to run with the fluff crap they have been given to work with, but they can't make it work because you can't make the Apollo program out of a paper towel tube and a sparkler. ABC News' Jonathan Karl seems like he wants to say "Benghazi" and then punch Jay Carney in the face. The way he has been acting, he might want to throw that punch because it's Tuesday or they didn't have turtle soup on the lunch menu, so he'd love him a greater Benghazi tale he could abuse the White House staff over. The Village is riddled with people who would love a Benghazi meme they could sell. So would the morons who run the Sunday Morning gasbag fests on the Networks. Politico might actually have to stage The Hack Games to thin the herd of hacks who would love to run with an Obama scandal they could make fly.  

    I have yet to meet two wingnuts who have the same batshit version of why this is an outrage and what happened that proves that.

    "Obama killed the Ambassador and those other people personally because the President is black and I didn't vote for no gall dern black President, so he killed those people! Enough said."

    Even Wolf Blitzer can't stoneface the crazy stupid part to skip to making that work. The crazy stupid part is the only thing. There is nothing to skip to.

    The fact that the Village has run with this big nothingburger whenever it could run with it should give some comfort to the Right.

    If Obama had an Iran-Contra on his hands? Or Iraq?

    Jesus. I wouldn't want to turn on a television or pick up a paper.

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:21:21 AM PDT

  •  Some days (0+ / 0-)

    It's just not worth chewing through the restraints.

  •  Can someone please explain what means? (0+ / 0-)

    Benghazi --> Gun control

    Clearly I'm dimwitted...

  •  Smoking Gun: Shock #Benghazi Email Reveals.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..That Obama White House Agreed With CIA Talking Points - By David Weigel  April 30, 2014

    The #Benghazi story is really tailor-made for the Vox version of journalism, the one with cards and updates explaining what new piece of information explains or debunks what previously understood piece of information. In this case, in order to consider the Rhodes email a "smoking gun," you need to forget the previously known timeline of emails sent on Sept. 14. Luckily, Time's Zeke Miller has left his timeline hanging around on the Internets, so I can add the Rhodes disclosure in bold text...
    Previously reported timeline debunks the GOP $ multi-million dollar (waste, fraud , and abuse - GOP's own harangue) witch-hunt

    Thx Kos for the numbers from Jed Lewison too

    So Issa/Cruz/GOP's 2014-2016 game plan - Benghazi !!! is it huh - lol - good luck with that

  •  Dear lord, Ed Rendell SUCKSSSSSSSS (0+ / 0-)

    He was just on CNBC talking about the jobs report being good news for Democrats in the midterms, and he agreed with Larry Kudlow that Obama should approve Keystone right now and barely pushing back against Kudlow saying "Obamacare is a killer for Democrats." And that was only in the last minute. I couldn't stomach watching him nodding away in agreement as Kudlow praised Bill Clinton for being better for Wall Street and big business than Obama, or some crap.

    Neo-liberal idiots like Rendell are why people are turned off by Hillary.

  •  What really needs to be put to each one (0+ / 0-)

    In the media, on social media and everywhere else is when we get an answer on why Republicans allowed 9-11 to happen.

  •  The sign says TYRANNY (0+ / 0-)

    If this was a real tyranny, do you really think you would be holding that sign for more than 30 seconds before someone in a uniform came along and beat you to death with it?

  •  That yellow flag (0+ / 0-)

    looks like a KKK hood.

  •  As an aside... (0+ / 0-)

    Those are surprisingly good numbers for Hillary.  Better than Obama, and better than the Democrats altogether.  For the first time, I'm starting to really think she might have a shot at this thing.  

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