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Nancy Pelosi speaks during a visit by U.S. Representatives discussing bilateral relationships between Egypt and the U.S., in Cairo March 15, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS)
After a meeting of the House Democratic caucus, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday morning that she was still weighing whether or not her party will participate in the GOP's #Benghazi committee.

Pelosi said there were three schools of thought among Democrats, with some saying "just send one person," others saying "don't have anything to do with it," and a third group saying "let's see what they come back with in terms of the terms of engagement."

Pelosi placed herself in that third camp, indicating that she is talking with House Speaker John Boehner about the extent to which Democrats would have influence over the panel. "Now the question is are under the terms under which Democrats could participate," she said. "We don't know yet what the Speaker is going to say, so let's find out."

Pelosi also took aim at #Benghazi panel chairman Trey Gowdy's characterization of the panel as a "trial," saying that revealed that the GOP has already prejudged the outcome of the panel. Instead of wasting more time on the GOP's #Benghazi obsession, Pelosi said, the House should allow votes on things like ENDA, immigration reform, equal pay, and unemployment insurance.

Not that it will happen, but here's one deal I'd unreservedly support: Democrats agree to sit on the GOP's #Benghazi panel in exchange for the GOP allowing votes on those issues. Heck, they could even let Republicans take their seats for all I care. Of course, we all know, that will never happen, because if there's one thing Republicans know, it's that the reason they need to get to the bottom of #Benghazi is because they don't want to talk about anything else.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The entire event is rigged (22+ / 0-)

    I think it would be a BIG mistake for the Dems to add legitimacy to this circus. And they will add legitimacy just by being there - no matter what they say.

    Even if they offer counter testimony it will just draw more attention to this clown car.

    Don't go. Play tough.

  •  Great idea!! (7+ / 0-)

    You give me votes on immigration, unemployment, etc. and I'll send a token contingent to participate in your bullshit panel.

    "Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself; to become what he potentially is." -Erich Fromm

    by nspguy on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:09:53 AM PDT

  •  High Drama....popcorn manned and ready. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, bufffan20
  •  the quickest way for the Dems to get through (0+ / 0-)

    this ordeal and this is assuming they have nothing to hide(hopefully) about Benghazi, is to say hey we will cooperate 100%, we have NOTHING to hide, so lets get through this and move on to find ways to help the American people today!

    •  If it were a fair hearing, I'd agree (5+ / 0-)

      But it won't be.  It is highly likely we will be lambs led to political slaughter.  The GOP have already ignored much of the evidence presented already.

      In order to "get through" something, there has to be an known objective and one with some benefit for both sides.  To me, the objective is purely political for the benefit of the GOP.  


      West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:18:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who's getting slaughtered? (0+ / 0-)

        Not the Dems in Congress by attending.  Either there is no "there" there, or there is something there.  Either way, I fail to see how Dem boycotting accomplishes anything but making the Dems look like big babies.  The Wisconsin Dem Senators tried that.  They actually succeeded in rallying support for the GOP and Scott Walker.

        •  But it is already known there is no "there" there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          GOP have selectively ignored information presented to them in both hearings and in the written record (such as, for example, the actual nature of al Qaeda's secondary involvement in the attacks, or the falsehood that the video had zero impact when NYT investigation indicated it had some.  Certainly, these two factors were a big part of the "fog of war" (which GOP rejects).

          They needed an excuse to open the thing back up again and they believe they got it with the Ben Rhodes talking points.  Even now, GOP characterizations refer to the talking points as specific to Benghazi when simply reading the email shows this is not accurate.  

          For example, GOP characterizations of the email state that the reference to personnel safety mean the email was really about Benghazi (because that is where personnel were attacked).  But security walls were breached in Cairo, as well, putting those people at risk.    

          This is clearly manipulation, and since it is the basis for the new hearings, they are a manipulation.

          The slaughter potential is in the land of public opinion which has shown itself time and time again to be vulnerable to these lies.  I don't see this hearing being any different than EVERY one so far.

          West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

          by Nicolas Fouquet on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:27:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think you may be right--not only will Repubs (0+ / 0-)

          have a field day with their "cowering down," the MSM will have no choice but to report on their on participation.

          That stands to be far more damaging, than anything that will likely be uncovered by the Kangaroo Court.

          And it plays perfectly into the MSM meme about Democrats.

          If "there's no there, there," there's no need to be afraid.

          Nothing will hurt Dems chances to win in 2016 more, than looking like they've got something to hide, IMO.


          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines

          hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

          by musiccitymollie on Sat May 10, 2014 at 12:20:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Mr President, when did you stop beating your wife (0+ / 0-)

      in…… BENGHAZIIIIIIIII!!!!!

      Madam Secretary, what do you know about the President beating his wife in…..BENGHAZIIIIIIII!!!!

      The repuglians want to talk about Benghazi. Democrats should not oblige them.

      Pugs were very publicly wrong about the ACA for 4 years. They won't allow a jobs bill to be voted on. Or an immigration bill. Or an infrastructure bill. Or an on and on…you name it bill.

      There's lots of other stuff to talk about.

    •  Benghazi was a CIA operation. Truth will never (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grabber by the Heel, bahaba, Matt Z

      come out.

      Republicans know this. This is good political weapon for the Republicans to beat up Democrats.

      President Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus, John Brennan, Leon Panetta can never publicly admitted what was really going on at that compound in Benghazi. It was not a diplomatic facility but a CIA facility.

      The word got out in the middle east about what was happening in that compound. May be the Russians found out. Because the terrorist knew exactly what was going on there and they came prepared for the attack.

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stringer bell

      This investigation is going to go forward with or without the Dems.  It will be reported by Fox, CNN and the mainstream media whether Dems are there or not  If Dems boycott, that will be the story for one day, then after that every comment and photo-op that comes out of the committee will be a GOP comment.  What do Dems gain from that?  The USA skipped the 1980 Olympics to protest Soviet aggression in Afgan.  Those medals still count for the winners.

      I think the Dems should participate and try to make the best of it.  The GOP doesn't boycott committees it doesn't like, or that it thinks are bogus (like climate change).  They attend and provide alternate spin to the media.  Dems can do the same here.

      And, don't expect the GOP to trade anything meaningful for their participation.  They'd probably be just as glad if the Dems weren't there.

      •  But the conversation is still about what the cons (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        want to run on in the mid  terms. We hold the Senate we should convene hearings on the successes of ACA in a states where it worked and talk about all the people the repugs are killing and keeping sick by not expanding Medicaid. Immigration hearings, jobs hearings, lots of things, anything but playing their game with their ball.

        They want to talk about Benghazi. Because even if it doesn't hurt Dems it helps them fund raise and whip their voters. And if a CIA operation is exposed at some point it still will not hurt them. And we know they are not squeamish about outing CIA if it can be used to against Democrats.

    •  They did. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      diffrntdrummr, GWinkler

      In thirteen hearings, twenty-five thousand pages of documents, and fifty briefings.

  •  How about (5+ / 0-)

    the Senate opening hearings on the lies that birthed the invasion of Iraq?  Or the lies about terrorist threats in 2004?  Or the extended vacation W took after being told Osama was going to attack?  
    Dems play defense poorly because they are known to have no offense.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:10:45 AM PDT

  •  Have to disagree ................. (9+ / 0-)

    Of course you're right that they don't want to touch any of those issues you list but the Benghazii bottom was reached some time after lengthy investigations and hearings.  This is pure and simply their effort to boost their base and raise money in an election year.

    I hope Nancy can't make a deal because there is no way those assholes are going to give equal access and representation to Democrats and without that the leader should just move to the second camp and "not have anything to do with it".  It, of course, being a Kangaroo Court.

    Proud to be a Democrat

    by Lying eyes on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:11:59 AM PDT

  •  That the MSM actually hit Bohner with questions (16+ / 0-)

    about fundraising off of this Death Theater should show Dems why they need to stay the hell away.

    Pelosi should sit outside the hearing room every day and make the same statement to the press: "Republicans are making a mockery of the deaths of four Americans and have no business being reelected in November."

  •  A good sign? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeVA, Matt Z, cybersaur

    Are enough Dems finally standing up and saying, "At long last, GOP, have you no sense of decency?"

    It's clear the "new" email is being, once again, twisted into something it's not.  Isn't that enough reason to boycott the hearings?

    West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:12:41 AM PDT

  •  Option #5: (5+ / 0-)

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:13:11 AM PDT

    •  The needless death of 4 Americans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, Matt Z

      vs. the needless death of 4000 Americans.

      Benghazi discussion for 6 minutes, followed by a probe into Dubya's disaster for 100 hours. Keep alternating like that, 1 to 1000. We'd accept the GOP having total control for the Benghazi sessions, and only insist on equal time for the unimportant ones on Iraq.

      (We know they're unimportant, 'cause otherwise the Republicans would mention the subject from time to time.)

  •  Benghazi Boondoggle - that dog won't hunt. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, imicon, mikeVA
    For the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forces protecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers shaved $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012 -- [cutting back on the department's request by $331 million.
    Cut, block, and fud dutting. GOP leadership.
  •  John Lewis should be on the panel if no one else. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stringer bell

    He would stand up to any shenanigans by GOP reps..

    I say they should participate and get it over quickly.  And soon.  Put it to bed before election season rolls around.

  •  If Pelosi has any integrity or dignity... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeVA, diffrntdrummr

    ...she will run from the Republican sideshow.

    I'm betting she will agree to participate in it.

  •  Please, please Democrats (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, imicon, mikeVA, Matt Z

    don't overthink this.

    This is a bad faith fueled thuggin' and muggin', it's not a legitimate inquest.

    Either boycott the motherfucker, or go in on fire and be as combative and completely unwilling to take any bullshit from second one as you have been in my entire adult lifetime.

    Fox News is going to cut you out, so it doesn't matter if you are there or not unless they get soundbites from Democrats that make them look weak or willing to attack the President. You go in there on fire to send a message that each and every one of you will not be fucked with for two years until 2016 without giving some hell back on the floor and in the C-Span Memorial Vince Foster Was Murdered So Lets Shoot this Melon with Benghazi Written on it in Sharpie! theater.

    If you go, you go to get heavily edited CNN coverage, Mocked by Morning Joe for half of MSNBC's day,  and scolded by Meet the Press and Fareed Zakaria and Fred Hiatt's WaPo Op/Ed page.

    You are not going to get a fair hearing. From the Village or the GOP.

    I could understand a huge internal debate over tactics... if 1993-2013 hadn't happened. With you there in DC as it went down.

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

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:20:39 AM PDT

    •  The first non-negotiable demand (4+ / 0-)

      is that NO fundraising or campaigning be done on Benghazi.  Any funds that have already been raised that can be tied to Benghazi should be donated to a charity that helps the victims of terrorism.

      Don't even negotiate further about cooperating with this kangaroo court (and I would boycott it) until the Republicons are hammered to defeat on raising blood money.

    •  This it fuels Fox ratings along with all the other (0+ / 0-)

      garbage like fund raising, and trolling for some words to twist. They want you didn't build that moment. Every thing they say will get twisted. Why do it? They go out and trash this mockery in the press.

  •  Just one question... (6+ / 0-)

    When, in the last 20+ years, has comity yielded anything?  When has the GOP put a vote on anything reasonable unless there was a complete financial melt-down attached to it?  Jebus-Christ.  The goddamn simple ass media can even see this for what it is.  Stop playing grab-ass with these guys and DECLARE WAR.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:25:34 AM PDT

  •  Pelosi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This woman is soooo blatantly partisan, it is time for her to take a walk out on the tundra !

  •  Your suggestion Jed is good (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott5js, imicon, mikeVA, varii, Matt Z

    The trade-off of Democratic participation in exchange for floor votes on the Senate bills for immigration,  unemployment benefits, etc. is brilliant. Which means the Republicans won't do it.

  •  Why did Pelosi not vote? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, xanjabu

    Could she have paired with an absent member?
    It is customary for the Speaker not to vote except to break a tie, but she is not Speaker.
    Are voters in San Francisco really undecided about this issue?

    We need to research each of the 7 who voted yea. Maybe primary them in future elections.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:39:09 AM PDT

  •  Suicide (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Participation in fraud legitimizes fraud. The Third Way makes this mistake over and over, which is why it is by now a completely fraudulently representative on the Democratic Party and democracy in general.

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:39:35 AM PDT

  •  If Democrats participate (0+ / 0-)

    They better have a competent responses to each and every BS Republican talking point.

    Their minority report should also outline the factual inaccuracies of the talking points


    expose the political machinations for the entire Republican inquiry, as Tomasky just did at the Daily Beast and Mayer did at The New Yorker.

  •  It's actually a tough decision. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stringer bell

    On the one hand, yes, this is complete nonsense, and participating in it might not be the best way to make that point.

    On the other hand, if we have people in there, we can challenge the crazy things that they say and give the witnesses a chance to speak on favorable terms. Otherwise the crazy gets reported, unchallenged, in the media. The Swift Boat accusations were total BS as well, but look what happened.

    I lean towards the "confront" option rather than the "ignore" one. If I were Pelosi, I'd find five representatives who are good at calling out the crazy, and appoint them. (Needless to say, none of the seven Dems who supported the committee, or anyone who thought it was a tough vote, should be anywhere near this list!)

    •  I agree,...they should participate (0+ / 0-)

      and fight back.  It's better than running and hiding.

      But, the Swiftboat accusations were not BS.  Those 200-300 guys were around for 35 years before Kerry ever ran for president.  They were just regular soldiers, not astroturf or paid shills.  They got no money out of that deal.  I was inclined from day one to believe them, which is why I knew Kerry was in trouble when I saw the first commercial.  They were very credible if you are non-partisan.  That, more than anything, is why they stuck.

      There is nothing similar between this and Swiftboat.

      •  bullshit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        so what if the swiftboaters got no money, they were part of bullshit smear campaign and they knew it or should have known it.  They were only impressive to "non-partisan" voters if you equate "non-partisan" with "ignorant and low-information".  
        And you've repeated yourself multiple times now, maybe to give the impression that more people other than spineless DINOs would allow themselves to be the defendants in a bullshit kangaroo court with a pre-ordained conclusion.  
        Which part of the umpteen Issa hearings took place before you were born?  Why would anyone other than a Republican apologist or victim expect anything different from this clownshow?

  •  Do your job (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stringer bell

    Of course the D members have to participate.  It's their job.

    The R majority of the House has decided that there's something in the events in Benghazi that night that demands a Select Committee investigation.  Of course that's a bogus idea, already long refuted, and of course the Rs are doing this to attack the president in an election year.

    But the majority in the House gets to set the agenda.  If they decide that the nation's highest public tribunal needs to investigate something, then that needs to happen.  And especially because the minority feels strongly that the majority is wrong, it most definitely needs to be there questioning the witnesses in order to tear down the false narrative the majority is trying to build.  That's the minority's job, to be the advocates for common sense and common decency in this adversarial proceeding.  The truth about Benghazi should not go without its advocates, and the field should not be left to people without common sense or common decency.

    But, quite aside from it being the job of our members to advocate for our side, it is especially true in a case like this where the other side has taken a ridiculous position, that doing our job is good politics.  Where our case is weak, yes, it makes some tactical sense to do everything possible to avoid having to defend that weak case in public.  But on Benghazi, as on the ACA, it's the other side that should be cowering in a defensive crouch, eager to avoid further public exposure of its weak case.

    This is so obviously true I am left with the conclusion that our side's members are only failing to go with the no-brainer "yes" answer to participating in this travesty, out of reluctance to play the part required of them when forced to participate in a travesty, which is to do their best to impugn the whole thing.  It's not just a matter of making fools out of foolish witnesses, what our side finds even harder is impugning the common sense and common decency of the honorable representatives of the states of Mendacity and Stupidity.  And since the Rs will control who gets called as a witness, it goes without saying that the Ds are not always going to have knowledgeable witnesses to question to refute the fools the Rs will definitely call.  Making our case is going to have to lean that much more on impugning the majority.

    That is the Ds job here, to use this travesty to put the R majority of the House on trial.  Doing that effectively might well get some or all of them censured.  So be it.  They should welcome that, they should welcome a very public, very unjust attempt by the majority to shut them up.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:14:26 AM PDT

    •  the Dems already did their jobs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      how many Repub do-overs do they have to waste time with before they finally say f-it?  Especially when this is blatantly designed for for political and fundraising purposes.
      Enough with these bullshit justifications for a "thank you sir may I have another" mentality.  

      •  It's still their job (0+ / 0-)

        What, sitting around watching soaps in their offices while they boycott the hearings wouldn't be wasting their time?

        The majority sets the agenda, decides what the House does.  It's not as if our members get to do useful stuff while the Rs hold their Benghazi pageant.  That's why it's really important for our side to get the majority back.  But until it does get the majority, and thereby the ability to not waste the House's time on nonsense like this non-issue, our minority's job is to come up with effective responses to that nonsense.  A boycott would not be an effective response.  A boycott would just look weak, because it would be weak.

        And I would argue that it would not just be weak to boycott, it would be stupid, it would be stupid to throw away a chance to humiliate the Rs.

        Not participating in the hearings will not keep the Rs from using them for fundraising and politics in general.  In fact, it will insure that the hearings are only used to their benefit.  A minority that believes, correctly in this case, that the nation's time, money and attention is being wasted on a non-issue has the duty to make that case, and the hearings are the forum to make that case.  Ds get opening statements, Ds get to question the witnesses.  The Rs are doing our side a favor by giving them an open mike and free media, and most importantly, some part of the nation's attention by staging this freak-show.  Sure, they get the open mike and free media too, but if you really believe that this Benghazi nonsense is a load of excrement, even their mike time will act against them, make them look like fools even better than anything our side does with its mike time.

        Realistically speaking, they're only doing this because their plan A for the election, attacking the ACA, has obviously gone south on them.  They want to keep the ACA off the front burner, they don't want their crazies having mike time to talk ACA, because they know that they've been wrong on the ACA, and the more people are reminded of that, the worse for them.  

        They jumped to Benghazi in a panic.  Time to make them pay for that mistake, because the Benghazi non-scandal is even stupider than the ACA non-scandal.  Our side benefits from more attention to Benghazi.  Well, it benefits if our members do their jobs and prepare to use the witnesses they call to make fools of the Rs.  Our side loses if it instead decides to refuse to do its job and fight the majority.

        The states must be abolished.

        by gtomkins on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:22:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As Republicans delight in evil (0+ / 0-)

    the rest of us will rejoice in Democracy.

    Pelosi,you have one choice, delight in evil or rejoice in Democracy.

  •  D's should have a mock vote every day of hearing. (0+ / 0-)

    They call a press conference. Wheel in the documents and video from thirteen hearings, twenty-five thousand pages of documents, and fifty briefings. And have mock vote on an issue each day of the hearing.

    The GOP has essentially shut governance down for this Benghazi garbage.

  •  Appoint ONE Democrat and the ONE and only - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Alan Grayson!

    He would be more than happy to turn this into the Circus Act it really is.  And Mr. Grayson's wit and humor is more than enough needed to accomplish that task.

  •  Go forward with Bush torture hearings (0+ / 0-)

    If they really want to go down this road why can't the investigations into the Bush administration's torture practices be resurrected?

    "Be the change we voted for"

    by galaxie5000 on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:57:52 AM PDT

  •  What a pathetic lot. Does anyone think the Repubs (0+ / 0-)

    would participate if the tables were turned?  Only a fool would validate the effort by joining the lynch mob.  What's the saddest is that it is even conceivable that the Dems would join in this in any way.  

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:01:38 PM PDT

  •  Democrats should participate (0+ / 0-)

    And point out at every opportunity just how crass and pointless this committee is.

    Living is easy with eyes closed...

    by skybluewater on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:35:10 PM PDT

  •  I think that in this case (0+ / 0-)

    The immortal words of Nancy Reagan are appropriate:

    "Just say No."

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:35:05 PM PDT

  •  Pick the smartest Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    Some who know best how to handle the hearings. No stooges for the Republicans.
    It may sound good to boycott the hearings, but I would not do it. Republicans could take advantage of our people's absence.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:41:29 PM PDT

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