There is great jobs news from last month. 288,000 jobs were added in April, the numbers from March were revised up, and the unemployment rate took a nose dive to hit the lowest since the beginning of the Bush financial crisis in September of 2008. The stock market responded by rallying to new heights after the numbers beat Wall Street's estimates by a good margin.
In the mean time, the Congressional Budget Office released estimates indicating that the Affordable Care Act is costing less and insuring more people than previously thought, despite GOP's state-based stonewalling of the Medicaid expansion. Which means, you know, their dreams of winning an election on the promise of taking away health care from now 12 million people this year alone is fast turning into a nightmare.
So, how do you respond to the unqualified success and vindication of President Obama's economic and health care policies if you are a Washington Republican? Do you respond by raising the minimum wage? Psst. Do you respond by reinvesting in America? Oh, investment, shminvestment. But they had to have a response. How does the party that has universally obstructed every attempt of this president to get the economy back on track after their own policies led to the greatest economic calamity in a century respond to the news that the last vestiges of the Great Recession has finally been reversed, with the unemployment rate returning to pre-crash numbers?
With a shiny object. You know it. I know it. It's called Benghazi. After trying again and again to pin the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi on President Obama and his administration and failing more spectacularly each time than the last and even after their own report embarrassingly admitted that their own storyline on Benghazi was just that, a story, the Republicans are back. This time, they are launching - you guessed it, a new "special investigation" - targeting emails from the White House communications office. Evidently, they have got a problem that the White House had a communication strategy about Benghazi ... at all.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, of course, called the GOP out on their shiny object strategy:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday that the emails were simply a distraction from real issues like immigration reform, renewing long-term unemployment insurance or raising the minimum wage.
"Diversion, subterfuge, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi," she said. "Why aren't we talking about something else."
We need to give this woman the Speaker's gavel back.
Sure, the GOP propensity for proving themselves more ridiculous has something to do with their revival of Benghazi for the zillionth time.... You know what, I lost track whether Republicans held more votes to repeal Obamacare or to investigate Benghazi. But if you believe that the announcement to form yet another special investigatory committee comes on the second day of May after a blazingly successful March and April for the administration in terms of health care and economic news comes as a mere coincidence, you don't know Republicans.
They don't really want to investigate Benghazi - because they know that ultimately, a fair investigation will come back to haunt the GOP's own home-grown intolerance movement. But the problem is bigger than just going after the president. Since last October, Republicans neatly stacked their own reality for the 2014 elections: run against Obamacare. Run against Obamacare as a failure, and run against it as a job killer. Both of those houses of cards have now been blown apart by the winds of people wanting health care and businesses hiring people.
Suddenly, simply obstructing is not enough. Simply holding back the president's jobs initiatives is inadequate. The Republicans need a distraction, and they need it badly. Hence the trimphant return of Benghazi - the last refuge of the GOP scoundrel.
Please proceed, Boehner. Witch hunts can be disconcerting, but when they keep hunting the same witch again, and again, and again, and again, each time being slapped down harder than the last, this is simply schadenfreude for me. Maybe we'll get to see Darrell Issa and John Boehner have a cry-off.
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