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Why is Boehner Resisting a Special Committee on Benghazi?
Some things don't stack up. On Monday, Politico headlined that Speaker John Boehner was fixated with the bubbling Benghazi scandal. In fact, Politico termed the speaker's fixation as "big."
So why is Boehner dragging his feet on empanelling a special (or select) committee to tackle the Benghazi disaster? Why is the speaker standing pat on last week's statement that House standing committees are getting the investigative job done?
Most everyone has Boehner's snapshot: cautious by nature, a Washingtonized pol who'd rather play than fight. But, as Politico contends, the speaker is invested in the growing Benghazi controversy. Politico outlined the speaker's behind-the-scenes involvement:
And more from Politico:
As The Hill reported last week, why would Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), who's pushing hard for a special committee, intimate that the speaker would be "complicit" in a White House cover-up if he failed to get a select committee up and running?
Wolf has rounded up a large majority of his House Republican colleagues to support his push. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, notably, have made public and direct calls to Boehner urging the committee.
We could take at face value Boehner's insistence that the House's standing committees are doing their jobs in outing the scandal's facts and will eventually hold to account those culpable for the disaster and cover-up.
Perhaps Boehner -- ever cautious -- wants more time to see how the State Department's internal review of the disaster plays out before triggering a select committee. But as White House Dossier reports:
Strategically, Boehner may think that a multiplicity of committees investigating Benghazi protracts the controversy, which redounds to the GOP's advantage as the nation approaches the 2014 midterm elections.
Or perhaps Boehner sees a special committee as taking away his captaincy of the issue, given his current strong behind-the-scenes role.
Or maybe some combination of all of the above with other considerations thrown in for good measure.
At the American Spectator yesterday, Jed Babbin asks:
As Babbin explains, a select committee becomes the focal point of the investigation, a powerful consolidated entity that will create a unified narrative and command media attention.
Give Boehner credit: he's been engaged on Benghazi, pushing the issue ahead. But, clearly, a select committee is in order. Practically, the speaker risks more if he defies his conference by continuing to stall on making a special committee a reality.
Boehner understands that there's much a stake over Benghazi -- for the nation, for justice, for his party, and his speakership. The speaker needs to yield, and soon.
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