Question of the Day: Should Democrats Boycott the Benghazi Committee?

Via Buzzfeed:

A number of Democrats are arguing the caucus should appoint members to the soon-to-be formed Select Committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, saying not participating will give Republicans an open forum to launch political attacks on the administration.

The grandstanding bastards will do that anyway. That is the entire point of the “select committee.”

Rep. Jim Himes (D): “I think it would be very valuable for people to see us fighting, particularly a fight I know we can win. The other side on this is clearly acting politically and they do not have a leg to stand on and I say that as someone who has spent hearing after hearing on Benghazi,”

The problem with that is, nobody will see the whole thing in context. The Fox watchers will view clips of teaturds and Paultroons railing about cover-ups. MSNBC will show segments featuring Democrats telling us what we already know: that this is a purely political screw job.

I say boycott this bullshit “select committee.” Let the Republicans stage their little circle jerk, and maybe hold a press conference about raising the minimum wage while it’s in progress to highlight the differences. What do you think?

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207 replies
  1. 1
    Brian R. says:

    I was initially skeptical of the boycott idea, but yeah, fuck this.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I agree, Betty. The entire “Select Committee” thing is farce. Boycott this craven stupidity.

    Your point that no one will see the thing in context is right on. The fucktard bubble will ignore reality, yet again.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    There are members of the House that are capable of putting their ego aside and ask questions relevant to the so called investigation. Alan Greyson comes to mind. Unfortunately, Nancy will go with those who want to bloviate so their constituents can see them. If it were me, I’d put on Greyson, and Kennedy. The odd couple indeed.

  4. 4
    Svensker says:

    Rose DeLauro suggests putting one Dem on the committee

  5. 5
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Boycott. The Rs have already stacked the deck by deciding that it should be 7-5 Republican-Democrat. Don’t dignify this farce by participating.

  6. 6
    Schlemizel says:

    I think they have to go and hope to get an image of the committee chair shutting off their mic and insulting them when they try to bring reason to the hearing. Its all about the optics. Also, if the assholes actually try to bring findings forth from the hearing we will be in a better position to issue findings separate from theirs and not be subject to “How would you know? You were not there!”

    It really is all about optics.

  7. 7

    Boycott. When I have watched news coverage of similar kangaroo courts, Democrat objections are not shown on TV, and the presence of Democrats is used to describe the committee’s actions as ‘bipartisan’. To the extent the committee has any importance at all, putting Democrats on it makes things worse.

  8. 8
    Paul in KY says:

    I do not think we should boycott. We should put our most telegenic & quick on feet Reps on there & whenever it is our turn to speak, the member should exorate the process & Republicans for wasting time & whatever else we can throw at them.

    Or we could just have each of our Reps say ‘Hodor’! when it is their turn to speak.

  9. 9
    Alex S. says:

    The Dems should send some members capable of counter-trolling, or maybe only Nancy herself.

  10. 10
    Anya says:

    I am with you Betty. Dems need to treat this clown show with the contept it deserves. I hate that democrats are always playing defense.

  11. 11
    WereBear says:

    I would boycott AND mention the 72 million they have already wasted on this crap.

    Charts of how many starving children could be fed for that money is all the optics we need.

  12. 12
    beergoggles says:

    Can we strip all assignments from these asshats first?

    Reps. John Barrow (D-GA)
    Patrick Murphy (D-FL)
    Ron Barber (D-AZ)
    Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
    Collin Peterson (D-MN)
    Nick Rahall (D-WV)
    Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

    They’re the ones who voted with Republicans to establish the committee in the first place.

  13. 13
    Belafon says:

    I’m with @Paul in KY. We have this argument all the time: Do you respond to Creationists, do you respond to climate change deniers? When we don’t respond, all they get to do is say “See, the other side is afraid of us. We must be right.”

    You’re operating under the assumption that everyone will point and laugh. But we all know that’s not how Washington, and the country, is wired. Republicans positions are the default, and when people see only Republicans on TV, most people are going to assume that they are serious people.

    Someone has to be there to mock them.

  14. 14
    Cheap Jim, formerly Cheap Jim says:

    When Issa released partial and misleading information on the IRS business, Elijah Cummings (my former rep!) was there to rectify the situation. If he hadn’t, who would have had access to the full and correct information to do so?

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @Alex S.: Nancy came to my mind also. It is not only important to pick the top reps who can ask relevant questions, but representatives who have the staff necessary to fact check. The republicans tend to call military type, that were thousands of miles away, and have no knowledge of the actual events.
    I hope the staff calls on Lara Logan and Sheryl Atkinson. They are so informed. I think it’s important to be represented because there needs to be some push back.

  16. 16
    MomSense says:

    Does it matter what we do? If we don’t have a Dem on the committee then the media will say that we were obstructionist, blah, blah, blah. If we do have representation on the committee the media will frame the whole issue favorable to Republicans and then the biased report will be billed as bipartisan.

    If we do boycott, I’m confident that Kerry and Clinton can sufficiently push back on the nonsense.

    Also, too where are the fucking hearings on Bundy and the mayhem his supporters are causing??

  17. 17
    Patrick says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    And not only that, only the Republican leader of the committee is allowed to subpoena people!!!

    So clearly, they are not there to find out what happened. They are using these poor dead people’s deaths as a way to try score cheap political points against Obama and Clinton.

    And don’t get me started on the despicable fundraising that the GOP is doing based on the deaths of these people. Have they no shame?

    Please boycott this kangaroo court! And challenge the subpoenas in court if possible.

    Do boycott it!

  18. 18
    Belafon says:

    Here’s another readon, yes, via politico:

    Democrats are aware the Republicans are certain to call the former secretary of State to testify, and if there are no Democrats present, the leading contender for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination would be walking into a minefield.

  19. 19
    Walker says:

    They do not need to be on the committee to fight. They should boycott and publically fight the legitimacy. That is the proper way.

  20. 20
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Of course Democrats should boycott this “committee”. I cannot imagine what they would achieve by showing up just to be talked over and ignored (the mikes will probably be shut off from time to time as already done by Issa to Cummings).

    Can’t the Democrats conduct a mock committee highlighting Republican inaction on jobs, immigration, infrastructure, global warming, etc, while the Republicans are pontificating for the millionth time about Benghazi? I would watch that in its entirety.

  21. 21
    beth says:

    I agree we need to have someone on the committee to push back on their bullshit and also to prevent the Republicans from running ads stating that Dems care so little about the people killed in Benghazi that they didn’t even bother to put one on the investigation. When Issa turned off Cummings microphone, that made them look like the goons they are and got some Dem-favorable coverage on most media (except Fox of course).

  22. 22
    Poopyman says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Don’t dignify this farce by participating.

    Don’t dignify this farce by NOT participating. Last thing I want to see are a bunch of right wingers lecturing the empty Dem seats, saying that Dems know about the coverup and that’s why they won’t show.

    Don’t give them an opportunity to put a veneer of respectability on this. Use it to show what a farce the whole thing is.

  23. 23
    MattF says:

    Well, Weigel argues that Trey Gowdy will avoid the most ridiculous partisan theatrics:

    The real issue is whether Dems should cooperate with a process that will probably lead to impeachment. I think not.

  24. 24
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Belafon: And how exactly would Democrats on the committee be able to help Secretary Clinton? Even if they are present, that wouldn’t stop Republicans from attacking her. I assume if Secretary Clinton shows up, she’ll give them hell like she did the last time.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Not me. I say go to it, participate, and ridicule it mercilessly by pointing out with every question the utter absurdity of the whole thing, call into question the intelligence of any GOP willing to partake of the farce, and do it relentlessly. Nancy P should appoint the sharpest wits, the keenest razor tongued devils she can find in her party to shred it into oblivion.

    Let FOX show only Republicans grandstanding, while every other network and comedian will be laughing at the hijinks of the DEMS. And so will the country.

    This will have the added bonus of pushing a fair # of wingnuts over the edge into mental incarceration and aggressive drug treatments.

  26. 26
    WereBear says:

    Since excellent comments point out the “damned if we do or don’t” aspect of these, the one thing I think we can agree on is that they should get @(*&# PROACTIVE already.

    Being loud and “controversial” at least gets press. Chuck this “dignity of the deliberative body” guff since it’s only used to shut up Democrats.

  27. 27
    Dervin says:

    The GOP’s plan is to use the Benghazi Committee to reduce the craziness of the Benghazi-gate stuff out there and make their positions seem reasonable. What the Democrats should do is act as a megaphone for the insanity, make any “responsible” critic of the Administration appear with the Freemason-Illuminati-Rand Paul-Sharia Law-Black Helicopter crowd.

  28. 28
    JPL says:

    A few days ago, I was convinced that the dems should boycott but I changed my mind. MSM are stenographers and if they have a Lara Logan testifying, they will simply repeat what she said without further analysis. There needs to be push back.

  29. 29
    chopper says:



    f we do boycott, I’m confident that Kerry [] can sufficiently push back on the nonsense

    I ain’t so confident when it comes to that.

  30. 30
    patrick II says:

    When Darrel Issa released partial documents it was only because another committe member, Rep. Elija Cummings, released the entire documentary evidence of the IRS hearings that anyone found out the truth. I think you have to have members there so the republicans don’t control the whole pony show unrestrained.

    The questions I would ask would not be in the spirit of co-operation though. I would ask something like –“Madame Secretary, two years four members of the state department died due to terrorists, this year Rep. Gowdy’s state state of South Carolina will have an estimated 400 people die because of Republicans witholding of Medicaid from sick people, thus not allowing them to see a doctor, Which is the worst tragedy?”

  31. 31
    Belafon says:

    @Belafon: Wow, that went wrong.

  32. 32
    PaulW says:

    I think the Democrats should send representatives, but have the representatives wear headgear that says “OBAMACARE WORKS” and “WHERE’S THE WMD CHENEY?” Oh, and the t-shirts should read “REMEMBER THE 1983 MARINES BARRACKS”

  33. 33
    WereBear says:

    @patrick II: The questions I would ask would not be in the spirit of co-operation though. I would ask something like –”Madame Secretary, two years we four members of the state department died due to terrorists, this year Rep. Gowdy’s state — Rep Gowdy’s state of South Carolina will have an estimated 400 people die because of witholding of Medicaid from sick people, which is the worst tragedy?”

    Exactly. Whatever action will get that info out is the correct one.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    @PaulW: I like it.

  35. 35
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MattF: Weigel is sometimes almost touchingly naive about the wingnut capacity to tunnel beneath whale shit. If he thinks this will be a serious committee that won’t feature absurd theatrics because Gowdy is running it, I want some of what he’s smoking.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    When is the witch hunt suppose to start?

  37. 37
    Belafon says:

    @chopper: We know how well not responding to the swift boat attacks went.

  38. 38
    Schlemizel says:

    As much as I dislike Collin Peterson as a DINO, he represents MN7th which is R+5. That we can get him to vote with the Ds on anything is a miracle. If having him would give us Speaker Pelosi I guess we are stuck with him.

    But yeah, he is a continual disappointment.

  39. 39
    beth says:

    @MattF: Well that whole column was one big long wet kiss right to Gowdy’s ass. He’s not going to engage in theatrics? What the fuck is this then He insisted, “From church, to the grocery store, to Costco—frankly, to the golf course—I am asked about Benghazi.”. I live in South Carolina, I interact with lots of people in social settings and not one single time has anyone ever mentioned Benghazi. We’ve talked about politics, the economy, Obamacare and many other subjects, but Benghazi has never come up.

  40. 40
    japa21 says:

    I have mixed feelings on the subject.

    I originally was fully in favor of a boycott. Mainly for the reasons you enumerate.

    I have, though, slightly reconsidered. I think they should initially participate and at least attempt to put out some subpoenas. For example, they should attempt to subpoena Jon Karl and Darryl Issa to discuss the email leaks that happened and also to question Issa about other inappropriate leaks.

    I have no doubt they will not be allowed to do so. Then they can get up in mass, walk out, hold a press conference talking about how this investion is nothing but a kangaroo court held specifically for the purpose of raising money.

    They can then talk about how they would be more than willing to participate in a serious investigation that was interested in getting into the truth (most of which is out there already) of what happened and how to prevent it happening in the future. They can talk about how the GOP cut funding for security, for example, yet that the committee was deliberately avoiding that issue.

    I think the one danger of boycotting it for the beginning is that the GOP will merely point to it and say the Dems are afraid of finding out the truth. By participating in the beginning and then walking otu when it is obvious that it is all a charade, I think there would be more positive impact for the Dems and even more negative impact for the GOP.

  41. 41
    B Herlihy says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Patricia, it helps to have ‘friendly’ members of the committee because they can ask questions that allow you to put your narrative out the way you want it.

    It helps to have members whom you know will not interrupt and hector you as you’re trying to talk.

    It helps to know there will be periods within your testimony when you will not be on the defensive the entire time.

    It helps to just have a body in the room during committee conferences so you’re not operating in the dark.

  42. 42
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    @beth: You are quite fortunate to not have any wingnut acquaintances.

  43. 43
    Paul in KY says:

    @Belafon: Yay! Thanks, Belafon!

  44. 44
    Patrick says:


    He insisted, “From church, to the grocery store, to Costco—frankly, to the golf course—I am asked about Benghazi.”

    His voters must be completely ignorant. So he mean to tell us that not a single of them asked why there are no select committees for the Iraq war, the WMD’s or for that matter the 13 Benghazi’s that took place under Bush.

  45. 45
    flukebucket says:


    Well, Weigel argues that Trey Gowdy will avoid the most ridiculous partisan theatrics:

    Not possible. Trey Gowdy is nothing but a ridiculous partisan thespian. They call him an up and coming player in the GOP. That is what the GOP needs. Another Southern lunatic to expand their national base.

  46. 46
    chopper says:

    this is gonna be a bunch of Issa-level stupid, stretched out all the way through Election Day. Fuck em.

  47. 47
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Could they join the committee and spend all their microphone time repeating “This committee is bullshit” over and over, like Bart Simpson writing lines?

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: He compares Gowdy to Atticus Finch, fercrissake.

    I thought that Wiegel piece was an (unintentionally) interesting reflection of the whole BENGHAZI! mess. He starts out with what could be seen as a moving exchange with the mother of one of the victims, vowing to get answers and justice, and by the end, presents what WEigel apparently thinks is a big AHA! moment: A general responding to Gowdy that the idea that this all grew out of a protest of the goofnut video didn’t come from the military. I haven’t followed this thing closely since the NYT write up of two or three months ago, but I don’t remember any claim that this came from the military. I thought it was pretty clear it came from the CIA. I guess the fact that a guy in a uniform said it is supposed to end all discussion. But I really don’t think that the families of the victims were thinking about Susan Rice’s talking points (Cue organ music) when they said they wanted answers and justice.

  49. 49
    WereBear says:

    This perfectly illustrates how the lunatic right wing (but excuse me, I repeat myself) regards all of this as a Big Show.

    Universities, scientists, facts; it’s all different linemen on the football team to them. They can create universities, scientists, and facts TOO.

    It’s so unfair we don’t let them have their own team.

  50. 50
    MomSense says:


    The media covering it fairly is another story. I have zero confidence in our failed media experiment.

  51. 51
    The Moar You Know says:

    Boycott? Insane. Worst idea I have ever read. Get the best, brightest, and most snarky/sarcastic/smart/well spoken reps we have and have them obstruct the shit out of this “committee”. If mics don’t get shut off every day, we’re not doing it right.


  52. 52
    Tokyokie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This. Only by openly ridiculing the proceedings can they be seen in the proper context. Democrats can make the noble argument that these hearings are a farce by boycotting them, but that point will have long been forgotten as Fox shows America, day after day, grim-faced Republicans asking Democratic officials “Have you stopped beating your wife?” questions. And, as others have pointed out, boycotting the committee means being accused perpetuating the cover-up.

    But in ridiculing the proceedings, go all the way. Don’t merely voice legitimate objections, wear clown noses during proceedings (and bring enough for the Republicans as well). Then at least while the Republicans are being oh so serious, even Fox viewers can see half the committee wearing clown noses and wonder what’s up with that. When Hillary is inevitably subpoenaed, somebody, in their best Monty Python voice, should ask her whether she’s a witch and weighs more than a duck. That sort of thing. Once we play on their terms, we dignify the proceedings and give them substance. Democrats should instead destroy the committee’s credibility by creating chaos from within.

  53. 53
    Patrick says:


    For example, they should attempt to subpoena Jon Karl and Darryl Issa to discuss the email leaks that happened and also to question Issa about other inappropriate leaks. I have no doubt they will not be allowed to do so.

    Not only aren’t they allowed to subpoena Karl and Issue. The Dems aren’t allowed to subpeona anyone. Only the Republican leader is allowed to. Can you say kangaroo court?

  54. 54
    Morzer says:

    I would say take part in this nonsensical hearing, be the adults in the room and let the GOP expose themselves as the pop-eyed, mouth-foaming lunatics they are. I think it’s extremely unlikely that they won’t reveal their deranged nature given the chance. If you boycott, it takes some pressure off – and lets the GOP talk about how Democrats are running away from their “lies” about Benghazi, even the Democrats won’t defend Obama etc etc etc. That isn’t a good strategy, however satisfying it might be to give the teabaggistanis the finger.

  55. 55
    gian says:

    boycott is a bad idea as it’s a weak form of protest.

    so show up. be so prepared from reading all the other transcripts and all the other crap that you can point out they’ve gone over the same topic about a dozen times before, with direct quotes. Mock the hell out of it while it’s happening and when they bring out witnesses to be experts on “embassy security” pepper them with questions about embassy attacks under Bush, and ask how GOP funding cuts to embassy security may have impacted embassy security

    then go on MSNBC and any news outlet that will have them and call the republicans mean things to make the outrage machine go up up up – but it’ll report the quotes.
    and bring opera glasses ’cause it’s theatre

  56. 56
    Wag says:



    We need to be part of the committee so we are in a position to point out in real time the idiocy of the GOP

  57. 57
    Don Elliott says:

    Alternatively, all the administration people who will be subjected to the abuse from the majority party should just refuse to answer any questions, and plead the fifth. That seems to make the crazies even crazier. Popcorn, anyone?

  58. 58
    sparrow says:

    @The Moar You Know: I was totally unsure when I first read about this, but the more I hear arguments for and against, I’m with you. Get Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi up there.

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    OT. From a WaPost article about newspapers cracking down on troll commenters:

    … Beneath an article about, say, a racially charged subject, you’ll often find a predictable outpouring of racist comments from people hiding behind phony screen names. Certain personalities, such as first lady Michelle Obama or former vice president Dick Cheney, seem to attract a disproportionate share of reader abuse.

    One of these is not like the other.

    When things threaten to get stormy, the newspaper simply shuts off comments, as it has with articles about Michelle Obama and convicted spy Chelsea Manning and with news stories involving deaths or serious injuries, such as the Washington Navy Yard shootings in September.

    Few news organizations can match the comments “curation” resources of the New York Times, which devotes 14 people, including seven full-time staffers, to screen comments on Times articles. The moderators read every comment submitted and approve or reject them based on criteria developed over the past seven years, said Sasha Koren, deputy editor of interactive news. Unlike many news sites, which open comments on dozens of articles each day, the Times limits comments to an average of 18 articles a day.

    The idea, Koren said, is to “minimize incivility and elevate comments that include commentary and personal observations of some substance. . . . We’re fortunate to have a large number of articulate readers who regularly share their views, their expertise and their experiences with us and with others.”

    IMHO, the NYTimes’ 14 comments moderators are worth the expense. Being able to read (mostly) intelligent reader comments that expand on and enlighten the topic is a huge reason I pay for the New York Times. Often, the Times reporter or columnist (David F. Brooks) doesn’t get it right. The readers usually do, and they’re entertaining.

    The WaPost has been slumming, and allows its threads to be full of lies, maliciousness, personal attacks, and tedium. You can see the Drudgedroolers descend, full of anger and nonsense.

    WaPost’s online version is clickbait for rightwingers, with the provocative headlines not supported by the text of story.

    The dead tree version is less so.

  60. 60
    chopper says:

    I say, split the difference. Appoint only one democrat to the committee whose job is to stand up every day and say “this is fucking horseshit”.

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    It’s why I read Balloon Juice threads, and skip Kevin Drum’s trollfest. Much as there are smart commenters in there. (cleek, etc.)

  62. 62
    chopper says:

    @Don Elliott:

    Long as they do it like Dave Chappelle and “plizzead tha fizzif'”

  63. 63
    Dee Loralei says:

    Too bad Barney Frank retired, he’d be the perfect most snarkastic foil for this kangaroo court. I was agreeing with the boycott idea, but others on this board have convinced me I was wrong. Get Alan Grayson and Steve Cohen and any other sharp tongued quick witted and well versed on the true event Dems on it and show the damned thing to be the farce that it is, for the 11th time. Nancy SMASH meanwhile should hold a press conference every hour pointing out the lack of a jobs bill, the lack of action on climate change, the lack of infrastructure, the non-medicaid compliant states with people dying through the neglect of their governors etc. And ever hour she should say well, this past hour Repubs spent X amount of dollars on this 12th hearing and we could have hired 5 teachers, 4 cops and 7 firemen, etc.instead.

  64. 64
    cleek says:


    the leading contender for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination

    good. taint her up nice.

    then maybe we can all stop assuming the centrist carpetbagging legacy candidate is The One.

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Patrick: amazing to me, though at this point it shouldn’t be, that with all the (deserved) drama at CBS over Lara Logan, nobody but Charlie Pierce and some people on the internet seem to have even noticed what Karl did.

  66. 66
    Jack the Second says:

    @Belafon: The rule is generally “Don’t debate Creationists on their terms”. If you have a neutral venue with a strong moderator who will keep the Creationists from galloping away, sure, consider it. If the moderator is just going to let the Creationist preach to a choir for two hours while ignoring everything you say, you should probably stay away.

  67. 67
    mai naem says:

    They absolutely should not boycott. I don’t care if it’s only one person who represents the Dems. I personally think they should have two people with the smarts who get along who aren’t peacocks.

    I also strongly think the Dems or the Daily Show or Colbert should ambush the GOP with the point out Benghazi on an unlabeled World Map. Obviously this would only work once. I am guessing even Gowdy couldn’t point out Libya, forget Bengazi, on a map. BTW, does anybody else think Gowdy has a ghoulish look to him because of the color and length of his hair along with his long face? Also too, who the hell appoints a freshman Rep to a committee like this?

  68. 68
    Mike in NC says:

    @chopper: Agreed. Just point and laugh until gaveled to sit down.

  69. 69
    Matt says:

    Send people. Have every one of them motion to adjourn every time they’re granted time to speak. Make Issa and his goons justify the hearing OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

    Alternatively, have the Senate convene its own committee and start sending out subpoenas to Ailes and his staff to answer questions about their role in pushing this mess.

  70. 70
    CaseyL says:

    I’d love it if boycotting was a useful tactic, but it isn’t.

    We need Dems to be there to ask questions and to highlight the utter falsity of this circus.

    We also need Dems to be there to prevent the GOP from doctoring documents and transcripts.

    Whichever Dems are put on the committee better be the smartest, quickest on their feet, and angriest that Nancy can find.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the GOP reps lose their shit and start a fistfight.

    That what the Dem objective should be: make the GOP lose its shit.

  71. 71
    Amir Khalid says:

    My foreigner’s take on this: Get in there and make a fight of it. Don’t give the fuckers a walkover.

  72. 72
    WestTexan70 says:


  73. 73
    Patrick says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Yup. I wish as the committee gets closer that MSNBC would shed a brighter light on what Karl did.

  74. 74
    Botsplainer says:


    The ideal choices would be folks who previously worked as city prosecutors, city public defenders and country defense lawyers – those who know how to spot and reckon with a line of shit out of opposing counsel. Keep the aggrandizers a million miles away (I wouldn’t even let Grayson watch from the audience).

  75. 75
    Belafon says:

    @Tokyokie: Make the Republicans throw the Democrats off.

  76. 76
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    As a trial lawyer, I subscribe to the old maxim: never miss a chance to argue your case. No boycott.

  77. 77
    Charles Doggart says:

    Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO!

  78. 78
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: The best answer of all.

  79. 79
    Belafon says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    As a trial lawyer, I subscribe to the old maxim: never miss a chance to argue your case. No boycott.


  80. 80
    Elizabelle says:


    What Belafon said.

    Democrats are smarter and have the facts on their side. Make those GOP f*ckers own this, for not fully funding our embassies overseas AND for wasting what little congressional time they spend on fake hearings.

    Rub their noses in this, and do so energetically.

    Highlight that Innocence of Muslims video. What purpose did it serve? Who was pushing it? Who benefits?

    Give Ambassador Stephens his due. Highlight how passionate he was about his mission; how it would have been hard to keep him behind glass or a desk.

    Point out what hard work our foreign diplomats and other government personnel do.

    It’s not all Al Qaeda and Benghazi all the time.

  81. 81
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @chopper: This circus will stretch beyond the November 2014 elections. Isn’t this committee permanent and open ended? This committee is going to operate until November 2016 — they’re targeting Secretary Hilary Clinton and trying to dirty her Presidential run. With the bonus of coming up with material to impeach our current President.

  82. 82
    JPL says:

    @Dee Loralei: That’s what I think but you need to add someone more soft spoken to go with the mix. That’s why I mentioned someone like Rep. Joe Kennedy. He’s knew but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s bright and articulate. He could ask questions first and then Greyson could go in for the kill.
    Gowdy already mentioned that there are people who were at Benghazi who have changed their names and are in hiding. Well, duh! How many agents are they willing to sacrifice for their agenda.

    Maybe someone, like Betty can keep track of the reasons for and against.
    The Republicans are using the death of four Americans for political reasons.
    MSM is made up of stenographers and will repeat only the republican talking points, if democratic members boycott.

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OK, the “don’t boycott” folks have persuaded me that it would be best to have a presence there, but Pelosi needs to have sharp Dems in place.

  84. 84
    coin operated says:

    The Dems should attend, and every day open with “Can I call a witness?”

    We know what the answer will be, and I think this would give us great optics to show just how much of a partisan circus this committee really is.

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    @Elizabelle: “Democrats are smarter and have the facts on their side. Make those GOP f*ckers own this, for not fully funding our embassies overseas ”

    Beirut 1983


  86. 86
    Comrade Jake says:

    OT, but Youngstown State just made Jim Tressel, the football coach, president of the entire university. Good times.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    With the bonus of coming up with material to impeach our current President.

    Well, if the material is created out of whole cloth, perhaps. But authentic material to justify impeachment? Nope, not going to happen.

    This is one of the reasons Obama drives the wingtards nuts. He’s doesn’t think with his fucking dick like Bill Clintion did. He doesn’t walk into a perjury trap situation willingly, unforced error. He has much better awareness of his environment than Clinton did. Obama is squeaky clean, and it only heightens the crazy they go into about him, such that they continuously latch on to nothingburgers in the hope that something, anything might stick.

  88. 88
    feebog says:

    A boycott is a terrible idea. I’m firmly in the camp of those who say pick five articulate and informed Dems and have at it. Each Dem should begin their questioning with:

    Mr. Witness, this is the third time you have been called to testify on this event. Has any Committee member asked you anything that you have not previously been asked at those hearings?

    Were there documents in your possession that you had not already produced or were in the public domain?

    Did you have something better to do today, like getting a haircut, or picking your child up from school?

  89. 89
    beergoggles says:

    @Schlemizel: I have no problem with those in close districts running their mouth and saying whatever they need to get elected, but when it comes time to vote, holding to the party line. And if the Dem leadership won’t enforce party discipline on issues like this, they share the blame and deserve to look like hypocrites for voting to establish the committee and then complaining about it. 7 votes is more than enough for the media to label this a bipartisan vote to create the committee

  90. 90
    catclub says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: ” He’s doesn’t think with his fucking dick like Bill Clintion did.”

    I think a really hilarious memoir by Obama after he completes his term would include a confession that he had multiple affairs while president.

  91. 91
    cleek says:


    f we don’t have a Dem on the committee then the media will say that we were obstructionist

    and if there’s a Dem on the committee who does anything to challenge the GOP’s narrative, he/she will be called “obstructionist”, too.

    the whole thing is election theater – for both 2014 and for 2016.

    it’s a shame the media seems happy to indulge the GOP.

  92. 92
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: But I’m sure you understand that they don’t need any authentic material to justify impeachment in their minds or with their base, right? The reason they impeached Clinton was pure nonsense (who wouldn’t lie about having an affair and what does that have to do with his Presidential duties?)

    Democrats are better off boycotting the committee so that they are not part of a mechanism which is going to be used against President Obama.

  93. 93
    different-church-lady says:

    I dunno if if dems should boycott or not, but considering how well the GOP’s recent Obamacare Horror Story Vaudeville Review went over, I say it’s going to be fun to see just how bomb blows up in Wile E. Coyote’s face yet again.

    Perhaps some guidance can be found in some of Chuck Jones’ rules for the Roadrunner films:

    1. The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “beep, beep.”
    2. No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time.
    3. The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: “A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.” — George Santayana).
    8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy (e.g., falling off a cliff).

    This one, however, is problematic:

    10. The audience’s sympathy must remain with the Coyote.

  94. 94
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Here’s a good question:

    How many Libyans has Obama murdered over the last two and a half years due to attacking and destabilizing their country?

  95. 95
    MomSense says:


    The sorry state of the media is our biggest problem. The Republicans, Koch brothers, climate science deniers, NRA, etc would not be able to get away with their crap if we had a functioning press. Yes, there are some good journalists but they are completely overwhelmed by the bad ones.

  96. 96
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I mean, we can go back and forth over Benghazi, but of course no one want to bring up that the “diplomatic” installation was a CIA paramilitary base, making it and its occupants just targets of war for the Libyan anti-imperialists. That is, the problem wasn’t that the base was attacked, but that American imperialists were there in the first place murdering Libyans and destabilizing the region.

  97. 97
    Belafon says:

    @AA+ Bonds: 0.


  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub: I always wanted him to say “Excuse me while I whip this out” before starting his inaugural speech.

  99. 99
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I agree with the idea of appointing one tough, mean and fearless Democrat to this committee. One guy or gal who just doesn’t give a FUCK about anything other than finding a way, each and every day, to mock the Republicans and scare the crap out of them with a willingness to ignore protocol and go straight for their throats.

    Unfortunately, the Honey Badger is unavailable at this time.

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Rep Gowdy, is that you?

  101. 101
    AA+ Bonds says:

    That’s what isn’t being talked about, and it’s pretty much the only relevant issue – the murderous attack on Libya, by America and NATO, under the Obama administration, and the violent chaos that ensued (to the benefit of the elite in America, Britain and France).

    Just as in Syria, the Obama administration is bleeding Libya and its people for the benefit of American imperialism. Obama murders Libyans more efficiently than Bush murdered Iraqis in terms of American deaths, sure, but should that be our end goal?

    I hope everyone can put two and two together since it’s clear the same class of capitalists runs the Democrats as runs the Republicans.

  102. 102
    Belafon says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    To quote @J.D. Rhoades again:

    As a trial lawyer, I subscribe to the old maxim: never miss a chance to argue your case. No boycott.

    There is one party that is going to be doing this. Democrats need to be doing the same thing.

  103. 103
    SatanicPanic says:

    I know Nancy Pelosi is a busy woman, but can she just be our one representative?

  104. 104
    Belafon says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I think Rep. Cummings would be a good one to include.

  105. 105
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Reading the post below your comment, I think it’s Greenwald. Wait until he starts talking about us trying to find those kidnapped girls.

  106. 106
    John M. Burt says:

    @Svensker: Having a single Democrat, a lone honorable voice standing against the howling mob, sounds like a good idea. If the other members of the committee pick on her, so much the better.

  107. 107
    chopper says:


    two points for the bolding tho.

  108. 108
    JWR says:

    @AA+ Bonds: So what, exactly, do you propose? Disbanding the criminal U.S.G.? Seriously, I really don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Shouldln’t feed the fuckhead, but I’m going to say something here.

    The Obama administration has been reacting to events already in motion in both Libya and Syria. This is not a matter of launching a war of aggression against Iraq. Totally different situations.

    If you can’t see that, well, you’re as sick with ODS as Darryl Issa. May FSM have mercy on your wretched soul.

  110. 110
    Chris says:

    One vote against boycotting here. The people the committee will subpoena deserve to have someone in front of them who hasn’t already decided that they’re traitors conspiring to cover up an impeachment worthy crime.

  111. 111
    Patrick says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    You are right. It was so much better when Khadaffi was in charge of Libya. How many Libyans were murdered before the West started to help the rebels in Libya?

  112. 112
    cleek says:

    yeah, Obama’s out there murdering people.

    he’s a regular Jack The Ripper!

  113. 113
    Schlemizel says:

    Oh look! Blob from prortlandia found an old alias!

  114. 114
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Patricia Kayden: The Republicans aren’t going to impeach Obama. I know that the majority of them probably want to do it, but the same group that pull their heads just far enough out of their asses to vote with the Dems to raise the debt ceiling will have the sense of self preservation not to vote to impeach Obama in the run up to a presidential election.

  115. 115
    DavidTC says:

    I think the Democrats should get on the committee and be 100% trolls.

    For example, I love the idea of trying to get McCain to testify as to what the lax security precautions were, and why he refused to tell anyone in advance…did the Obama administration lean on him? Or was he working for the terrorists? Not that they will actually have to ask those questions, as they won’t be able to get McCain there. But they should *suggest* them, openly.

    Attempt to call sorts of witnesses…only the chair can *subpoena* people, but they can just *show up* with witnesses and try to have them testify, and suddenly it’s the *Republicans* being intransigent.

    Likewise, ask Hillary Clinton if she conspired with Republicans to reduce funding so that security would be lessened.

    And I’m with the people who say the committee should wear shirts reminding people not to forget the 1983 bombing, but that doesn’t go far enough. Wear shirts about the *other* attacks, under Bush, that we had.

    Just straight up complete trolling, the entire time. Make a mockery out of the entire thing. (Well, make an *obvious* mockery out of the thing.)

  116. 116
    Chyron HR says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I am a real true progressive who hates Obummer from the left.

    Yes, because progressives are deeply concerned with blaming Obama for America’s bond rating getting downgraded.

  117. 117
    Schlemizel says:

    I think OJ might want to talk to BHO . . . maybe he was the real killer!!!
    Plus I am pretty sure he offed Vince Foster

  118. 118
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Well, the girls are kidnapped black girls, and therefore two unimportant things to his dudebro fan base: female, and black.

  119. 119
    JPL says:

    The troll who must not be mentioned was correct about CIA involvement. It appears that the CIA post nearby was in charge of some security. The Republicans won’t call Petraeus though and if they do, it will not be televised. The Republican intent is to blame Obama and Hillary. National Security will prevent an honest discussion about who was in charge. imo

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I am a real true progressive who hates Obummer from the left.

    No, what you are is a useful idiot.

  121. 121
    catclub says:

    @Patrick: Somehow, deep in the memory, is that fact that we finally agreed to enforce a no fly zone when Khaddafy threatened to annihilate some city, civilians and all. Was it Benghazi?

  122. 122
    PaulW says:


    When is the witch hunt suppose to start?

    It started Inauguration Day 2009. Didn’t you get the “Failed Presidency from Day One” memo?

    As for the committee itself, they gotta vote on it first as a technicality. After that, I figure sometime after Memorial Day, and then they’ll sporadically open it every other week while they take time off to give their SuperPAC fund-raisers the necessary one-on-one BJs they need…

  123. 123
    Paul in KY says:

    @Patricia Kayden: They are going to do this whether we are there or not.

  124. 124
    Ruckus says:

    I’m of two minds here.
    Boycotting is really the only sensible thing, no good will come of this clown show, the deck is stacked, and we already know their desired and therefore the only outcome. The reason it is sensible is that it is time to stop allowing the children to run the daycare center that is the current house.
    On the other hand this is politics and you have to fight the idiot opponents you have not the normal humans that should be there. It is, like it or not, the only game in town. You can’t be part of the process if you don’t participate.

  125. 125
    PaulW says:

    Seriously, I doubt the Democrats should join the committee because I fear they will not be able to control the interview list or the questioning (can individual members of the committee summon people at will, or does that power reside with the committee chair?), and end up getting used as props for the GOP BS machine.

  126. 126
    Jay C says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, if the material is created out of whole cloth, perhaps. But authentic material to justify impeachment? Nope, not going to happen.

    C’mon, do you really think a minor matter like “justification” will, or would ever, dissuade Congressional Teabagger Republicans from doing anything? Especially if there is even a remote chance of it damaging That One’s Presidency?

  127. 127
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He’s useful?!

  128. 128
    cleek says:

    as a pie filter test, yes

  129. 129
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Paul in KY: They might get “material” to impeach HRC next.

    That being said, Congress impeached Johnson basically for being an asshole, so I kind of agree with Republicans that there doesn’t really have to be a crime. If they get too crazy with it there should be a Constitutional Amendment taking Impeachment out of Congress’ hands.

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cleek: WIN!


  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    I must not have read #10. I was always for the roadrunner, always waiting to see how the idiot coyote was going to get it for being an idiot.

  132. 132
    Schlemizel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    There is nothing useful about the idiot.

  133. 133
    Chris says:


    That’s the whole point of Benghazigate. Because of the CIA involvement, some things will have to remain classified, which means it’ll always be possible to say “what is the government hiding.”

  134. 134
    ericblair says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    No, what you are is a useful idiot.

    Well, at the heart it’s Purity. We cannot try to stop any sort of atrocities in the world because as a country we are not pure enough. We must sit and watch helplessly and reflect on our sins, while the True Progressives, who have no power to intervene since the world does not yet recognize their righteousness, lecture us and bask in the glow of knowing how correct they stand and how wrong we are.

    The powers in the world who either cause these atrocities or benefit from them, and who tend to lock up their dissidents or worse, tend to find this sort of quietism talk quite useful to keep doing what they want, and encourage it indirectly and directly. They don’t need to start it themselves.

  135. 135
    Paul in KY says:

    @SatanicPanic: Am braindumping on the Johnson that was impeached.

  136. 136
    Schlemizel says:

    I remember thinking it was pretty hilarious in ’92 when Dave Berry mocked the GOP by repeating “The failed Clinton Presidency” in column about the inauguration (it might have even been before). It very much stopped being funny when I realized the GOP was serious and were working overtime trying to refute reality and make people believe it really was a failure.

  137. 137
    scav says:

    Certain comments are little more than boilerplate tells. Obsessive monomania with no nuance or sense of context, allied with self-polishing of superior moral worth is rather a common bucket anymore. Imagine the depth and myriad compexity of the individual that finds constucting these enriching, fulfilling and amusing.

  138. 138
    Schlemizel says:

    Anyone know if the pie filter works with chrome? Its all I have on the chromebook I use for most surfing

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Paul in KY: Andrew.

  140. 140
    Belafon says:

    @Paul in KY: That would be the Andrew version of Johnson.

  141. 141
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Paul in KY: Andrew Johnson- guy who succeeded Lincoln. I just happen to be reading a book about Reconstruction right now and WOW was Johnson terrible. Possibly the most racist man ever to lead this country and generally useless. He basically was obstructing reconstruction so the radical Republicans found a pretext to impeach him and they did. Couldn’t get the votes to convict though.

  142. 142
    C.V. Danes says:

    I agree that it would be silly for any Democrat to be a part of this fiasco. If the Republicans want to stage their little kangaroo trial, then let them. But the Dems should wash their hands of it entirely. For any Dem to be on this committee would give it some small amount of legitimacy that it does not deserve.

  143. 143
    Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    “God, I’m old enough to remember when “Contempt of Congress” was a serious offense, not the common stance.”

    That might be a good opening statement for any Democrat on this clown show. Repeat as needed, along with noting the $$$ spent on these investigations/ inquisitions will soon exceed the money the Rethugs wouldn’t vote to spend on embassy security.

  144. 144
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Possibly the most racist man ever to lead this country

    No, I think that it’s pretty obvious that Obama is the most racist man ever to lead this country.

    Look at how polarizing he is!

    He’s got this fluffy little bunny image going, but look at the teeth!

  145. 145
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s true. Talking about racism is the same as being racist.

  146. 146
    Paul in KY says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, that Johnson. Thanks!

  147. 147
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OT, but the Heritage Foundation is launching a news site:

    The site aims to rectify the conservative perception that mainstream news slants to the left. “We plan to do political and policy news,” says [publisher Geoffrey] Lysaught, “not with a conservative bent, but just true, straight-down-the-middle journalism”…

    The site will be called the Daily Signal.

    Just let that sink in for a moment, then follow this link.

  148. 148
    Nylund says:

    Yesterday I saw a clip on TV of my representative talking about this. Unfortunately, my rep is Pete Sessions (R-TX). He said something to the effect that Democrats were scared that the GOP might find something that was embarrassing.

    I thought that was really telling. He was basically admitting that they’re not going to find anything illegal or wrong. They’re just hoping to uncover something “embarrassing” that they can use politically. Congress should never form a Select Committee simply because it hopes it may embarrass someone, somewhere. That’s the lamest, most partisan, and most wasteful use of resources I can think of

  149. 149
    Talentless Hack says:

    Boycott. There should be no further debate. It’s bullshit, and the Democrats should not participate.

  150. 150
    Bob Munck says:

    We have to have someone there to object loudly and at length when the Republicans bully and harass the witnesses.

    Send Barney Frank, all by himself. Give him all five Democratic votes, all five speaking slots, etc. Tell him to let it all hang out.

    If it has to be a sitting member of the House, send Alan Grayson. If it doesn’t have to be a House member, send Bernie Sanders.

  151. 151
    Schlemizel says:


    Johnson certainly is in the running for most racist. Woody Wilson gives him a run for his money – outlawed hiring blacks to federal jobs, segregated the army, sent the marines to Haiti to take the government from the ex-slaves & give it back to the white owners.

    We have had some gems

  152. 152
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Schlemizel: Agreed on Wilson. He was a sack of racist shit. What do you expect from a guy from Confederate Virginia, anyways?

  153. 153
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He kept us out of the war!

  154. 154
    Belafon says:

    OT: So it seems that, when the FBI shows up to investigate Bundy, suddenly none of his supporters were pointing guns at BLM officials.

  155. 155
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Paul in KY: Well, yeah, but then in 1917, after he’d been safely reelected, he jumped right in with both feet.

    Given that the Brits and French worked so hard to sabotage all his idealistic notions of how to deal with the post war world, well…

  156. 156
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @catclub: with white women. Preferably the wives of small-town Republicans.

  157. 157
    Patrick says:


    Well, in their defense, they probably didn’t even know that the FBI was investigating since the FBI so far had only talked to the local sheriff and his team.

  158. 158
    JPL says:

    @Chris: That’s quite a catch 22 for those testifying. If you tell the truth, the whole truth, you’ll wind up exposing national security and classified information. Maybe state employees should just say that. Representative, I cannot answer that question without releasing classified information.

  159. 159
    catclub says:

    @Schlemizel: The Onion’s Jan 2001 “Our Eight Year Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Comes to an End” is also pretty good.

  160. 160
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: Given how much information is classified strictly as a CYA mechanism (the Bushies played this game expertly) perhaps it will inspire the Rethugs to reconsider some of their kneejerk reaction to “national security” as a blanket to obscure the facts.

    Naah. That will never happen.

  161. 161
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Schlemizel: It is quite a crowded field.

  162. 162
    MCA1 says:

    I’ve slowly come around to the “participate and make a complete mockery” side of this debate, but I fear that’s not an actual, real world option here, given our Congresscritters in an election year. Pelosi likes to smash around from time to time, but our reps. by and large are cowed, professional slickies who care about re-election prospects too much to go whole hog on the lodging objections every five minutes and carrying in big clownish charts and graphs, and asking questions about Beirut and Yemen and whatever else. The requisite level of no fuck giving and brass balls just isn’t there.

    I would love to see the Senate convene a separate committee and level the theory that, in fact, this entire thing was a Republican-led dirty trick during the election season. Go for the gold – they produced the video, they laid the groundwork by cutting embassy security funding, they had CIA moles feeding bad intelligence to Clinton and the Administration about the facts on the ground. Point to the obvious motive in an election season with a loser up against an incumbent who had finally turned foreign policy into a Democratic advantage, and looking forward to ’16 when it was presumed Clinton would be running and close to a shoo-in. JUST MAKE HALFWAY PLAUSIBLE SOUNDING SHIT UP WHOLECLOTH and make Republicans start defending themselves against it.

    The real choice, though, is between boycott and lose in the media, or show up and politely express your dismay at this farce but look weak and lose in the media.

  163. 163
    JPL says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Gowdy already hinted that he wants those employees who changed their name. Maybe Valarie Plame needs to go on Rachel and once again speak to her experience about her cover being blown.

  164. 164
    catclub says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “the Bushies played this game expertly”

    So expertly that Scooter Libby was convicted and pardoned. ( I know not quite pardoned, because then he could be forced to testify to congress – paroled?)

  165. 165
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Patrick: They would still be idiots for not expecting that the FBI was going to investigate alleged threats against federal employees.

  166. 166
    patroclus says:

    In my opinion, boycotting would be silly and childish and would deprive me of my democratic representation. I don’t vote for Democrats to say nothing and do nothing – I vote for them to get things done and to call bullshit when things are being run badly. If the hearings are a farce, I want that pointed out at the hearings. The point is to clearly win the argument and that isn’t accomplished by saying nothing.

  167. 167
    catclub says:

    @MCA1: “they produced the video,”

    Orange County Republican crook made it, right?

  168. 168
    different-church-lady says:


    Well, in their defense, they probably didn’t even know that the FBI was investigating since the FBI so far had only talked to the local sheriff and his team.


  169. 169
    satby says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: At least they’re being true to their roots.

  170. 170
    different-church-lady says:

    @scav: The internet is like democracy: the same problem with both of them is that everyone gets to participate.

  171. 171
    Patrick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I was just responding to the other person that it is hard to point a gun at somebody when they aren’t even interviewing you. But whatever…

  172. 172
    Belafon says:

    @Patrick: Huh? It’s real easy to point a gun at someone. It’s kind of the action you have to take to shoot someone. The joke I was trying to make was people denying that they were pointing guns at BLM agents when we have pictures.

  173. 173
    SamR says:

    @Belafon: Agreed. I’d also like to see an example of this type of boycott benefiting the boycotting party. The Soviets boycotted the UN Security Council, allowing the US to get approval to defend South Korea. Anyone who boycotts an election loses.

  174. 174
    Brian R. says:

    Hmm, I’ve changed my mind over the course of this thread.

    I originally thought boycotting was the best course, but the example of what Elijah Cummings did to Issa’s dipshittery is a powerful one.

    If Dems are there, they need to be prepared. Anytime a Republican asks a question, they need to be ready with the prior testimony that shows that question has been asked and answered.

    “The gentleman from South Carolina has asserted that the military should have acted. Is he not familiar with the testimony of Brig. Gen. Conway to the contrary? Or the statement from Defense Secretary Robert Gates that he wouldn’t have authorized any such mission? Or the conclusion by Republican Congressman Buck McKeon of the House Armed Services Committee that nothing more could have been done? Oh, you are familiar with those? Then why are you asking those questions again? Just constantly push it back in their face.

    Also, Democratic members of the committee will be able to get booked on every Sunday talk show after this thing, and make the case all over again. So yeah, let’s do it, but do it right.

    My dream list:

    Elijah Cummings
    Maxine Waters
    Tammy Duckworth
    Jerrold Nadler
    Chris Van Hollen
    Keith Ellison
    Joaquin Castro

  175. 175
    scav says:

    @different-church-lady: Oh they can participate, try to stop them, that’s nowhere near my bailiwick. They serve as reminders to be pleased that I run across such obviously and tendentiously shallow puddles rarely in life — at the same time horrified that such shallow repetitive puddles may be lurking closer than I think. Depends on the day and the mood.

  176. 176
    different-church-lady says:

    @scav: Much as cats enjoy playing with balled up pieces of paper. That’s my attitude.

    The problem comes when people fall into the trap of trying to give them a sincere counter-argument. That’s giving them exactly what they want: an excuse to post yet more madness.

  177. 177
    burnspbesq says:


    There are members of the House that are capable of putting their ego aside and ask questions relevant to the so called investigation. Alan Greyson comes to mind


    Take away Alan Grayson’s ego and there’s nothing left but an empty pair of wingtips.

  178. 178
    Brian R. says:

    Boehner’s announced the Republicans on the committee:

    Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman: As we already know, he’s a Tea Party SC congressman who’s already called this farce a “trial” that might run through 2016.

    Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN): Dan Burton’s replacement. Ha!

    Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): chair of the Republican Study Committee, a.k.a. the home for right-wing nutjobs in the House. He beat out Louie Gohmert for the job.

    Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS): served in military but never saw combat, but campaigned as a “fighting man”

    Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL): right-wing nut whom Sarah Palin campaigned for

    Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL): under investigation by House Ethics Committee

    Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA): charmer who called the Obamas “uppity”

    All white, all conservative, all nuts. This should be fun.

  179. 179
    Brian R. says:


    Yeah, Grayson is the last person who should be there.

  180. 180
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Clemenceau’s great quip about Wilson’s 14 Points: ‘The Good Lord only had 10’.

  181. 181
    JPL says:

    @Brian R.: At least he would get on TV.

  182. 182

    Reading these comments has changed my mind. Do not boycott. It is actually the boycott that would dignify the proceedings and make them interesting to the press. If having Democrats on the committee leads to sharp disagreements, those are likely to get covered and the Republicans will look like delusional assholes.

    The committee is useless grandstanding 99% of the country won’t know or care about. Still, might as well A) not make it seem like Democrats think it’s significant, and B) milk any chances for the Republicans to do what they do best – make themselves look bad. I swear Romney would be president if Republicans weren’t so good at destroying themselves.

  183. 183
    Belafon says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Issa turning Cummings mic off did more to damage his credibility than him having 10+ meetings.

  184. 184
    Paul in KY says:

    @MCA1: I really don’t think we should do funny/stupid stuff (as cathartic as that might be). I think our reps need to ‘testiask’ ‘questions’ that will skewer the GOP. Also need to help out witnesses when necessary.

    Maybe look for a place to get in a ‘Have you no shame, Rep (insert GOP asshole name here)?

  185. 185
    danielx says:

    Rep. Jim Himes (D): “I think it would be very valuable for people to see us fighting, particularly a fight I know we can win. The other side on this is clearly acting politically and they do not have a leg to stand on and I say that as someone who has spent hearing after hearing on Benghazi,”

    Congressman, they’re totally going to act like dicks anyway. They don’t need your help to do that, and if it even looks like any Dem committee members might be doing something effective the Republican chairman will cut off the mike as they’ve done already. Fuck that noise, and fuck a bunch of committees.

  186. 186
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    I say boycott. And to counter-fill the time slot the Democrats who would have been on the panel should investigate whether or not bathing suit sizes, cuts and fabric lead to promiscuous behavior and if the answer is yes then what types of behavior. The testimony should include hours of film of beautiful people enjoying holidays at the beach and many, many references to adults engaging in consensual sexual activities. In the wings should be an A-list of hot young men and women in minimal beach attire who will sit in the green room watching the Benghazi hearing. Whenever Darryl issa is about to speak one or two of these models will then rush out on to the hearing floor and bring the committee members a cool beverage.

    At least one segment every 30 minutes should show live footage of swimsuit models searching the Indian Ocean, on a nice yacht, while looking for any sign of an airline disaster so CNN has something to cover.

    Also several of the people called before the panel must be asked for explicit details about the effect scanty beachwear has had on their sex lives so they can plead the fifth or respond, “After imbibing that much alcohol, I cannot remember nor do I recall…but my lawyers have assured me that I have done nothing illegal.”

  187. 187
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill in Section 147: Man, that would be wild.

    I don’t think the minority party can hold any kind of hearings without the majority party either OKing it or actual ‘hearings’ can only be scheduled by the majority party.

    Hope I’m wrong here.

  188. 188
    wasabi gasp says:

    No participation. Let ’em get their id on.

  189. 189
    shelley says:

    Kind of a trick question. Damned if you do…..
    The same with anything Obama does now, outside of Benghaziville. If he intervenes in something where he’s already being blamed because of Benghaz, like the abduction in Nigeria, he’ll then be accused of trying to veer attention away from the Benghaz hearings.

    It’s fucking nuts.

  190. 190
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub: Note what he was convicted of. (one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and one count of making false statements). Nothing in there about classified information.

    He covered the Dark Lord’s ass well.

  191. 191
    Senyordave says:

    @Brian R.: I think the Democrats should participate and Cummings should be on the committee. And early on, Cummings should make sure to use the term uppity in some context. Then he could turn to Westmoreland and ask if he used it in the correct context.

  192. 192
    KS in MA says:

    @CaseyL: This. And, as others have pointed out, hold a ton of press conferences–at least every morning and every evening. Pressure the news shows to have D members on as guests. Etc.–as much publicity as possible.

  193. 193
    Groucho48 says:

    Ideal would be the Dems running a select committee in the Senate. Absent that, I would like Dems to publicly negotiate with Reps what rights they, as a minority, would have on the House Committee. Would they be allowed to submit a list of witnesses to be subpoenaed? Would they be guaranteed the time and opportunity to question all witnesses? Negotiate over rules of releasing select documents and out of context testimony. Will they be allowed to release an official minority report? Etc.

    The Reps, being thugs, will refuse to allow any of this. So, Dems should be ready to howl with rage and to point out what a witch hunt the Reps want to run. De-legitimize the hearings before they even start. Then, more in sorrow than in anger, say that while they do want to look into what went wrong and to come up with ways to prevent it from happening again, it is obvious that the Select Committee is only a partisan tool to discredit the Administration.

  194. 194
    Keith G says:

    O dear me, I am so late to this.

    Boycotts are great to symbolically deal with a symbolic activity. Buuuuut…..when there are real stakes, like an official action of Congress, a boycott is juvenile to the point of pure idiocy.

    Sorry guys up thread, but I am tired of a Democratic Party that plays meek – that has seemingly forgotten how to fight and then fight to win. the CDs (Congressional Dems) need to turn this episode around. How?:

    1) The CDs are smart and have better institutional insight – use it to take the GOP’s candy (witness Elisha Cummings)

    2) Every time the CDs speak, include pointed attacks on the Do Nothing GOP – Every opening statement, every question, and every end of session interview.

    Example: CD to Witness, “Mr (Whoever) are you aware that the vast number of American people think that the GOP are wasting tax payer dollars on this?” — It will be ruled out of order, but point made.

    Such a fight wins respect. It’s a tribal thing. Slinking away with a self righteous
    “Hurrrummpf” would show many folks the the CDs lack what Madelein Albright would call ‘cojones’.

  195. 195
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Keith G: So what happens when the mics get cut off when CDs are trying to pointedly attack the GOP? Do you really think that the TBaggers on the committee are going to allow Democrats to showboat during these hearings?

    A boycott would send a clear message that Democrats aren’t going along with a charade solely designed to embarrass the administration and damage Secretary Clinton.

  196. 196
    Chris says:


    Can I ask what that book is? I’m interested in reading anything that has to do with that era.

  197. 197
    Chris says:


    I would add Andrew Jackson to the running, if only for his Indian policy.

  198. 198
    Keith G says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Pray that the mics do get cut off. Lets all see the meanness, hatefulness and insensibility that that powers the rot underlying the GOP. That would be great television. What – you do not trust that the great Elijah Cummings can once again make them regret they cut his mic? If they did it would be a huuuge mistake.

    A boycott would send a clear message

    For a day it would, then it would be an old story.
    CDs continually provoking hateful reactions and over reactions will stay news.

    The GOP have basically killed the Legislative Branch as an effective part of government. The CDs must make them actively own it on a daily basis.

    Economic boycotts can work. Governmental boycotts seldom if ever (show me one) do.

  199. 199
    CaseyL says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    So what happens when the mics get cut off when CDs are trying to pointedly attack the GOP? Do you really think that the TBaggers on the committee are going to allow Democrats to showboat during these hearings?

    The Dems can and should bring a portable karaoke set, so they have their own microphones if the GOP cuts them off.

    Or they can stand up and, in unison, sing “You Don’t Own Me.” Loudly.

  200. 200
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Chyron HR:

    I’m not a “progressive”. I’m an anti-imperialist.


    Obama and his allies in Britain and France murdered a bunch of Libyans and destabilized their government.

    When Libyans attacked a CIA paramilitary base in Benghazi, a legitimate target in a just war, we transformed it into “terrorists attacked our embassy” in our press.

    Both parties in the United States have worked to suppress this fact and invent fake “issues”.

    So: do you want to be their fool?

  201. 201
    AA+ Bonds says:

    All of this is about one thing: imperialism.

    Yet so many Democrats want to believe the capitalists in charge of the Democratic Party are somehow more virtuous than the capitalists in charge of the Republican Party.

    They’re not.

    Don’t get played.

    The next target, it seems, straight down from British counterintelligence into the British press, is Boko Haram. They murder and kidnap tons of people for years, but now, suddenly, time to hate them!

    Learn to question the people who have lied to you about Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

  202. 202
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Obama and his allies in Britain and France murdered a bunch of Libyans and destabilized their government.

    Really? The ongoing civil war in Libya, where Gaddafi brought in paid mercenaries because his own army was deserting rather than fire on civilians, never really existed? Everything in Libya was hunky-dory until Britain and France stepped in?

    That’s a fascinating fantasy world you live in.

  203. 203
    Chocko Rocko says:

    Get in there and fight! Why are Democrats even debating whether to forfeit by not showing up?

  204. 204
    debbie says:

    A boycott would send a clear message

    Yeah, that we’re best at shooting ourselves in our collective foot.

    Someone has to be there to disagree; otherwise, the Republicans will say that the other side of the aisle’s silence means they have no response.

    If his heart could stand it, I’d like to see Elijah Cummings be the single Democrat on the panel. Plus Bernie Saunders.

  205. 205
    chopper says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I think your point would be better served if you added italics. I’m being serious.

  206. 206
    Ella in New Mexico says:


    Agreed, but only if the Honey Badger can ride shotgun. ;)

  207. 207
    AxelFoley says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Ah, I remember this asshole.

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