Charles Krauthammer is often described as an “influential” conservative columnist. When he weighs-in on something, the general thinking goes, Republican voters and politicians listen. But when it comes to the GOP’s Benghazi fetish, Krauthammer has been all over the place lately.
He told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly on Thursday night that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is the “right man” to lead a select committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Gowdy, Krauthammer assured, “understands people are assuming the mainstream media are propagating the myth that this is going to be some political circus, some political triumph for the Republicans.”
But like a nervous parent, Krauthammer is worried that the committee’s hearings could cause the GOP to squander its tremendous potential. He warned that Gowdy and company are wading into “very dangerous political waters.”
“If this is 2014, the winds are right behind the Republicans approaching the election on all the major issues: ObamaCare, the economy, chronic unemployment, setbacks abroad. All of this – the issues are on the Republican side,” he explained to Kelly.
Benghazi hearings can only distract from this at best and really wreck it at worst if they turn into a partisan circus. So far from being a political advantage for Republicans, this is a very high-risk operation and requires someone like Gowdy, who apparently from the answer you just played seems to understand it’s not just the spectacle that matters or the speeches made by the members of the committee, it’s simply getting the facts. And if this committee can uncover new facts, then it will have succeeded and the politics will take care of themselves.
It was a typically cautious assessment of the issue for Krauthammer, who increasingly sounds like a guy who – try as he might — just can’t get himself as riled up about Benghazi as his conservative brethren.
A month ago, he urged Republicans to move on from the issue and lamented that the party didn’t set up a panel to investigate the attack.
“Politically speaking the administration has won,” he complained. “They ran out the clock.”
But the emergence of an email last week breathed new life into the GOP’s supreme cause and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) even granted Krauthammer’s wish for a select committee.
Krauthammer was impressed. He said last week that the email, which has galvanized the right despite it providing no evidence of a White House cover-up, is “the equivalent of what was discovered with the Nixon tapes.”
With that, Krauthammer sounded a lot like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who called the email a “smoking gun.” But ultimately, the columnist doesn’t seem to share the confidence of Graham that the investigation will end in disgrace for the Obama administration.
“The point is that Republicans have done a terrible job in building the case,” Krauthammer said right after he suggested a Nixonian cover-up. “Even today I have to say, the questioning was disjointed, it was not organized. If they had appointed a special committee [a] long time ago the way it was done in Watergate, you would have had answers on this and the country wouldn’t be tired.”
Here’s video via Breitbart: