...and a Republican accidentally admits the truth. Today's contestant: presumed incoming House Speaker Kevin McCarthy shows that he's not too bright.
Sean Hannity was pushing hard, asking House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to name some promises his Republicans had actually delivered on. He scoffed when McCarthy said the party would start undoing the Affordable Care Act -- "you have the power of the purse!" He talked over McCarthy when the leader and candidate for Speaker of the House suggested that the party did not need to cut funds for President Obama's "amnesty," because courts had taken care of it. Only halfway into the interview did McCarthy finally catch a break.
"Everybody though Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy asked. "But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought."
"I give you credit for that," said Hannity. "I'll give you credit where credit is due."
Oh Kevin, you special little snowflake. You walked right into the jet intake on this one.
"This is a damning display of honesty by the possible next Speaker of the House," press Secretary Brian Fallon said in a statement emailed to POLITICO. "Kevin McCarthy just confessed that the committee set up to look into the deaths of four brave Americans at Benghazi is a taxpayer-funded sham. This confirms Americans' worst suspicions about what goes on in Washington."
Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has long insisted that his aim is solely to understand what went wrong in Benghazi, and not to attack Clinton. "‘While much outside attention has been paid to the former secretary, this investigation has never been about her and never will be," he said in September.
But on Tuesday night, McCarthy suggested the opposite to Fox News host Sean Hannity.
But as Martin "BooMan" Longman reminds us, the biggest open secret in Washington isn't exactly breaking news.
Now, I know that in certain Beltway circles telling the truth is considered one of the worst possible gaffes, but McCarthy bragged about the effectiveness of this smear campaign precisely because he wanted to remind people that the Republicans deserve credit for finding ways to effectively fight back against the Democrats. In other words, he was reminding the Republican base voter that there actually areexamples where the Republican leadership did something extraordinarily partisan and obnoxious and that it worked. The reaction will probably be exactly what he hoped for. He gets a pat on the head and a couple of “Atta Boys.”
The idea that Republican members of Congress will clutch their pearls in horror that McCarthy defended their performance is a big reach, in my opinion.
These folks are so beyond the norms of behavior that you’d expect of your children that it’s absurd to hold them to those kind of standards. When one of them gets caught in a lie, that’s a badge of honor, and it’s not even remotely problematic to get caught telling the truth if the truth is that you’ve been lying.
If you think I am engaging in hyperbole here, just remember back when Mitt Romney set the land-speed record by telling 533 lies in a mere 30 weeks- (and that tally ended in August). Republicans did not blink. They had no problem with Romney’s pathological relationship with the truth. If anything, they wanted him to be a more convincing liar.
Look at Carly Fiorina right now. She’s doing well, recently, and how many of the people running against her have questioned her truthfulness? It’s not an issue for them. It’s not something they can score political points with, because the base does not want their heroes to tell the truth.
So no, it won't hurt McCarthy with his base one bit. Whether or not it will hurt him with the Village...well they've been attacking Hillary for years now. Why would this make them stop?