The Republican National Convention’s Legacy of Falsehood: Part 1

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    The outrageous fabrications at the GOP convention about Hillary Clinton, including the drumbeat to “lock her up,” make a response necessary. I will address just two issues here: Benghazi and the emails. The GOP has spent nearly eight years and 7 million dollars investigating Hillary in over a dozen investigations and dozens of hearings, none of which found her guilty of anything. But that was not the point. Instead, the point was to use taxpayer money and Congress as an arm of the GOP perpetual presidential campaign to paint a cloud of doubt (or worse) over Hillary, portray her as “untrustworthy” and then blame her for that too. This is abuse of power.

    It is very tragic that four people died at the outpost in Benghazi. However, no leader can prevent every single death, accident or crime around the world. Only an egomaniacal con-artist and dictator-in-the-making would promise that. If the leaked speech of Trump’s is any indication, he will claim he alone can fix all things. More on the absurdity of that claim later. But it points to the fact that he thinks we are even more childish than he is. Trump is clearly incapable of telling the truth, but hopes we will be distracted by the numerous, false accusations against Hillary made this past week.

    Late Ambassador Chris Steven’s family has pointed out repeatedly that Benghazi was not Hillary’s fault. And the investigation revealed there was no “stand-down order,” as falsely claimed by Hillary’s opponents. Indeed, if there is any blame to be had, it is with Republican cuts to the Department of State’s budget, including for embassy security. But realistically, even if fully funded, the State Department can not guarantee perfect safety around the world. Would that the GOP were honest enough to admit that basic fact.

    Mark “Oz” Geist, who fought the terrorists at Benghazi, and who once admitted it wasn’t Hillary’s fault, has now gone full bore against Clinton in a despicable film, a partisan NRA ad and in this week’s shameful convention speech. As recently as January, Geist said he did not blame Hillary Clinton. Now, magically, he does. And so, Hillary Clinton is being swift-boated by people who know what they say is false.

    But, of course, politics was behind the whole mess anyway. Kevin McCarthy admitted that here (after which McCarthy was run out of his leadership position and Congress). All of this represents an insane loss of proportion. Note that there was only one investigation of 9/11, which Republicans keep pretending didn’t happen on George W. Bush’s watch. With regard to Benghazi, the GOP tried so hard to make a crime from nothing that Trey Gowdy altered documents to try to make Hillary look guilty. Where is the ethics hearing about that?

    So the GOP  attempted criminalizing of something that, if anything, is the GOPs fault for all the cost cutting; fabricated evidence; misrepresented crucial facts by numerous GOP committee persons; avoided other work Congresspersons were supposed to do to earn their pay and retirement benefits, the latter of which they get for shamelessly little work. (But they want to take away our earned benefits, such as Social Security and Medicare!) And if that weren’t enough, this week, in Cleveland, they lied over and over to the American people.

    The investigations into Hillary’s emails have been fruitless as well. FBI Director James Comey (a Republican, by the way), who has been gunning for the Clintons for decades, finally gave up that he had a case for trial. Instead, he made one up for a final, unprecedented press conference and for public consumption (trial by media). All the evidence showed the emails were not classified at the time. Robert Gates, Condoleza Rice, Colin Powell and others at high levels ALL had private email servers. None of the GOP “investigators’ will tell you that the rules for such things changed later and did not apply to Hillary in the first place. You cannot hold her responsible for post-hoc rules—or post-hoc classifications. The disingenuousness of all the Republican parties to the email investigation is breathtaking.

    Additionally, do Democrats ever learn? Why don’t they appoint Democrats instead of giving away key positions to the other side. The other side doesn’t do that. Now come Trump and Christie to plan (if they succeed in November) the stripping all civil service workers who are Democrats of their jobs. All federal jobs will become patronage ones. And if Trump wins, the administration bureaucracy even below cabinet offices will be entirely one-sided.

    Though those endless investigations found nothing criminal, that didn’t stop Chris Christie from whipping up a mob in a faux trial Wednesday night. But that wasn’t bad enough. Mike Pence came on stage to strip surrounding context from a question asked by Hillary at her hearing. He claimed she said “what does it matter” (that four people died). She didn’t. She was pleading with nitpicking Congresspersons about points already well established. She was trying to focus them on the essential fact that four people died. And Pence pretended she did the opposite?

    Had Donald Trump been subjected to such scrutiny (he has had little), he would not be on his gilded throne chosen by a once-great party, now devolved into Southern Strategy, Ayn Randism, Tea Party excess, hatred, misanthropy, scapegoating, one-percentism and destructiveness. The GOP is now in full deconstruct mode. It no longer even recognizes three branches of government, only what it controls at the time. But it plays with fire when it de-legitimize everything but itself. In the end, like so many Rumpelstiltskins, Trump and his new-found party will have stomped themselves into the ground.

    Note: This diary expanded on a couple of paragraphs I wrote elsewhere.