Reading a breathless tweet about Senator Elizabeth Warren raising “blood money” off of the Benghazi tragedy this morning was not surprising. In the wake of John Boehner naming a “select committee” to investigate the consulate attack in 2012, the political back-and-forth last week was over the appropriateness of fundraising on the subject. Republicans have been raising money and beating that dead horse for some time now, but they suddenly seem keen to cast Democrats as the ones cynically mining campaign cash over the deaths of four Americans in Libya. Putting aside the fact that Republicans exploited the deaths of 2,000 Americans in lower Manhattan for close to a decade, the sudden rush for the moral high ground on campaign “free speech.” is curious.
Republicans are suddenly painting the idea of fundraising over Benghazi as unseemly, hence the “blood money” hyperbole. But cashing in politically over the deaths of people is as old as Donald Sterling’s racial worldview. Neither side cares about the unseemliness of fundraising off of any subject. The average member of congress would raise money off their dead mother before her body was cold. The real concern is how it frames Benghazi. The affair was on the fast track to dead-issue land as Republicans tried to unskew the Obamacare sign-up numbers. When that failed, and the economy created nearly 300,000 jobs in April, it was time to move on to another subject. A “select committee” was needed, because after hearings on Fast-And-Furious and the IRS “scandal,” it was clear nobody was buying any of Darrell Issa’s bullshit.
Republicans are now against fundraising over Benghazi because they need a believable winner. They’ve been calling so many foolish non-issues scandals, that now they’re ruining the magic of the word scandal. They don’t care about the unseemliness of raising money for anything. They understand that if they go out on the rubber chicken circuit on it, people will understand that it’s another transparent political stunt. Many people outside of the Fox News political bubble have understood that for over a year, but don’t tell Trey Gowdy and John Boehner that.