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Hullabaloo


Saturday, October 03, 2015

 
"The ineptitude of failure theatre"

by digby

Politico reports:

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz is planning to run for House speaker, taking on Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in what appears to be a long-shot bid to lead House Republicans, according to multiple sources.

The Utah Republican, first elected to Congress in 2008, is launching a campaign less than a week before the Oct. 8 leadership elections for the House GOP Conference. The date for a floor vote to pick the next speaker has not been set yet.

McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the overwhelming favorite to win, and it’s unclear how many votes Chaffetz can garner.

Chaffetz's office would not comment.

They say that Chaffetz made headlines this week when he stood by his friend Trey Gowdy. But those weren't the only headlines he made. it's been a busy week for Chaffetz. It was also revealed that the Secret Service sought to discredit him by releasing private information to the public, simply because he is a fierce critic of the agency, which validates every civil libertarian's fears of what police agencies are capable of.

But he really made headlines this week with his outrageous interrogation of Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards. It was so bad that one has to assume that he would not get even one Democratic vote for speaker. But even more problematic, it's unlikely that he would get the wingnut faction to vote for him. Remember, they thought the hearings were an abject failure because Chaffetz failed to send Richards crying from the room resulting in a voice vote to defund Planned Parenthood immediately. This is what one activist called "the ineptitude of failure theatre" (They have a slightly skewed view of how government actually works.)

So Chaffetz could perhaps get the support of the three or four civil libertarians because of the Secret Service flap. And maybe a couple of people will see his defense of Trey Gowdy as a sign of loyalty to the GOP cause. But other than that it's hard to see how Chaffetz had such a successful 15 minutes that he thinks it's time to go for the gold.

On the other hand, it is a sign of McCarthy's "ineptitude of failure theatre" that he even thinks there's an opening.

Get a load of this from wingnut central (via email):
Just as the House Republican leadership races slipped off the front pages and lead segments of the news and back behind the closed doors of Capitol Hill House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy put the race for Speaker – which he hopes to win – back in the public eye, and not in a way that benefits his campaign. 
A few days ago McCarthy appeared on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News and Hannity hammered him with a list of House Republican failures, broken promises and outright betrayals. (While we don’t necessarily agree with all of Guy Benson’s analysis you can watch the video through this link to Townhall) 
McCarthy relies heavily on Speaker Boehner‘s philosophy that “we have to formulate a strategy to win before we can even start the battle” not recognizing that Democrats see the battle as the whole game, and so merely to fight is to gain a victory because it shows ideological commitment, forces the agenda, motivates the base, and makes the Party relevant. 
McCarthy understands none of this, and what’s more he is completely inept when forced to think on his feet. 
After being goaded by Hannity’s long list of failures McCarty finally comes forth with what he thinks is a “win.” 
He claims the select Benghazi committee drove Hillary Clinton's polling numbers down and that was a “win,” noting that nobody would have known about her email scandal "had we not fought." 
First of all if the Benghazi hearings are strictly political how could Kevin McCarthy be so dumb as to admit it? 
What's more, to claim a purely political motivation for the Benghazi committee’s creation and investigation is quite possibly the dumbest and most disrespectful thing a Republican “leader” could say about the multimillion dollar effort to get to the bottom of the events leading to and flowing from the death of four brave Americans; U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and CIA contractors, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. 
Not that we have any sympathy for Hillary Clinton – but if McCarthy’s statement is true then it is also truly frightening because it shows that establishment Republicans, like Kevin McCarthy, are happy to use the power of the government against their political opponents and engage in exactly the same kind of abuse of citizens that was perpetrated against conservatives by Lois Lerner and her enablers at the IRS. 
Second, what McCarthy said is demonstrably not true as regards the effect of the House Benghazi committee’s actions – which have been at best inconclusive and have treated Hillary Clinton and her associates, such as her Muslim Brotherhood influenced confidant Huma Abedin, with a kid glove deference no other witnesses would have received in similar circumstances. 
Judicial Watch, not the Benghazi committee, was the organization that has forced the most damning revelation about the Hillary Clinton’s email. The incontrovertible evidence that she used her private server to send and receive classified email – a felony violation to say nothing of a national security disaster – was generated by Judicial Watch and its relentless pursuit of its Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. 
It is the Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuits, not the Benghazi committee, that have provided the “drip, drip, drip” that Hillary Clinton complained are hurting her poll numbers. 
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Kevin McCarthy’s incoherent attempts to clean up the mess he created with his braggadocios response to Hannity’s goading was a political gift to Hillary Clinton that just keeps on giving.