Lindsey Graham Continues His Temper Tantrum Over Benghazi

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ThinkProgress reports that Sen. Lindsey Graham has decided to continue his spectacular temper tantrum over Benghazi, telling Fox News last night, “I haven’t forgotten about Benghazi. Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view.” He’s not using this in its idiomatic meaning, either. He literally seems to think that Hillary Clinton has cleverly wriggled out from under a Murder One conviction via some kind of Machiavellian trickery.

Next up in Graham’s Benghazi crosshairs is defense secretary Leon Panetta. Graham has now decided that he won’t rest until Panetta testifies too, and to make sure that happens he’s going to block Chuck Hagel’s SecDef nomination until he’s got Panetta sweating under the klieg lights. “Why would we not want to understand what happened during the attack itself?” he asked Greta Van Susteren rhetorically. “How could our secretary — what happened for seven hours? Why were there no military assets available on September the 11th?”

This is very close to literal insanity. Graham knows perfectly well that these questions have been answered, and he knows perfectly well that Panetta won’t tell him anything he doesn’t already know. So why is he putting on this performance? My theory is simple: Graham likes being a maverick, but voters in South Carolina don’t really want a maverick as their senator. They want a 100 percent ACU-certified hard-right conservative. Since Graham doesn’t want to give them that, he has to compensate for it with periodic high-profile eruptions that demonstrate the kind of spittle-flecked hatred of Barack Obama his constituents want. It makes up for his occasional apostasy over climate change or immigration, and shows that he’s really one of them even if he does have a few peculiar pet causes they don’t understand.

Either that or he really is crazy. I guess I’m not entirely sure which.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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