The scandal of scandal in Washington, D.C.

Published 8:29 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013

By Cliff Schecter

If you listen hard enough you can almost hear the siren song of the Republican Party across Washington. It’s scandal season, and for the GOP it’s Mardi Gras, Christmas and The Spanish Inquisition all in one.

It began with Benghazi, a place that 41 percent of Republicans are just positive bore witness to the worst scandal in American history, even if 39 percent of them can’t find it on a map. Of course, a tragedy occurred there that led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. But this is all just a reanimation of the fake Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s.

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That there’s no “there” there is not a surprise in the days of a Republican Congressional Caucus full of more poop than a Carnival cruise. We’ve come to expect this from cultists whose chinless Senate leader sees his job not as making anyone’s life remotely better, but trying to limit the president to one term (oops) and whose own members admit their colleagues oppose legislation just because the president is for it.

That’s the congressional GOP, filled with fringe lunatics and more unpopular than a cold sore on Kim Jong Un. The only way they’ve retained power is through gerrymandered House districts and a Senate that allows Wyoming, which has roughly the same number of prairie dogs as people, to enjoy equal representation to California, which is about 65 times more populated.

So if you’re these guys, what do you do? You gin up scandal and hope that even though people hate you, they might just hate the other guy more once you’re done. This was the plan from the 1990s with the impeachment of a popular Democratic president over sex.

Now, with the economy doing well, demographic change and a hugely popular figure in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton likely to run, there’s almost no way the GOP can win the next presidential election unless they try to claim that she is somehow responsible for altered ABC emails, our military not being able to move with the haste of Iron Man and the Republican Party’s gutting diplomatic security funding.

What makes this all the more offensive is we lived through a crime wave not seen since Lucky Luciano during the Bush years, but truculent troll and accused car thief Rep. Darrell Issa never seemed to care for some reason.

So perhaps during this witch hunt he could look into the 4,246 9/11 warnings ignored by Bush and Cheney (who kept us safe!) so 3,000 people could die on American soil. Or the lies surrounding our entry into a war in Iraq.

Or Jessica Lynch, the firing of U.S. attorneys by Karl Rove for political reasons, the prostitution and drugs scandal at the Interior Department, George W. Bush’s knowledge of torture, warrantless wiretapping, Pat Tillman, black sites, the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, the failure to prepare for Katrina, George Bush’s connection to Enron, Jeff Gannon, Mohammed Atta (not) in Prague, Dick Cheney’s secret energy meetings, George W. Bush’s IRS targeting Greenpeace and a liberal church in California, and everything else conveniently swept under a rug big enough to make Rand Paul’s cranium jealous.

Cliff Schecter is the president of Libertas LLC, a progressive public relations firm, and the author of the 2008 bestseller “The Real McCain.” Email him at cliffschecter@gmail.com.