Washington Post Pundit: For Hillary, Benghazi Almost as Much of a ‘Non-Scandal’ as Whitewater

Conservatives can’t stand Hillary Clinton, but do they have reasons for their antipathy? No, suggests pundit Paul Waldman, who indicates that detailed accusations about such matters as emails or Benghazi are mere pretext for the right’s “visceral loathing” of Hillary, which would be expressed more genuinely via sexist insults, or maybe primal screams.

In a Tuesday Washington Post web piece, Waldman wrote, “Even those who long ago gave up hope in the absurd conspiracy theories swirling around Benghazi (like the idea that Clinton issued a ‘stand down’ order that directly led to the four deaths) now say that it’s the email server that demonstrates the true depths of her villainy. ‘She oughta be in jail! Because, you know, that email thing!’ they say (and Donald Trump says it too), which sounds a lot more like a substantive critique than ‘God I just hate that b-tch.’”

Waldman’s post, pegged to the release of the House Benghazi committee’s report, posited multiple similarities between Benghazi and what Waldman views as a similarly overinflated controversy from the Clintons’ Arkansas years (bolding added):

Considered as a non-scandal milked for every last ounce of political advantage that could be squeezed out of it, Benghazi now stands second only to Whitewater in contemporary history...Whitewater began as a failed land deal in which…Bill and Hillary lost some money but never did anything criminal…Benghazi began as an awful attack on American personnel for which…Hillary Clinton bears ultimate responsibility as Secretary of State but never did anything criminal…

Along the way of the Whitewater investigation, [Ken Starr] discovered that Bill Clinton had been having an affair with Monica Lewinsky… Along the way of the Benghazi investigation, Trey Gowdy discovered that while at the State Department, Hillary Clinton used a private email server …Just as Bill’s affair with Monica was sordid but not an impeachable offense, Clinton’s decision to use private email was foolish and a violation of State Department policy, but not a crime (though we don’t yet have the final word on that from the FBI’s investigation).

Waldman does admit that “nevertheless, Benghazi long ago did its job, bringing down Clinton’s favorability ratings and spreading the idea that she’s untrustworthy, even if people don’t quite know what it was that she did wrong. They won’t find anything to help them in the Republicans’ report.”

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