Soon-to-be Speaker McCarthy drops the act, confirms Benghazi Committee is just about taking Hillary down

As majority leader, Kevin McCarthy is the odds-on favorite to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House when Boehner resigns at the end of next month. As someone who had a front row seat to Boehner losing his grip on his historically conservative caucus (more on that later today), it looks like he’s preparing to spend this month reassuring conservatives that he won’t just manage the House; he’ll punch Democrats in the mouth while he does it.

In an interview on Hannity last night, McCarthy gave Boehner’s speakership a grade of B- (Style: D+, Substance: B) and assured Hannity that he, too, felt “betrayed” by Republican leadership — odd, given that he’s #2 in said leadership.

However, the most consequential moment in the interview came when McCarthy highlighted the House Select Committee on Benghazi as a reason why when it comes to taking on the Democrats, he means business. As he said, quoted by Roll Call:

Kevin McCarthy, via Wikimedia Commons

Kevin McCarthy, via Wikimedia Commons

What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win.

And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.

To date, the Republican obsession with Benghazi has been couched in concern for the four Americans who died — we need to find out what happened — despite their shoulder-shrugging in the face of similar attacks that occurred under George Bush. And all this time, it’s been patently obvious that their concern has very little to do with American lives and very much to do with making it look like Hillary Clinton was on the one hand totally incompetent and on the other hand engaged in a far-reaching, detailed conspiracy to undermine American interests. The steady drip of hearings and investigations aren’t designed to find wrongdoing; they’re designed to simply raise the possibility that there’s something there.

As Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said in a statement:

…this stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public: the core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an even-handed search for the facts.

Hillary Clinton will testify before the Benghazi Committee later next month in what we already know amounts to a show trial — a fact laid even more bare by McCarthy’s admission that the committee exists for the sole purpose of taking her down.

If the Republicans are as ready for her hearing as they were for Cecile Richards yesterday, it’ll be an absolute train wreck.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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