The GOP’s Benghazi disease has metastasized into yet another committee in the Republican House of Inquisitions, seeking to waste taxpayer money in yet another failed effort to exploit the death of Americans and prosecute yet another witch hunt against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE.
Clinton has answered. In her most important and profound speech since leaving the State Department, Clinton touted the benefits of
ObamaCare and warned about the culture of gun violence that has killed far too many of America’s children. Speaking to the National Council for Behavioral Health, she called for redoubled efforts to redress economic inequality and a return to a society in which Americans care about one another, in an economy with rising tides that lift all boats.
The battle is joined. The GOP addresses its partisan and extreme right-wing base with a venom toward others that mocks the legacies of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Clinton addresses the nation as a whole in tones reminiscent of Pope Francis, calling for a nation where no girls or boys have shorter life expectancies than their moms or dads. She champions an economy where aspirations grow higher while the number of jobless falls lower. She stands for politics where data and facts replace delusion and deceit. She proposes a discourse where mutual respect replaces the negativity and hatred that are trademarks of the modern Republican Party.
While the GOP looks downward and backward in its negative politics of derision, aiming its appeal to an extremist faction, Clinton reaches outward and forward in her positive politics of opportunity, aiming her appeal to the nation at large. If she runs in 2016, she could well carry 45 states and sweep into office many Democrats running for the House, Senate and governorships.
Ignore the vast wasteland of political “reporting” about a potential Clinton candidacy, such as the idiot punditry about Monica Lewinsky and the irrelevant bromides about who is allegedly up or down on Planet Hillary. Consider carefully, instead, what Clinton is saying this week.
Benghazi? We do not have enough fingers on our hand to count the House Republican committees that have investigated Benghazi.
But even after all of these sham public relations operations — sandwiched between long House Republican recesses and vacations — potential 2016 GOP candidates cannot see the color of Clinton’s pantsuit because she is running so far ahead of them.
ObamaCare? Clinton understands that by November 2016 there will be 12 million people, or perhaps 15 million or more, signed up along with children covered under a parent’s policy.
The Republican nightmare is Clinton in 2016 accusing the party that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare of trying to force 12-15 million consumers to give up healthcare plans they purchased, trying to strip people with preexisting conditions of the insurance ObamaCare provided, and telling millions of parents that their kids lose the insurance that ObamaCare gave them.
Medicaid? Let right-wing Republicans tell voters why they hurt their state budgets and poor folks by refusing to accept federal Medicaid money.
War against women? Let Republicans tell voters why Clinton is wrong about pay equity, better child care, paid parental leave and more help for poor women who deserve better than hungry children and premature death.
Jobs? Minimum wage? Income inequality? The GOP is busy creating jobs for GOP hacks working for partisan committees investigating Benghazi ad nauseam and for GOP flacks writing press releases advocating the repeal ObamaCare health plans consumers want. Meanwhile, Clinton is envisioning an America where parents don’t have to worry about their children being gunned down in school, workers don’t have to worry about being left behind in an economy without jobs, politics is not poisoned by hatred, and our social fabric is not torn apart by economic inequality and social injustice.
This week, Americans heard Republicans talk about Benghazi while Clinton talked about them. Upon such things historic landslides and realignments are born. Republicans, consider yourselves warned.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.