As I read Ryan Evans’ frustration with the continued Congressional Republican focus on the Benghazi attacks, I appreciated his perspective and found his analysis almost entirely on point. But he misses two points, one by commission, one by omission.

First, the creation of the House’s Select Committee on Benghazi that triggers Evans’ ire was not the product of paranoid conspiracy theorists. Although most social media activity by political action committees (both right and left) is intended to be red meat for hyper-partisans, and the events at the U.S. Annex and the Obama administration’s ineptly disingenuous communications response play exceedingly well to the right’s “lunatic fringe,” the reality is that conservative/Republican anger on this issue is more widespread than Evans appreciates, and not unreasonably so. This visceral reaction stems in part from the role the attacks are perceived to have played in the 2012 campaign when Candy Crowley – the supposedly neutral moderator of the second presidential debate – intervened on President Obama’s behalf on a substantive point, and incorrectly at that. This incident, combined with the perceived lack of media interest in two other scandals, created the appearance of a stonewalling administration abetted by a compliant media. This belief was initially sparked by the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal (in which 21 House Democrats joined the Republicans in holding the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents). Later, traditional media outlets seemed uninterested by government officials pleading the fifth, emails that were not backed up in accordance with federal record keeping laws were conveniently erased, and a slew of hard drives and Blackberries were mysteriously recycled in response to investigations over whether the IRS targeted grassroots conservative groups during the 2012 campaign. [Read more] – Michael’s Blog