Kevin McCarthy throws Hillary Clinton a lifeline

[mc_name name='Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)' chamber='house' mcid='M001165' ]

At the end of The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Frederic March as Rear Admiral George Tarrant, muses, “Where do we get such men?”

The same thought came to me yesterday, though in a markedly different context, when [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ], the odds on favorite to be Speaker of the House, tried his level best to help Hillary Clinton win the White House.

House Majority Leader [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ], R-Calif., is in a heap of trouble with both Republicans and Democrats just eight days before he hopes to get elected as the new speaker of the House, because of what he said on the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

On Fox News Tuesday night, McCarthy said the Benghazi committee helped bring down Clinton’s poll numbers.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy said. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”

What McCarthy did, in one fell swoop, was turn an actual, honest-to-gosh investigation of national importance into a political hatchet job. This is insane.

Naturally, the Democrats pounced:

Now, multiple members of the panel want the committee closed.

“I believe it is time to end this investigation,” committee member Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

She also called for McCarthy, committee Chairman [mc_name name=’Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000566′ ] (R-S.C.) and Speaker [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ] (R-Ohio) to “apologize” for “abusing the memories” of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three other Americans killed during the attack on a U.S. compound in the Libyan city in 2012.

“The decent thing to do is to wrap up the committee’s work as soon as possible,” said [mc_name name=’Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’D000622′ ] (D-Ill.), another member of the committee and a 2016 Senate candidate. “[T]he majority leader’s partisan disclosure breaks the promise we made to the victims’ families to make sure a tragedy of this magnitude never happens again.”

Jason Chaffetz is rightfully incensed:

[mc_name name=’Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001076′ ] (R-Utah) said on Wednesday that House Majority Leader [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ] (R-Calif.) went too far by linking the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s falling poll numbers.

“[It is] an absolutely inappropriate statement,” Chaffetz told host Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room” Wednesday evening, saying McCarthy’s comment distracts from the committee’s work.

“That was not the reason we started,” Chaffetz added of the select committee. “We started because there four dead Americans and we didn’t have answers.”

Politically motivated Congressional investigations aren’t unknown, its just that the GOP doesn’t do them. And when Democrats do them, no one cares. In 1992, the House Foreign Affairs Committee investigated the role of George Bush in the “October Surprise.” This is a conspiracy theory that was impossible on its face but it was seized upon by House Democrats as a way of harming Bush’s reelection campaign. The allegations were declared ridiculous just before the votes were cast.

It might not be fair but there is a double standard in the media for Democrats and Republicans. McCarthy should have had the experience and maturity to curb his tongue. That he didn’t is an indication that he may not be the man for the job. It is a shame that he had to give Hillary a get-out-of-jail-free card to demonstrate this shortcoming.

Where, indeed, do we get such men?