It's impressive, indeed almost breathtaking, how quickly John Boehner can spring into action when political opportunism wafts in the air. Millions of Americans can be unemployed, underemployed or underpaid for years and the House sleepily passes another Obamacare repeal bill, assuming the House is working at all. But dangle a WH email on Benghazi--withheld in flagrant defiance of House subpoenas, as a Boehner aide puts it--and the speaker's agitation thrusts him into a select-committee tizzy.
As Politico notes up front, the committee's appointment is "a dramatic move that is sure to rev up the GOP base ahead of the midterm elections"--or rather, is designed to rev up the GOP base. Yet this seems like overkill. Could the frothing, rabid base get itself any more revved up than it already was? Any more incensed? Any more convinced that the Obama administration is the dirtiest, foulest, most corrupt gang of illegitimate scoundrels ever to plague America's virtuous? Is there so much as one more Fox-viewing quadruped out there who is now motivated, but wasn't before, to haul his hairy carcass to the polls in November? I think not.
The select Benghazi! committee seems more like a distraction--from Obamacare. There were just too many people being helped, too many sign-ups, too many depressingly positive stories in the press to keep the base cheerfully mobilized to march hatefully on government's manifestation of human decency.
One little email, that's all it took. Just one little email of nothing more than "administration spin," as John Dickerson exhaustively frames it, snapped Boehner out of inertia and into a tizzy. If only unemployment, wage stagnation, poverty and the like could have the same effect on the Boehner brain.