Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: The GOP (New) McCarthyism

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: The GOP (New) McCarthyism

Article excerpt

The lede to this column is a deep, guttural groan that originates in the throat and expands into the lungs before collapsing in the pit of the stomach. How do you spell hmmmgrrrungh?

What else is there to say about House Republicans' inability to get something right? And I say this with compassion. Because seriously? It's over. With Kevin McCarthy's recent response to the simplest question about GOP accomplishments in Congress -- from the friendliest interviewer, Sean Hannity, a GOPer could hope for -- the future may as well be called Democrat. Here's what McCarthy offered if you were away exploring conspiracies about liquid water on Mars: "Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" he said. "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."

The consequences of McCarthy's sleight of tongue can't be overstated. It wasn't just a Washington gaffe -- when someone accidentally tells the truth. It was a self-inflicted, potentially fatal wound, not just to McCarthy but to Republicans more broadly, including those running for president.

One minute McCarthy was the near-certain next speaker of the House; the next he was persona non grata as GOP colleagues hammered him.

McCarthy has since tried to cram the bad genie back into the bottle, but the damage has been done.

He had handed Clinton the keys to her prison cell. Held hostage by a series of Republican interrogators about the September 2012 attack in Libya that killed our ambassador and three others, she has been liberated.

The Benghazi hearings that led to the private server, that led to the missing 30,000 emails, that led to the FBI investigation that thus far has led only to the conclusion she was "hackable" have been reduced to a political hit job organized to damage her chances of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee. …

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